Suzanne De Spong - Senior Communications Advisor - Kaitohutohu Whakawhiti Kōrero Mātāmua

Suz pic

Suzanne De Spong - Senior Communications Advisor - Kaitohutohu Whakawhiti Kōrero Mātāmua

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

Day-to-day I could be doing anything from writing media releases, working on upcoming funding announcements, identifying story opportunities, writing reports that highlight trends in our music or film and television industry, issues management, assisting with media enquiries, reviewing NZ On Air Music content, focusing on internal comms or writing articles about all the amazing mahi that we do at NZ On Air.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

The biggest challenge would probably be keeping across the myriad of tasks and projects that are underway all at one time – and then quickly turning your hand to the next thing that comes into your inbox and needs urgent attention. You have to be really good at time management – assigning time to each project to get things done. The good part is that we work as a tight team at NZ On Air, so you always know someone has your back if you need it.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

I love the variety. I am not one for doing the same old thing day in and day out. So I love that every day in my job looks different. Plus there is always opportunity to learn – it’s a busy industry and things are always changing, so you’re always gleaning new information and keeping up with what’s happening in the media. And as for what I said before about being a tight team, that too is one of the things I love the most about working at NZ On Air.

When you’re not at work, what’s your favourite place to be and why?

My favourite place is with my family and friends – preferably at the beach or out in the sun – but my other favourite place to be is on a tennis court. Whether I’m playing or even just watching it on TV, tennis is my happy place.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I am on the champions board at my local tennis club for singles and doubles here and there across various years. I’m also a pretty decent kneeboarder and relatively proficient wakeboarder. In the summertime, I spend a lot of time zooming my kids around on the water or waiting patiently on the beach to get them off and have my turn on the board.

What is your favourite piece of funded content and why?

Ooh, so tough. I’m not sure I could name just one. It would have to be a combination of Kid Sister, The Detail, Unbreakable and 7 Days. All favourites for varying reasons – Kid Sister because it is fresh content with such compelling acting; The Detail because it keeps me up to speed on current affairs; Unbreakable as it showcases such amazing individuals and is so full of heart; and 7 Days because it’s clever content that showcases some of our best comedic talent.

Teresa Patterson -Head of Music - Tumuaki o Te Puoro

Teresa Patterson 2

Teresa Patterson - Head of Music - Tumuaki o Te Puoro

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

I head the NZ On Air Music team of five. We are responsible for administering the funding for all NZ On Air Music projects, which includes New Music Singles, New Music Development, New Music Pacifica, Waiata Takitahi and New Music Kids.

I have only been in the job for just over a month but so far each day is different from the next and involves a lot of interaction with the music industry - labels, managers, artists, other music and funding orgs; reading and assessing funding applications, and listening to a lot of amazing music.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

That there is too much amazing talent out there and we don’t have enough money to fund it all. We have just had a New Music Singles round with 217 applications and the level of talent in Aotearoa is absolutely world class. But unfortunately, and sadly, we can only fund up to 35 of those incredible songs per round.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

I am a music fan and have been from the time I took my first guitar lesson at six years old. To be in a role where we are able to assist musicians to realise their vision of how their song should sound or video should look, with additional financial resource, is so fulfilling and an absolute privilege. Also I love the team at NZ On Air, every single person is very passionate about their job, absolutely love all the content that we fund (and don’t fund), take the responsibility of the role of NZ On Air in the broadcast eco-system very seriously, and are super nice people as well.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Escaping with whānau or friends to a small coastal village called Pukehina, which is in Western Bay of Plenty. A walk along the beach or a swim in the ocean is top of the list of my wellbeing therapies, and sea air is extremely healing.

What’s something surprising people might not know about you?

In my teens, I co-published a fanzine called Alter-Native and we got a shout out from Karen Hay on Radio With Pictures (we were SO stoked/amazed/thrilled when that happened... peak teen excitement highlight). We only published a few issues, but one interview was with a band called Sons In Jeopardy that Adam Holt, Chairman of Universal NZ, was in. Murray Cammick sent me a link a few years ago to a site that had uploaded the fanzine (note to self to find that link again, as sadly I have somehow lost all my copies….).

