December 2016 Newsletter

A note from the CEO

Tēnā rā koutou katoa
E mihi atu kia koutou mō tēnei tau mō tō koutou mahi.

It seems like only yesterday that I sat down with my leadership team in January and laid out my thoughts on how and why we needed to change. The year has gone by in a flash and now here we are only days from the holidays and a well-earned break for all.

The funding strategy has been worked through with the Board and is now confirmed. The details of how the NZ Media Fund will operate are still being worked through and there is more on this below. The strategy is the foundation on which we will be equipped to navigate the dynamic and changing environmment.

Next year will be as busy as this year has been, as we prepare for the changes from July 1. Because of this workload, and because the television budget is largely committed, we have decided to combine the March and May funding rounds. So the first deadline for funding applications in 2017 will be 24 March, for the 10 May meeting. See further information below.

The December meeting was particularly tough, for both staff and Board members; probably the most gruelling we have encountered so far. We had some very close line calls on which projects to support due to the competing tensions of very little left in the kitty and some outstanding projects on the table. We are very pleased with the projects we finally landed on. In particular there are some excellent innovative online projects both in interactive documentary and webseries and an excellent range of factual programming. We regret there are others we could not support.

An initiative we are particularly interested in is extending development opportunities for scripted content. See the Diverse Development initiative below.

A couple of weeks ago we hosted our annual stakeholder function in Auckland and it was great to catch up with many of you there. For those who weren't there we share below the showreel we produced for the evening - it is a lovely kaleidoscope of the content that's been enjoyed by New Zealanders this year, and a testament to the quality of the work our content creators do.

Finally, just as we were about to release this newsletter we were advised that Hon. Amy Adams career continues to progress upwards and she will no longer be our Minister. Minister Adams has been supportive of our work and has been excellent to work with. We wish her well in an even more challenging set of portfolios.

All that remains is to wish you all happy and safe holidays. Nō reira, ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Te Tau Hou hoki
Kia pai ora whakatā.

Nā, Jane Wrightson
Kaiwhakahaere matua

NZ On Air 2016 funded content showreel

Summer listening

2016 has been full of awesome new NZ music and we’ve put together a playlist of some of our favourite videos released this year on YouTube here.

With next year just around the corner, here is a Spotify playlist of 17 NZ artists to look out for in 2017.

Strategy update

We have considered a range of submissions and feedback received and can now confirm the new Funding Strategy.

There have been a few changes along the way, having taken on board feedback. We continue to work on the detail around how the NZ Media Fund will operate. As we work out these details we will continue to update you through our newsletters.

In the meantime, the final strategy document is below and is also on our website. We are also publishing a summary of the feedback and our responses to those issues and questions raised. We hope this helps to better understand why we have landed where we have on certain issues.

As with anything we do, we are just a phone call away if you have questions.

Staffing changes

As we noted when we released the draft funding strategy we also have to reorganise our operations to deliver it. To roll out a whole new funding system and remove silos means we also have to streamline our own structure. So from 1 January all staff have a new designation and new job spec.

The NZ On Air Senior Leadership Team comprises the Chief Executive Jane Wrightson, supported by EA Nicky Andrew, and five specialist division heads.

The Head of Funding is Glenn Usmar.
He is supported by Associate Head of Funding Ben Reid, three Funding Advisors (Anna Currie, Sarah Crowe and a third currently being recruited), and a Contracts Assistant, also being recruited.

The Head of Corporate Services is Clare Helm.
She is supported by Associate Head of Corporate Services Hui-Ping Wu, two Assistant Accountants (Siammone Mounlath and Gemma Fulton), and our receptionist/administrator Robyn Diamantis.

The Head of Music is David Ridler.
He is supported by two Music Promoters, for Platforms (Jeff Newton) and Content (Hannah Brewer).

The Head of Innovation is Brenda Leeuwenberg, and Head of Communications is Allanah Kalafatelis. We may add support staff here in the new year.

Staff are intent on rolling out change and are tremendously busy developing new systems and methods. We want applicants to encounter as simple and clean a process as we can offer and we’ll be updating operating detail as it is confirmed.

Community Broadcasting Manager Keith Collins has returned with his family to Dunedin (cheerfully avoiding more quakes!) and Music Repertoire Executive Tania Dean is taking up another industry opportunity in a couple of months. We are very sorry to lose them both. Keith and Tania developed terrific relationships in their sectors and were a credit to NZ On Air.

