In 2016 we published our first Diversity Report in response to local and international research that shed light on gender and ethnic disparity within the screen sector. NZ On Air, as a key funder of local television and online content on television and online content, is in a unique position to observe industry trends. The Diversity Report contributes to the growing range of research highlighting gender and ethnicity issues in the local production sector.

This report monitors gender and ethnic diversity among key personnel of NZ On Air-funded television and digital projects, as well as regional spread of production companies. While our funded television content, for example, comprises less than 16% of total output, we do not expect the trends in commercially-funded content to be particularly different.

This is the second consecutive year NZ On Air has published this report. There are now two years of comparable data and this report assesses any emerging trends and notable data shifts.

Key findings

  • Women continue to be well represented among television producers, making up 59% of those surveyed (a 4% increase from previous report).
  • A larger number of digital creatives were surveyed, and this larger data set mostly showed a more balanced breakdown of gender and ethnicity than in last year’s report.
  • This year’s data reveals an improved gender balance between television writers. Women made up 51% of writers surveyed.
  • There was no evidence that women-led projects receive development funding but fail to progress to production. In this year’s report 42% of key creatives involved in television development projects were women (NZ On Air only funded development for TV projects); while women accounted for 52% of the key personnel involved in television production projects.
  • However there was no overall change to the gender imbalance of television directors. Male directors outnumber women in most television genres. There was no change in the large gender disparity between directors of television drama, with women making up 10% of those surveyed (11% in 2016).
  • There was an increase in Māori personnel across all monitored roles, both TV and digital. Most notably Māori writers of television made up 34% of those surveyed, up from 10% in 2016. 25% of television directors were Māori (up from 13% in 2016)
  • There was also a larger regional spread of production companies. However, the majority of both TV and digital production companies are based in Auckland.