What is your favourite piece of funded content and why?

I can’t even begin to choose a favourite from music, that’s way too hard to even narrow down to a Top 10. But from TV, I loved Raised By Refugees. Pax Assadi is such a talent and this clever show, based on his life, made me laugh out loud often (and also cry a couple of times). And also Kid Sister that I binged in one night and loved everything about – the writing, the acting, the production.

Cat Goodwin - Audience and Media Strategist - Kaiwhatakoto Rautaki Pāpāho

Cat Goodwin

Cat Goodwin - Audience and Media Strategist - Kaiwhatakoto Rautaki Pāpāho

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

I ingest a huge amount of data daily about where and how audiences are consuming media, and more specifically our content, swirl it around, percolate it a bit and then use it to inform and guide our funding strategies.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

It’s equally a lack of data and an over abundance of it. Unfortunately great quality, consistent, timely data is the stuff that’s really hard to find and tends to fall in the ‘lack of’ pile! But there is a huge amount of data that we have to sift through to get to the really good, useful stuff.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

The feeling you get when a project finally falls into place and you have a clear outcome and way forward. It can take months with some of the bigger projects I’m working on but it’s a great feeling!

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

With my teenage daughters, puppy, husband or any of my extended family. I love the Coromandel, but really anywhere with a good view and I’ll be happy.

What’s something surprising people might not know about you?

I created a travel adventure game called the Getting Lost Game that’s sold around the world.

What is your favourite piece of funded content and why?

I’m a massive podcast fan and I really enjoy The Detail. It’s a really interesting mix of topics that they explore and they’re the perfect length for a morning walk around the block with the dog.

Fairooz Samy - Journalism Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea Rīpoatatanga

Fairooz

Fairooz Samy - Journalism Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea Rīpoatatanga

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

My job is to help administer the Public Interest Journalism Fund (PIJF) alongside the rest of the PIJF team. I liaise with journalists, producers, and platforms before and after the application process, read and assess proposals, and generally spend too much time looking at excel sheets.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

There are so many moving parts to the PIJF and everyone in the team has had to hit the ground running. At any one time, I could be keeping track of a previous round, in the middle of a current round, and planning for what needs to be done in a future round. The journalism sector itself is complex and dynamic so staying up to date with it can sometimes feel like a full-time job. That said, it’s super rewarding to be involved in such an interesting space.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

Working with the crew at Irirangi Te Motu. It’s so rare to have a group of people who are passionate about their mahi, incredibly competent, and really supportive of each other. In terms of my day job, it’s a three-way tie between reading the amazing proposals we get, giving applicants good news about funding decisions, and consuming the great work that’s produced as a result. I feel really lucky to be a small part of that process.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Consuming art is my favourite thing to do, so my favourite place to be is in an audience, whether it’s watching a play, a movie, or in the crowd at a gig. Barring that, you can find me living my best cottagecore life near any body of water or animal paddock.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I have four nationalities and many terrible passport photos to prove it.

What is your favourite piece of funded content and why?

I can’t choose any one Public Interest Journalism project as they’re all fantastic, so I’ll pick from the equally phenomenal television content and say Creamerie. It’s so creative and darkly funny. If you’re looking for a great drama, you can’t go past Rūrangi or The Panthers. Watch all three and thank me later!

Gabriel Thomas, Journalism Manager -Kaiwhakahaere o te Rīpoatatanga

Gabriel

Gabriel Thomas, Journalism Manager -Kaiwhakahaere o te Rīpoatatanga

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

I’m the Journalism Manager with the Public Interest Journalism Fund. This means assessing funding applications, answering questions from people who want to apply for funding, and then once people have been approved, helping them to put their plans into practice. There’s also a lot of quality time with a calculator, so we can report back on where the money is going.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

I started during level four lockdown in Auckland, so the hardest thing has been figuring out a new job from my spare room, without meeting colleagues in real life and being in the office. Being right there with people really makes a difference!

