29 September 2023

Tēnā koutou katoa,

NZ On Air has been appointed as the agency that will administer the Game Development Sector Rebate Scheme (GDSR) – a rebate that will support the development and growth of our game development sector here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

While some of you may already have an idea of the GDSR and how it will work, we wanted to start by outlining some of the basics as well as give you an update on timelines and the tools we have in place so you can find out more. Our plan is to communicate with you as regularly as we can – so we keep you up-to-speed and answer any questions you may have.

The more questions you have for us, the better we’ll be able to provide all the detail and clarification you need, so do send us your questions and we will aim to answer those both within this newsletter and on our website. Just email gamesrebate@nzonair.govt.nz. Also, please make sure you regularly check our website for the most up-to-date info on the GDSR.

Let’s start with The Timeline:

1 Sept 2023Game Development Sector Rebate Design Features available
29 Sept 2023: Pilot Phase Registration opens
1 Oct 2023: General Registration for Year One opens 
GDSR Guidelines and GDSR Terms of Trade available
10 Oct 2023: NZGDA Webinar with NZ On Air (see below)
13 Oct 2023: Pilot Phase Registration closes
31 Oct 2023: Pilot Phase Application deadline for eligible applicants
30 Nov 2023: Deadline for General Registrations for Year One
Nov - Dec 2023: Applications audited and claims processed for Pilot Phase
Dec 2023 – Jan 2024: Letters of Acknowledgement sent out to eligible applicants
Dec 2023 – Feb 2024: Statement of Readiness process undertaken by eligible applicants
1 Apr 2024: Applications open for Year One rebates
30 Apr 2024: Application deadline for Year One rebates
Apr – June 2024: Applications audited and claims processed for Year One

The Basics:

  • In Budget 2023, the Government announced funding of $40m per annum for the delivering and administering of a rebate for the game development sector.
  • This rebate is called the Game Development Sector Rebate (GDSR) and is a rebate on eligible expenditures of eligible firms, at a rate of 20%.
  • MBIE has policy responsibility for the GDSR while we at NZ On Air will be the agency to administer the rebate.
  • The rebate payment will be capped at $3m per annum and the minimum qualifying expenditure per annum is $250,000.
  • While the Year One applications open on 1 April 2024, the GDSR is effective as of 1 April 2023 - so eligible firms are able to count eligible expenditures from this date.
  • There is also a Pilot Application Phase (details further down).

How does the GDSR work?
You can find guidelines about eligibility criteria, the registration process and the application process in this document (Game Development Sector Rebate Design Features) on our website. But, in brief:

  • Prior to applying, businesses first need to register with NZ On Air. General Registration for Year One opens on 1 October 2023 and needs to be completed by 30 November 2023. This process is about NZ On Air being able to assess a business’ eligibility. From today, you’ll find GDSR Guidelines to help you.
  • Once that Registration is completed, NZ On Air will provide the business with a letter of acknowledgment that confirms whether the business can go ahead and submit an application for those activities.

Pilot Application Phase
As a way to stress test and fine tune the admin processes behind the rebate, a Pilot Application Phase has been put in place.

  • It will be for eligible businesses that expect eligible expenditure for the year from 1 Apr 2023 to 31 March 2024 of $5m or more. It is open to this small group of studios because it recognises that those businesses will already have their financial processes in place to put forward an application in what is a short space of time.
  • For more on the Pilot Application Phase, you first need to register your eligibility. To find out more about the type of information you would need to provide to be eligible, go to our website or you can contact us at gamesrebate@nzonair.govt.nz.
  • Registrations for the Pilot Application Phase are open from today and close 13 October.

GDSR Webinar
The NZ Game Developers Association (NZGDA) will be hosting NZ On Air at their monthly NZGDA webinar on Tuesday 10 October from 3:30 – 4:30pm as an opportunity to hear from our Games Rebate team. We will aim to answer as many of your questions as possible, so please send your questions through in advance so we can make sure they are covered off at the webinar. Just email gamesrebate@nzonair.govt.nz.
To register for the webinar, go to the events section of the NZGDA website for more details.

NZ On Air is in the process of recruiting for specialist positions to work within the Games Rebate team. And we will keep you updated when positions are available here in this newsletter.

There are two roles currently available – a Programme Director and a Programme Coordinator. You can find the role description, as well as details on how to apply, in the Jobs section of our website. Applications for these roles close Monday 9 October at 12pm.