Local content holds its own in 2011

Wednesday 16 November 2011, 9:44AM
By NZ On Air

Broadcasting funding agency NZ On Air today released its annual report, paying particular tribute to Christchurch broadcast and screen personnel affected by the earthquakes. ”Despite considerable personal impact, Canterbury broadcasters and programme makers have been intent on ensuring stories of their region are being conveyed to the wider world,” said NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson. “This week Gerard Smyth’s documentary When A City Falls premieres in Christchurch and will later screen on TV3. Greenstone’s Five Days In The Red Zone for TV One was a finalist in last week’s AFTA TV craft awards. These funded programmes will be joined by Paua Productions’ A Shocking Reminder in 2012 on Prime TV”, she said.

NZ On Air also noted that the most hours of successful TV drama and comedy for a decade had been supported. New music funding scheme MakingTracks went live, aimed squarely at increasing the diversity of funded NZ music, and a new project providing audio description services for visually impaired viewers was also launched.

$127 million was invested in a varied slate. That included 984 hours of television programmes, of which nearly 470 hours were children's programmes included Tiki Tour, a fresh new daily programme for preschoolers. NZ On Air also fully funded Radio New Zealand and website NZ On Screen. It supported 12 access radio stations, three Pacific radio stations, over 200 NZ music videos, songs and albums, and various programmes for commercial radio audiences.

“The range of content and entities supported by NZ On Air remains high”, said Jane Wrightson. “Even though funding is tight we are still delighted with the quantity and quality of services we are able to provide to many different audiences”, she said.

Only 2.2% was spent on administration, making NZ On Air one of the most cost-effective entities of its type.

Other highlights for the year included -
The Platinum Fund enabling important high-end television to be made. Four telefeatures telling important historical stories achieved record audience success: Billy, Bliss, Tangiwai and Rage. The Platinum Fund also enabled the Pike River Memorial Service to be shared with the rest of New Zealand.

For the first time, three prime time television drama series screened successfully on three different networks: Nothing Trivial, Go Girls and The Almighty Johnsons.

New Zealand music funding, focused on the crucial radio hits that help drive the music economy, produced some great breakthrough results for artists including The Naked & Famous, Ladi6, Avalanche City, Junica and six60.

Funding provided to relicense 140 important classical music chamber works, enabling NZ-composed broadcast music to increase on Radio New Zealand Concert.

The annual report can be read here.