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

The amazing content we’re able to fund. Journalism has been my whole career, so even though I think so much NZ On Air content is amazing, it’s the momentum we’re currently giving to public interest journalism that I’m the most excited about.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

I love to travel, but there hasn’t been a lot of that going on, so at the moment I love my walk/jog up Maungawhau Mt Eden every morning. The view is amazing. Come summer, my favourite place becomes the beach, especially the Tutukaka coast.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I went to 10 different schools, including one in the Cook Islands. I quite liked moving around as a kid, but now I’m pretty settled in Tamaki Makaurau.

What is your favourite piece of funded content and why?

I’m not actually a big TV watcher, but I always catch the current affairs programmes. At the moment I’ve been particularly getting into the NZ music we fund. The NZ On Air Office Vibes Spotify playlist is perfect for my home office!

Conall Aird

Conall Aird, Business Affairs Advisor (Legal)- Kaitohutohu Kirimana Pakihi (Ture)

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

I lead the contracting process for funded screen content and platforms, and work with producers and broadcasters to ensure that people understand their contract and are able to meet the various requirements contained in it.

This can often involve being the NZ On Air point of contact for project-specific contracting or wider production issues, meaning that I then have to troubleshoot by jumping on the phone or emailing interested parties to try and sort things out and make sure everyone is on the same page.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

Other than having to often see my name spelt wrong, I would say the biggest challenge is figuring out how we formulate our agreements and contract for the new areas of funding NZ On Air has been moving into recently. Our contracting process can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach and so areas like Youth-specific content, Journalism and Games funding all have their own unique requirements and challenges.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

I’ve always being an avid fan of film and television and I love being in a position where I’m able to learn more and more about the production industry in Aotearoa every day and interact with the people who make it what it is. It is something I’ve wanted to do since the start of high school and I’m stoked that I’m able to play a role in getting people’s ideas and stories funded, realised and on screen.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

When I’m able to, getting back to my hometown of Ōhope to see my family and the beach. Otherwise, if I was here in Wellington, it would probably be somewhere like the Roxy Cinema out in Miramar.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

Last year I finally sat my restricted (failed the first time) after holding my Learners licence for nine years and 328 days. No longer using a picture of 15-year-old Conall as my main form of ID.

What is your favourite piece of funded content and why?

I’ve been really enjoying this season of Taskmaster NZ (especially Guy and David). I think it’s great that there is a show where the audience are able to see NZ comedians acting each in their own unique way for an entire season.

Cheating a little here by naming two pieces of content but also have to give a shout out to the best album of 2020 that I still listen to frequently, Nadia Reid’s Out of My Province.

Allanah Kalafatelis, Head Of Communications and Research - Tumuaki o te Whakawhiti Kōrero

Allanah

Allanah Kalafatelis, Head Of Communications and Research - Tumuaki o te Whakawhiti Kōrero me te Rangahau

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

No two days are ever the same – which is what has kept me here so long!

My daily work can span writing media releases and newsletters, dealing with media, stakeholder and public enquiries, web publishing and oversight of our social media, planning and writing our Annual Report and other accountability documents, planning events, and planning and overseeing our research programme.

There’s also a lot of liaison with government officials, and involvement in the strategic space. I am fortunate to have a superb, small-but-perfectly-formed team of Communications Advisor Sophie Howard and Researcher Gabrielle Smith.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

It’s a bit like spinning plates and juggling balls at the same time. I try to plan my days but often end up ditching the plans and dealing spontaneously with urgent matters. The end goal is to be assist NZ On Air to be a responsive, transparent agency that champions great local content for NZ audiences.

Probably the challenge that keeps me awake at night right now is cutting through the noise with local content – we want more New Zealanders to see, hear and appreciate the fantastic content being created for them.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

First and foremost the content – I feel exceptionally proud of what our content community creates and try to make the time to explore and enjoy as much of it as possible. And second – tied very much to the first – is that I love interacting with our stakeholders. Such a passionate bunch of talented people who I feel privileged to deal with on a daily basis.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Home! I live on a lifestyle block and I just love the peace and quiet, the rural outlook, the kind supportive neighbours, and my menagerie of dogs, chooks and sheep. I especially love to take the dogs (Fonzie, Roxie and Bella) on long walks and feel the city and pressures melt away. I also love to work in the gardens and do all sorts of property improvements – which often sees me arrive at work on a Monday with strains, sprains and bruises.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

When I was 16 I won a Junior DJ competition on the local radio station, which was what opened doors for me into broadcasting. I was allowed to pick my music tracks to play in a one-hour show, and at the time Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side was banned on RNZ…so of course I picked it to play. I didn’t get my way and ended up playing some Pink Floyd and David Bowie instead.