Office hours and payments

NZ On Air offices will be closed from 5pm 23rd December. We will re-open on Monday 9th January. The first payments for the year will be processed on 12th January. Invoices and relevant paperwork will need to be received by 5pm on Monday 9th January to be included in this payment run.


All Talk With Anika Moa, Rogue Productions for Māori Television

December round

The December meeting was nominated for Arts/Culture, Māori, Platinum and Documentary/Factual projects.

We received 36 applications across the General and Platinum funds seeking $24.4m from a remaining pool of $18m. We were pleased to support 24 projects with funding of $16.5m for 165.8 hours of content.

Shortland Street - the original cast - South Pacific Pictures for TV2


Returning specialist current affairs series Q+A (TVNZ 1), The Nation and The Hui (both TV3) will each have an important role to play in covering the lead-up and reaction to next year’s general election.

Beneath New Zealand 2 is also a timely returning series that will explain, in an accessible and visually engaging way, the geological forces shaping our country.

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Shortland Street hitting our screens. Shortland Street: A Mirror of Culture is a one-hour special for TVNZ 2 that will document the legacy of this series from cultural, historic and personal perspectives.

A new family drama also for TVNZ 2 was supported from the Platinum Fund. Wilde Ride tells the story of a young girl who, after losing her parents in an accident, must come to terms with living a new life with her cousins in West Auckland.


We were pleased to support a second season of the well-received Heritage Rescue. This series will once again take us to small museum and exhibition spaces around the country to reveal the history of our nation. Heritage Rescue will screen on Choice.

Also coming back for a second season is the Rautaki series All Talk With Anika Moa for Māori Television.

Funny Girls, MediaWorks Tv for TV3


Coverage of the Comedy Gala 2017 has been supported along with a third series of Funny Girls, with Rose Matefeo, Laura Daniel and Jackie Van Beek once again showing us the funny side of making a female centric comedy series. Both projects are for TV3.


We received more high quality applications in this genre than the available funding could support, although we did apply surplus funding from other genre to help extend the range of supported projects.

These included two new series for TVNZ 1; Cold Case – a re-examination of significant unsolved crimes and Where To Next? in which Nigel Latta will seek to create a national conversation on our future over five nights. A second season of the charming

Rautaki series Karena And Kasey’s Kitchen Diplomacy was also supported.

The plight of people repatriated to NZ under Australia’s policy 501 will be examined in Notable Pictures’ 501 Club for Māori Television as well as a second series of the Rautaki series Toa Hunter Gatherer.

The issues affecting the re-build of Christchurch will continue to be examined in the second season of Christchurch Dilemmas from Frank Film; and Keith Slater will produce a series of interviews with the last remaining NZ airman from WW2 for

A feature documentary, Herbs: Songs of Freedom, co-funded with NZFC, will tell the story of the seminal NZ reggae band and will screen on Māori Television

The Brokenwood Mysteries, South Pacific Pictures for Prime


A fourth series of the popular The Brokenwood Mysteries was supported for Prime, bringing more stories from the town with the highest homicide rate in NZ.

A tragedy that shocked the nation and resulted in stricter controls on outdoor adventure operators will be dramatised for a one-off telefeature ensuring New Zealanders never forget the lessons learned. In A Flash remembers the 2008 Mangatepopo Gorge tragedy in which six college students and their teacher drowned during a flash flood in the gorge while on a school trip. It will screen in TVNZ 1’s Sunday Theatre slot.

A family feature film, Herbert, was supported for screening on TVNZ 2, which was also co-funded with NZFC.

Diverse development initiative

In response to recent discussion within the industry about the need for more diversity in the range of scripted content produced, we have reviewed our development funding policy.

As a result we have created an opportunity for a single round of funded development for scripted projects of a type not currently present on our screens. Because it is often difficult for small to medium size companies to develop projects to a stage where they can successfully pitch for platform support, platform support is not required for development applications under this initiative. Details can be found on our website and below.

March and May rounds

As expected, following the December round we have substantially committed the available TV funding for the current financial year. Therefore, the Board has agreed to combine our final two rounds into a single round that will be considered at the May Board meeting.

Because of the limited amount of funding available for this round we will be able to consider only a restricted number of projects. These are likely to be returning projects, or those already in development. Prior to submitting applications to the May round please discuss these with the Head of Funding.

Development applications will still be considered at the March and May meetings.

Reminder - Compliance with industry agreements

We work in a collaborative industry that relies on the creativity and goodwill of our colleagues. Their cooperation is underpinned by the reasonable expectation they will be treated fairly and kept safe in their work environment.

