March 2017 newsletter

A note from the CEO

Jane Wrightson

As we near the end of the first quarter of the year we are powering through the work to implement the NZ Media Fund from 1 July.

With so much of how we operate changing to reflect changes in audience behaviour, it was time also to review our Vision. As we developed our Statement of Intent for the next four years, we came to the following as an expression of why we exist: Connecting and reflecting our nation. We hope you too will see this statement as encompassing the cultural value of the the local content we fund.

We've just completed the third year of the partnership with the Canadian Media Fund and have confirmed two fantastic new digital projects; important stories about protesting nuclear testing, and Passchaendale.

With the main March funding round combined with May, the March Board meeting was able to focus on strategy, including agreeing the content of the new Statement of Intent, and Statement of Performance Expectations 2017/18, which sets detailed targets and high levels budgets for the NZ Media Fund. Both these documents will be published after Budget Day.

He i konā mai


NZ Media Fund update

Eric is back!

Online applications are go!

Our new online application system, Eric (those of you who remember tele in the 90s will recognise him), rolled out quietly last week.

In order to apply for any of our funding you must first be registered with Eric. Make sure you go to and register - ideally well before the deadline!

The March round of New Music Project funding is the first to use the new process.

Online applications for Scripted & Factual funding, as well as Industry Development will open on April 3rd, with a deadline of June 1st. We'll send out a Shorts newsletter to remind you.

Funding round templates will be available through your dashboard once you have registered. Guidelines for each round will be available when the rounds open.

New accreditation requirements

We've had a re-think of the way we need to see NZ On Air funding acknowledged. We think it is really important that taxpayers know what content they've paid for. We also think it's a 'qual mark' - in that there's tough competition for funding from many excellent projects.

The new accreditation requirements are different from our previous guidelines in that:

  • correct accreditation is now a funding requirement
  • we are looking for more 'upfront/immediate' recognition that a piece of content has public funding
  • all types of content are covered in the one document

If you have questions please contact our Head of Communications

These new requirements are for immediate implementation. Content that has already been delivered but not yet played out or repeat content, won't have the on screen elements detailed here. We will appreciate your best endeavours with the other requirements though.


Jean - Lippy Pictures for TVNZ 1

We are so incredibly proud of Lippy Pictures, shortlisted for a whopping NINE awards in the 2017 New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards for Jean. The story of Jean Batten was NZ On Air funded and made for TVNZ's Sunday Theatre. This international recognition is testament to the talent and quality to be seen in local drama.

Others triumphantly making the finalist list with NZ On Air funding are:

  • Pacific Screen for Gloriavale - A Woman's Place (TVNZ 2)
  • Top Shelf Productions for Heritage Rescue
    (Choice TV)
  • South Pacific Pictures for The Brokenwood Mysteries 3
    (Prime TV)
  • Red Sky Film & Television for World Class? Inside New Zealand Education (Three)

Our sincere congratulations to all of you. We couldn't be more chuffed!


As advised in December, due to funding running low we combined our March and May funding rounds, with the last production funding applications under our current system to be considered in May.

The level of available funding for the May round will be modest. At this stage, subject to confirming the writeback of funds from some projects, it will be approximately $2m. This means a very small number of projects will be able to be supported. Please contact the Head of Funding if you are intending to make an application in this round.

Sunday Specials

We have recently completed the selection of Sunday Special projects. This strand of six independently-produced documentaries, funded in March last year, will screen as part of Sunday on TVNZ 1.

These projects will explore a great mix of contemporary issues within Aotearoa New Zealand. It is expected the first documentary will screen within the next few months.

Digital Media

Our latest co-production agreements with the Canada Media Fund will produce two projects with appeal to audiences in both countries. The projects funded this year both deal with important historic events in our shared history.

Nuclear Reaction is an interactive documentary project that centres around the French nuclear testing in the South Pacific from 1960-1996. In 1973 New Zealanders and Canadians led the world’s anti-nuclear movement in protesting against the tests.

Spurred On will mark the 100th anniversary of Passchendaele - a significant story for both New Zealand and Canada. Both nations experienced significant loss of life. The interactive documentary that will follow the parallel journeys of a NZ and a Canadian presenter as they explore the experience of Passchendaele, one of the deadliest battles of World War One, centered through the stories of their own relatives.


Mike Elizondo, Nik Brinkman, Chelsea Jade and Teeks at Songhubs 2017

Song Hubs

In the last week of February at Auckland’s Roundhead studios, 10 New Zealand artists gathered together with internationally acclaimed writers and producers Mike Elizondo, Emily Warren, James Newman and P-Money for the second Song Hubs song-writing workshop.