What is your favourite piece of funded content and why?

I’m going to cheat and choose two. I recently binged Creamerie and have been recommending it to anyone who will listen. It’s absolutely bonkers in the most fabulous way! This supremely talented and fresh writing, acting and directing team deserve much respect for their boundary-breaking stories. In music, I am just sooo in love with Teeks’ sound. Every track he releases is like chocolate melting in the mouth. Can’t wait to see him in concert next month!

Luke Campbell, Assistant Accountant - Kaiāwhina Kaikaute

Luke

Luke Campbell, Assistant Accountant - Kaiāwhina Kaikaute

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

My role in the funding process is to guide successful funding recipients through to the completion of their contract. I work mainly with music contracts and grants.

Day-to-day you can find me answering any questions funding recipients might have and guiding them through our contract, budgeting, and drawdown processes. I receive the deliverables (such as budgets, songs, videos, and promotion reports) from the recipients and ensure everything complies with their contracts so that I can process their invoices and get people paid!

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

Managing large volumes of contracts can be challenging as many of them can take months to complete. Luckily we have good systems in place which helps keep both us and the funding recipient on track.

One of the other challenges of our mahi is trying to make the entire funding process as easy as possible for the artists while still holding a reasonable amount of accountability as to how the money is being spent, and also trying to align our process with industry norms. It can be a bit of a juggling act and something that will be constantly evolving as the music industry does.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

Being able to watch and listen to all the great music and videos that we fund! I will generally watch and listen to the video/song of everyone whose contract I manage. I am constantly blown away at the quality of content people are producing. It’s great knowing that we are helping enable talented people to put their passions out there for the world to enjoy!

I also love the NZ On Air working environment. Its forward thinking, open to change, and everyone has a voice.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

I love the beach - most weekends you'll find me driving around the country in my van trying to find the best surf and dive spots. I love the refreshing feeling the ocean gives you. If you’re having a bad day or not feeling 100% a swim in the ocean washes everything away - it’s like hitting a reset button.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I have a degree in Paramedicine and also worked in the Oil and Gas industry before changing industries and studying Accounting. I also love video games!

Sylvia Betham, Music Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea - Puoro

Sylvia

Sylvia Betham, Music Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea - Puoro

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

I am here to ensure we have smooth and efficient contracting and compliance processes for funded music content and platforms. My day-to-day varies from liaising with artists, music managers, record labels, publicists and other services related to the various music projects and platforms we fund.

Although every day looks completely different for me, I spend a lot of my time preparing music contracts, checking budgets, reading proposals and listening to A LOT of phenomenal kiwi music.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

It can be a real challenge juggling all the different aspects and intricacies of executing music contracts as no music project ever looks the same. With the music industry and the way people listen to music ever changing, I often see out of the box release strategy plans and unique promotional campaigns. Although it’s sometimes challenging to fit these plans into a conventional contract, it keeps me on my toes and motivates me to continue learning how the music industry keeps evolving.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

It’s a huge honour for me to be in the service of our NZ musicians and everyone that is involved in the process of creating and releasing music. It continues to amaze me that people would come together and bring their best talents, skills and energy, to serve the song and essentially the listener. The part I love most about my job is knowing that at the end of the day, we are empowering fantastic artists to focus on creating great music by providing some financial ease where we can. The purpose in my role and of NZ On Air as a whole, drives me to do my job with passion and excellence every day.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Watching live music! It’s one thing to be at home listening to your favourite tunes, but there’s something so transcending about getting out there and feeling the music in a live setting. It’s inspiring, refreshing and going to gigs is also an awesome way to meet other people who love music.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

After graduating, I lived in L.A to do a dance internship at a Hip Hop studio called Movement Lifestyle. I was lucky enough to learn from world renowned choreographers of many dance styles including Hip Hop, Contemporary and Ballet. Dance is huge passion of mine as well as music!

