5 July 2024

Content that celebrates and explores many facets of life in Aotearoa New Zealand is among 19 new Non-Fiction projects funded in the latest NZ On Air funding round.

Just under $17m in funding has been committed to local Non-Fiction content.

“Due to our current media environment, Non-Fiction content in particular has been under a lot of pressure of late,” says NZ On Air Acting Co-Head of Funding, Kelly Davis. “We have concentrated on applications with high public interest, while also continuing to meet our core investment strategy of funding valued and diverse public media content.”

Aotearoa screen legend Temuera Morrison hits the road with a brand new gastronomy travel show, Earth Oven with Temuera Morrison, for Sky Open. The series will highlight the role that food preparation plays in various indigenous cultures around the world. While Once Were Gardeners, a series for Whakaata Māori, MĀORI+ and RNZ, explores traditional Māori gardening (māra) around Aotearoa.

Also returning to screens is the popular and informative Eat Well for Less. Now in its fifth season, the series follows six Kiwi whānau, each on a journey to make healthier food decisions and save money on their weekly shop.

“While previously commercially funded, the current decline in advertising revenue means NZ On Air has been asked to step in to ensure this content, which has strong public interest in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, could continue for a further season,” says Davis.

Also in this round are three series that explore societal issues – one using big data and two through a comedic lens.

First is The Devil’s in the Data, for TVNZ+ and TVNZ 1, a series which investigates the country’s collective attitude to life issues such as love, money, health and community, and uses big data to uncover surprising stories about how we live today.

In another, comedian Bubbah Olo joins other well-known Kiwi comedians in documentary series Don’t, for TVNZ+ and TVNZ 2, exploring the scientific and social significance of such big life moments as buying a house and having children. While in New Zealand Tomorrow, comedian Guy Williams presents a spinoff of New Zealand Today for ThreeNow and Three, this time looking to the future as he brings his signature sense of humour to some of our most complex societal challenges.

Observational series All Access Driving School is a new original format for Sky Open and SkyGo which follows learner drivers with disabilities as they navigate the challenges and triumphs of learning how to drive.

The fascinating life story of celebrated author Joy Cowley is explored in Joy, Full and Final, a documentary for RNZ, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram that sees Joy give a rare glimpse into her life and career.

Three series with a focus on te ao Māori are also in this round. Stranded is an observational documentary series for Sky Open and Whakaata Māori which follows those at the centre of whale rescues across Aotearoa. Patua, for Whakaata Māori, MĀORI+ and NZR+, follows seven wahine Māori rugby players through their sporting lives and journey of learning poi, while Ka Mate, a documentary for TVNZ+, looks at the taonga that is the haka.

Long-running kids’ show What Now? will be back in 2025 on TVNZ+, TVNZ 2 and YouTube Kids, with a more digital-focused format; Kea Kids News, which provides news coverage by and for tamariki is also back; and Young Riders 5, which follows eight young riders competing in the Horse of the Year competition.

Fresh, the show for and about young Pasifika people, is also returning; along with 7 Days, the studio panel programme on ThreeNow and Three where comedians retell the news of the week; Hyundai Country Calendar for TVNZ+ and TVNZ 1; and Attitude, telling the personal stories of disabled people from across the motu.

Finally, local government news scheme Local Democracy Reporting, which supports 16 reporters and provides stories across more than 30 partners, including RNZ, Stuff, Whakaata Māori and NZME will be co-funded by NZ On Air and RNZ for 2025.

Funding Decisions

Note: All funding commitments are based on the funding applications received and must be contracted within a specified timeframe. Funding is only released, in stages, as contractual commitments are met. Funds committed but not contracted within the specified timeframe are written back and distributed in future funding rounds.


New Zealand Tomorrow, 6 x 22’, Kevin and Co. for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $999,870.

The Devil’s in the Data, 4 x 44’, Ruckus Media for viewing on TVNZ+ and TVNZ 1, up to $996,880.

Earth Oven with Temuera Morrison, 6 x 44’, Hi Mama for viewing on SkyGo and Sky Open, up to $800,000.

Stranded, 6 x 60’, NHNZ Worldwide for viewing on Sky Open and Whakaata Māori, up to $663,192.

Don’t, 3 x 44’, Greenstone TV for viewing on TVNZ+ and TVNZ 2, up to $648,675.

Once Were Gardeners, 8 x 26’, Black Iris for viewing on MĀORI+, Whakaata Māori and RNZ, up to $624,496.

All Access Driving School, 6 x 23’, Sweet Productions for viewing on SkyGo and Sky Open, up to $599,801.

Patua, 7 x 26’, NHNZ Worldwide for viewing on MĀORI+, Whakaata Māori and NZR+, up to $352,176.

Joy, Full and Final, 1 x 45’, Krafty for viewing on RNZ, YouTube, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, up to $301,782.

Ka Mate, 1 x 90’, GFC Films for viewing on TVNZ+, up to $200,000.


What Now?, 120 x 8’, Whitebait Media for viewing on TVNZ+, TVNZ2 and YouTube Kids, up to $2,076,319.

Attitude 2025, 28 x 22’, Attitude Pictures for viewing on TVNZ+, TVNZ 1, Attitude Live and YouTube, up to $2,032,621.

Fresh 2025, 34 x 23’, Tikilounge Productions for viewing on TVNZ 2 and The CoconetTV, up to $1,895,631.

7 Days, 15 x 44’, Discovery NZ for viewing on ThreeNow and Three, up to $1,254,554.

Local Democracy Reporting 2025, RNZ for viewing on RNZ, Stuff, Whakaata Māori and NZME, up to $884,896.

Hyundai Country Calendar 2025, 40 x 22’, Television New Zealand for viewing on TVNZ+ and TVNZ 1, up to $726,545.

Kea Kids News 6, 80 x 4’, Luke Nola & Friends for viewing on NZ Herald, YouTube Kids, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, up to $700,321.

Young Riders 5, 8 x 22’, Greenstone TV for viewing on YouTube Kids and local platform TBC, up to $588,928.

Eat Well For Less 5, 6 x 44’, Screentime NZ for viewing on TVNZ+ and TVNZ 1, up to $513,471.