Our rapidly changing media environment means we are all under pressure to find new ways to make engaging content, often for less money. In this scenario it could be tempting to cut corners and overlook proper process to 'get the show on the road’.

We remind all content makers that NZ On Air expects that funded productions will meet industry agreed guidelines established for hiring cast and crew covered in the Individual Performance Agreement and the Blue Book.

We also require productions to comply with the provisions of the Code of Practice for Safety and Health in the NZ Film & Video Production Industry.


Our main digital funding rounds for the year have yielded some exciting opportunities with four new interactive documentary projects and seven webseries to be developed in 2017.

It has been fantastic to see the digital projects we have supported in recent years gain traction with audiences. We are very excited to watch this new batch come through. In particular we are proud to be supporting a high percentage of woman-led as well as Māori and Pacific projects with this round.

Recently launched

Moe and the Unexpected Bully is a gorgeous interactive e-book for little New Zealanders - available through the Apple Store and Google Play.

Series 3 of High Road has launched with a splash online - this time we get insight into the origins of the crazy life of Terry Huffer (Mark Mitchinson) and see him get a thorough dressing down from his sister (Emma Thompson - yes THAT Emma Thompson) as well as admire Kirk Torrance’s skills as a drug counsellor.

The Outlook for Someday Challenge closed off last week with a special 10 year anniversary award ceremony. NZ On Air was pleased to support the Audience Favourite award which went to Luka Wolfgram for Our Superheroes. You can see the winning films and the award ceremony online.

Moe and the Unexpected Bully


Celebrating music

Last month we were pleased to support and attend the NZ Music Awards. The night was a fantastic celebration of the creativity and diversity amongst NZ artists and we were treated to amazing live performances showcasing this. It was awesome to see 10 out of 16 award winners were NZ On Air supported artists. Congratulations to all of the finalists and award winners and special congratulations to the winners of the NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award – Six60 with White Lines and the NZ On Air Best Music Video Award – Avalanche City with Inside Out directed by Chris Lane.

Chris Mac of Six60 accepting the NZ On Air Radio Airplay Award at the NZ Music Awards

Breaking records

Kings has taken NZ by storm in the last few months with his hit single Don’t Worry Bout It. Kingston Chapple-Wilson wrote and produced the song at Awataha Marae which his grandfather built. Now a platinum single with over 4 million Spotify streams, Don’t Worry Bout It has the record for the most weeks at #1 in the NZ Singles chart (overtaking Lorde’s Royals). Congratulations Kings, we can’t wait to see what you do next!

Kings performing at the NZ Music Awards

Funding decisions

The latest funding decisions for Television Digital MediaRadioMusicIndustry Development



All Talk With Anika Moa  
Rogue Productions for Māori Television • 10 x 30 • $353,359

Heritage Rescue  
Top Shelf Productions for Choice TV • 8 x 44 • $752,156


Comedy Gala 2017
Mediaworks TV for TV3 • 2 x 44 • $114,164

Funny Girls  
Mediaworks TV for TV3 • 6 x 22 • $394,587


Cold Case
Screentime New Zealand for TVNZ 1 • 8 x 44 • $1,040,509

Christchurch Dilemmas 2
Frank Film for • 14 x 5 • $250,000

Herbs: Songs Of Freedom
Jawbone Pictures for Māori Television • 1 x 90 • $199,000

Karena And Kasey's Kitchen Diplomacy 2
Imagination Television for TV One • 10 x 22.3 • $966,597

Shortland Street: Mirror Of A Culture
South Pacific Pictures for TVNZ 2 • 1 x 44 • $144,890

The 501 Club
Notable Pictures for Māori Television • 1 x 44 • $125,015

The Last Of The Few
PDQ Productions Ltd for • 5 x 7 • $90,157

Toa Hunter Gatherer
Haka Boy Films for Māori Television • 8 x 22 • $273,616

Where To Next?
Ruckus Media for TVNZ 1 • 5 x 44 • $1,219,288


In A Flash
Screentime New Zealand for TVNZ 1 • 1 x 90 •  $2,905,000

The Brokenwood Mysteries
South Pacific Pictures for Prime • 4 x 90 • $3,636,000


Wilde Ride
Tomorrowland for TVNZ 2 • 6 x 22 • $974,798

PLATINUM FUND - Documentary

Beneath New Zealand 2: Creation And Destruction
Making Movies for Prime • 3 x 44 • $425,281