Heperi Mita, Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea

Heperi

Heperi Mita, Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

There isn’t really anything I would consider ‘day-to-day’ due to the dynamic nature of the funding cycle. I could be reading proposals for new content, or writing papers in support of the funding recommendations being made, or meeting with programming commissioners and producers to discuss projects, or playing video games from NZ game developers, or studying NZ On Air’s research into audiences - amongst many other things!

What are your biggest challenges in your job?

The media landscape has seen radical change in the past few years with the recent dominance of social media, gaming and streaming video services. As a result, audiences are consuming content in different ways and funding bodies are being forced to adapt in order to meet the needs of an ever evolving industry. This is both challenging and exciting as change forces innovation, giving rise to new opportunities and new ways of telling stories.

What is the bit about your job you love the most?

From a global and historical perspective, Aotearoa’s screen sector is in a really unique place in the post-COVID-19 world. There are so many projects on the go right now. It’s an exciting time to be in this space and I learn something new every day.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Spending time with whānau. We don’t have to be doing anything particularly exciting, but quietly sharing time and space together is something that I find really grounding in this hectic world!

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I worked as a sports journalist in Las Vegas for a few years covering boxing, MMA, and American Football. My love for American Football continues to this day and I’m a die-hard supporter of the Arizona Cardinals.

Cameron Harland, Chief Executive -Tumu Whakarae

Cameron Harland

Cameron Harland, Chief Executive -Tumu Whakarae

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

The great thing about my role is the varied nature of everyday. The one constant is our daily senior leadership team meeting but otherwise I might have calls and meetings with various stakeholders and sector people including producers, broadcasters, musicians or band managers, our Ministry, fellow agencies, my Chair or the Board.

We also spend time as a team thinking about some of the strategic challenges and opportunities that our sectors may face and how we might appropriately intervene. I also love reading the various submissions that we receive (despite the incredible volume) to be reminded of the amazing creative talent this wonderful country has.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

Without a doubt our inability to fund all of the amazing creative content that we get to see.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

Our amazing staff. I have to say it is so rare to join an organisation where everything is so brilliantly structured, where people so fully understand and embrace their roles, willingly help and support others and genuinely care about the people, platforms and sectors they support. They work incredibly hard, but have fun and love the varied content that is created through our funding.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Running up Mount Kaukau with my young son Ollie, at the pool watching my son Finn, walking our dog Stanley on the beach at Waikanae or at home cooking dinner for my wife Janelle, listening and watching the great content we fund. .

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I represented New Zealand as an age grade (old) athlete at the World Triathlon Champs.

Steven Gannaway, Funding Analyst - Kaitātari Pūtea

Steven

Steven Gannaway, Funding Analyst - Kaitātari Pūtea

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

My role has two aspects. As part of the funding team I assess funding applications, read scripts, check budgets and make recommendations. As an analyst I make and run data analysis tools that track current and previous funding, delivering insights into which production companies and platforms have been funded, how much and what for, trends in genre and delivery, and gender and ethnicity diversity and so on. I’m charged with being curious about what we don’t know based on information we have or can get.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

Funding assessor: There are always more excellent projects seeking funding than there are funds available to distribute.

Data geek: no two projects are exactly alike so it makes creating formulas that track like-against-like very complicated. Also: if producers could spell the name of their project and production company consistently then that would be awesome, thanks!

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

Enabling great talent to go make cool stuff.

Writing an elegant formula that does clever things. (I’m that geeky).

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Either lost inside the many imaginary worlds created by authors, screenwriters and game creators or snug inside any of my favourite Wellington bars, local gin in hand.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

Something surprising? I have a BFA from Massey here in Wellington and I have exhibited as an artist. My first published novel was adapted into a feature film, which is how I got involved in the NZ film and television industry. I once sang karaoke with Jordan Luck at the Blue Note at 4am, dressed as a pirate.