Song Hubs is curated by producer/engineer Greg Haver, and run with APRA AMCOS. NZ On Air was proud to a major sponsor alongside Recorded Music NZ and the Auckland City Council. The NZ artists involved were - Benny Tipene, Chelsea Jade, Dave Baxter, Diaz Grimm, Estere, Iva Lamkum, Mitch James, Nik Brinkman, Possum Plows, Raiza Biza and Teeks. We hear the quality of songs that eventuated is incredible, and we look forward to some of these gems being released in the near future!

New Music Project

Our New Music Project funding scheme has completed three rounds since it launched in July 2016, with the latest results seeing NZ On Air investing in new projects from Die! Die! Die!, Dunes, Grayson Gilmour, Ladi6, L.A Women, Nakita, Racing, Rhian Sheehan, Sachi, Sons of Zion and Yumi Zouma. This list includes artists hailing from all over NZ - Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, Masterton and Auckland. We’ve invested in a total of 32 New Music Projects over three rounds, so plenty of great music will be forthcoming.

By the numbers

When music artists apply for funding we ask them to identify the genre they fit. We've begun tracking this information, in part to see where we are getting the most demand from. Below is the data for the past two-and-a-half years.

Enjoy some new NZ Music

Take a listen to some new NZ music on Spotify and see the most recently released NZ On Air-supported videos on YouTube - featuring tracks/videos from Nadia Reid, MAALA, Fazerdaze, Aldous Harding, Thomas Oliver, David Dallas and more.

Industry Development

Our Industry Development Fund has supported seven initiatives this round, covering the spectrum of the music industry, gaming, web series, radio and screen industries.

We have recently reviewed our processes for this fund and will now take applications at any meeting. Applications must be made online so you need to register with Eric.

We have also produced accreditation guidelines for sponsorships which will be available through the online dashboard and on our website soon.

Meet the team

Brenda Leeuwenberg

To help us deliver the new processes and systems to manage the NZ Media Fund we have restructured. In our staff blog we introduce you to team members and explain what they do.

Today meet Brenda Leeuwenberg who has a whole new job - Head of Innovation.

Funding decisions

The latest funding decisions for Television • Digital Media • Radio • Music • Industry Development



Sunday Special: Manuka
Greenstone TV for TVNZ 1 • 1 x 1hr • $155,000

Sunday Special: Born This Way
Ruckus Media for TVNZ 1 • 1 x 1hr • $150,000

Sunday Special: She’ll Be Right
Attitude Pictures for TVNZ 1 • 1 x 1hr • $150,000

Sunday Special: Secret Lives
The Gibson Group for TVNZ 1 • 1 x 1hr • $149,995

Sunday Special: The S Word
Jam TV for TVNZ 1 • 1 x 1hr • $149,072

Sunday Special: Wait For Me
Attitude Pictures for TVNZ 1 • 1 x 1hr • $148,670

Digital Media

Nuclear Reaction
Rogue Productions • $226,136

Spurred On
The Gibson Group • $210,000


Special Interest

Easter 2017
Christian Broadcasting Association for Newstalk ZB • 1 x 720 mins • $26,789


Music programmes

The Edge - Uncover Discover
MediaWorks Radio for The Edge TV • 960 x 4 mins • $140,000

New Music Project

Die! Die! Die!
2017 Project Banished Music • $24,000

2017 Project Wonder & Thunder • $12,000

Grayson Gilmour
Album 2017 Otherness Flying Nun Records • $18,300

L.A. Women
2017 Project Richmond Music • $16,920

2017 Project Universal Music • $20,000

2017 Project Smoke Music • $25,500

2017 Project Grammarphonic • $30,000

Rhian Sheehan
2017 Project Loop Media • $30,000

2017 Project Richmond Music • $21,600

Sons Of Zion
2017 Project Sony Music • $24,000

Yumi Zouma
2017 Project Arch Hill Recordings • $28,200

New Music Single

(all $8,000)

BALU BRIGADA • Could You Not 
CAMPBELL • Gun Fight
CHIA • Easy Love 
CHORES • Gravitate
ELLY • Round and Round
GIANTKILLA • Hold you Up
JULIEN DYNE • Hours featuring Ladi6
MAAKA  • Written In The Stars
MAE VALLEY • Turns Out
MISS JUNE • Twitch
NAME UL • My Side
PUSH PUSH • Talk 2 Me
REI • Deep
RYAN ENZED • Here We Are
SACHA VEE • Feels Good
SAVAGE • Zooby Doo
SCUBA DIVA • Try (Critics Choice 2016)
THEIA • Treat You

Industry Development

NZ Music Awards 2017  • $100,000

NZ Radio Awards 2017
Radio Broadcasters Association • $7,500

Pacific Music Awards 2017
Pacific Music Awards Trust • $16,000

Big Screen Symposium 2017
Big Screen Symposium • $15,000

NZ Game Developers Conference 2017
NZ Game Developers Association Inc • $8,000

NZ Web Fest 2017
NZ Web Fest • $10,000

Going Global Music Summit 2017
Independent Music NZ (IMNZ) • $2,000