PLATINUM FUND - News/Current Affairs

Q + A 
TVNZ for TVNZ 1 • 40 x 59 • $846,000

The Hui
Great Southern Television for TV3 • 40 x 28 • $543,457

News/Current Affairs

The Nation 2017
Mediaworks TV for TV3 • 42 x 60 • $916,887

Special Interest

Pukana Subtitles 2017
Cinco Cine Film Productions for TV3 • 26 x 44 • $38,412

Digital Media

Interactive Media

Young Ocean Explorers
Greenstone TV • $175,000

Piki Films • $175,000

The Battle
Stuff Circuit • $324,082

The Generation Game
Hood & Co • $174,650


Lucy Lewis Can't Lose  
Redletter TV Ltd • $94,958

Auckward Love 
We Three Productions • $100,000

Friday Night Bites
Flat3 Productions • $100,000

High Road
Tomorrowland • $100,000

Baby Mamas Club
BMC Productions • $100,000

Pot Luck
Robin Murphy Productions • $100,000

Good Times Company • 100,000


NZ Music Programmes

Base Fm Portland Sessions
Base Fm for Base FM • $10,000

Uncover Discover 2017  
Mediaworks Radio for The Edge • 6$0,000

Wired 2017
Mediaworks Radio for More FM • $50,000

The Word 2017 
NZME Radio for ZM • $50,000

As Kiwi As 
NZME Radio for The Hits • $50,000

Unsigned Soundcheck 2017 
Mediaworks Radio for The Rock • $50,000

Locals Only 2017  
NZME Radio for Radio Hauraki • $30,000

Homegrown 2017
Rhema Broadcasting Group Inc. for Radio Rhema • $30,000

Fresh Produce 2017 
NZME Radio for Flava FM • $30,000

The Profile 2017
Mediaworks Radio for George FM • $30,000

Backyard Beats 2017 
Mediaworks Radio for Mai Fm • $40,000

Resound 2017
Centre For New Zealand Music Trust (SOUNZ) for Radio New Zealand • $130,000


That's The Story 2016/17
Loud Mouth Productions for various • 622 x 15.8 • $88,400

Special Interest

Christmas 2016
Christian Broadcasting Association for NewstalkZB • 2 x 1080 • $31,582


Sealed Section 2016/17
NZME Radio for ZM • 40 x 90 • $49,000

Access Radio

Wellington Access Capital 2016
Wellington Access Broadcasting Society Inc • $50,000





New Music Projects

Flying Nun Records • $20,430

I Am Giant
CRS Music Management • $22,000

Katchafire Enterprises • $30,000

Marlon Williams
Marlon Williams Music Ltd • $30,000

Lorraine Barry Music Management • $22,000

Ria Hall
Loop Media • $22,000

Sucker DJ Productions • $29,100

Tiny Ruins
The Label NZ Ltd • $22,800

Tomorrow People
Illegal Musik • $30,000

Empire Records • $18,000

Yoko Zuna
Loop Media • $22,000

New Music Singles

Anthonie Tonnon • Leave Love Out Of This
Armed In Advance • Running You Down
B O K E H • I Know You Know
Bakers Eddy • Pastel Colours
Clap Clap Riot • 929
Daniel Blakelock • Grateful (Play It Strange Songwriting Award 2016)
Dave Weir • Tomorrow Never Comes
Diaz Grimm • Sinse 7
I Am Giant • Dead Flower 
Jon Lemmon • Something True
Jupiter Project • Candles
Kings • Some Day
Louis Baker • Addict
Miloux • Paris
Mt Eden • Cruel
Nadia Reid • Richard
Nakita • Addicted
Nomad • I Won't Stop
Pipsy • Why Can't I Get What I Want For Once
Raiza Biza • Miriam Makeba (And Other Strong Women)
Shakes • Waiting On A Feeling
The Map Room • Hold Me Up To The Sun
The Upbeats • Silcho Featuring Sarah Ryland Glenn & Jones
Theia • Champagne Supernova
Truth • Nyte
Yoko-Zuna • Whenua featuring Ladi6

Making Tracks

Alien Weaponry • Raupatu (Rockquest Winner)
Alien Weaponry • Urutaa (Pacifica Beats Winner)
Iris G • Supernova (Rockquest Winner)


iHeart Radio
NZME Radio • $50,000

Industry Development

NZ Film Awards 2017
2 Brothers Films • $7,000