Anna Currie, Associate Head of Funding - People - Tumuaki Tūhono Pūtea - Tāngata

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Anna Currie, Associate Head of Funding - People - Tumuaki Tūhono Pūtea - Tāngata

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

My day depends on where we are in our seven-week funding cycle. I’m either advising producers as they prepare to submit a funding application to our Scripted and Factual rounds, assessing the applications we’ve received, or working with successful applicants once they’ve received funding. Outside of our usual funding cycles I oversee the tamariki platform HEIHEI and other great initiatives like the RNZ/NZ On Air Joint Innovation Fund.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

Having a limited pool of funding and an oversupply of great ideas. If we had the pūtea to support every great proposal that came across our desks my job would be a lot easier. It’s never nice breaking the news to a content creator that their project did not get across the line.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

I love seeing an audience respond so well to a piece of content that was funded for them. And it’s always great to share the good news with a producer that their project has been funded. And it’s really rewarding to give an applicant a piece of advice that gets their project one step closer to being made. I guess there are many bits of my job that I love.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

On an overseas holiday that I’ve been spending my work days dreaming about and saving for. I love visiting new places and obsessing over the local food. Recent highlights have been Japan and Vietnam.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I wrote my Master’s thesis on the MTV reality series The Hills. A whole 50,000 words. I will talk about it at length without much prompting at parties, so you’ve been warned.

Jeff Newton, Music Promoter - Platforms - Kaiwhakahau Puoro - Pūnaha Rorohiko

Jeff

Jeff Newton, Music Promoter - Platforms - Kaiwhakahau Puoro - Pūnaha Rorohiko

When did you join NZ On Air?

February 2012. It's an easy one for me to remember since my middle kid was born a week after I started, so when people ask how long I’ve been here I just need to remember how old she is.

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

The main part of my job is getting the New Zealand music we fund (and some that we don’t) seen and heard on broadcast platforms. That means I spend a lot of my time meeting with and talking to the playlist curators of radio stations, streaming platforms and any other music media that can help get those songs into the ears of New Zealanders. I also sit on the New Music Singles funding panel and select songs for our New Tracks compilation each month so I'm always listening to new music, good thing I love it!

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

The current music economy is an extremely complex beast so there’s a few to choose from, namely how to help artists get the most out of each release of a New Zealand song, identifying the songs and artists that will impact the biggest audience and how to get te tangata o Aotearoa to identify great songs as New Zealand music. The big challenge for me personally is space, playlists are notoriously tight and extremely competitive, particularly for radio but also for streaming platforms. They're receiving more music than they have space for every week so get New Zealand music prioritised over international tracks can be very tough.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

I love music! Not everyone is looking for their new favourite song on the regular but every single person who draws breath has a favourite song (I have no substantiated evidence of this). Being able to be part of that journey for the many humans that live across our motu means there’s plenty about my job to love. If I had to choose one aspect, it has to be the opportunity to be a judge in the national finals of Smokefree Rockquest. This is my eighth year judging the competition and it's usually where I first see the artists that will eventually come through the system. I’ve been lucky enough to see Broods, Robinson, Maala, Alae, Alien Weaponry, Foley, Nomad and a bunch more who are now making music, applying for funding and assuring the strength of the wider New Zealand music economy

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Love my family! And surfing and skiing (while jamming some choons of course) are my two favourite pastimes so anytime at the beach or up the mountain with the whānau will see me in my happy place.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

When I was 17 I represented NZ in whitewater slalom kayaking, we competed at the Australian nationals in 1989 where I came 10th.

Sophie Howard, Communications Advisor (Content) - Kaitohutohu Whakawhiti Kōrero (Kaupapa)

sophie.jpg

Sophie Howard, Communications Advisor (Content) - Kaitohutohu Whakawhiti Kōrero (Kaupapa)

Sophie is our social media guru - she started at NZ On Air in March 2018.

What exactly do you do day-to-day?

My role is to connect audiences in Aotearoa with amazing local content that authentically reflects a range of perspectives and experiences.

I spend the majority of my time creating and sourcing content for our social media channels, newsletters and website. A large part of my role includes managing our website, making sure it stays up-to-date and beautiful, as well as writing media releases and communicating with our internal and external stakeholders.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

Things happen fast in the world of communications so the immediacy of my job can be challenging, but it also makes for a fun work week with no two days ever being the same.

What’s the bit about your job you love the most?

On the flipside, the front-facing aspect of my job means I often get to hear and re-distribute to our team good news, like a project we’ve funded truly connecting with its audience, be that 500 people or 500,000. It’s a lovely feeling to see and hear the direct impact of your mahi on others.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

Anywhere with a nice view, a big mug of tea and a great book.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

This is utterly unsurprising for anyone who has known me for more than two seconds, but I’m a big fan of dogs, so much so that I devote a decent chunk of my time to running an Instagram dedicated to the best and fluffiest. It’s terribly embarrassing and I absolutely love it.

Hilaire Carmody, Executive Assistant to the CEO - Kaiāwhina ki te Tumu Whakarae

Hilaire

Hilaire Carmody, Executive Assistant to the CEO - Kaiāwhina ki te Tumu Whakarae

Hilaire Carmody joined NZ On Air in January 2018 - with the big job of keeping our Chief Executive in line.

How is your job of EA to the CEO different to previous jobs? I’ve previously been working in the not for profit sector, where we rely on funding to achieve our mission. Sometimes it can be a daunting and relentless task to keep asking for money. It’s great to be on the other side knowing that every day my organisation is helping New Zealanders create the amazing content that they’ve been working hard to make a reality.

What are the biggest challenges in your job? This role requires a lot of juggling, there are always multiple priorities that need to be met. I often feel like my head is a web browser with about 50 tabs open at once.

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why? During the day searching through op-shop and vintage stores for great bargains. I’m rather chuffed that our office is across the road from a terrific Salvation Army store. During the night, down at the Fringe Bar on Allen street, it’s my favourite venue. There is always an interesting show with hot new talent on stage; be it burlesque, comedy or live music.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you? I used to fly and have proudly landed a prop plane at Rongotai / Wellington Airport – apparently it’s listed as the 15th most scariest airport to land in the world. I figure if I can achieve that, I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

Nicole Rex, Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea

Nicole

Nicole Rex, Funding Advisor - Kaitohutohu Pūtea

Nicole comes from a broadcasting background, and a well-connected family.

What’s your role?

I am the Funding Advisor for Community Broadcasting. I look after Spoken Radio, Access Radio, Pacific Radio and Regional Media.

How is it different to your roles prior to joining NZ On Air?

This is a totally different role to the ones I’ve previously had. I come from a broadcasting background, 14 years behind the mic and later behind the scenes as an operations manager. I really enjoy this role because it challenges me. One day I could be writing papers recommending funding for some great Kiwi content, the next I could be meeting with one of my awesome stakeholders watching a poetry recital in beautiful Dunedin! It’s a wonderful role that makes me feel good about the work I do to get Kiwi content funded.

What are you finding the biggest challenges of both settling in and delivering the new strategy and processes?

I had big shoes to fill coming into this role as the previous Community Broadcasting manager was well respected and loved by our stakeholders. The wonderful thing about our stakeholders though, is that they are all amazing people and I get phone calls just to chat or received lovely welcoming emails which made my transition less daunting.

As for the new strategy, this is an exciting time for NZ On Air. The technology age is well and truly upon us and NZ On Air have embraced it and are adapting to meet the rapidly changing environment. The NZ Media fund continues to champion NZ content and content makers. As the funder we want all our providers, producers and musicians to succeed - when you succeed we succeed!

When you’re not at work what’s your favourite place to be and why?

My favourite place is anywhere with my two kids Arty (6) and Senara (5) and my partner Hannay. My kids are my world and it could be us lounging around at home watching Moana for the 100th time or down at the local court shooting some hoops with them.

What’s something surprising people won’t know about you?

I am 125,233th in line to the British throne. The Queen is a great Aunty and Will and Harry my cuzzie bros. My great great great grandfather is King George III (yes the mad one!) In a nutshell he had three sons to Hannah Lightfoot, a seamstress, before marrying Queen Charlotte. Hannah and her sons were exiled and given the last name Rex. One settled in Tasmania in Australia and his grandson came to a little Island in the South Pacific (best island, btw) called Niue. He settled in Niue and the rest is history!

P.S I dropped the ‘Princess’ title back in the 90s but if you must…'Your highness' is fine ;)