Tag Archive for: New Zealand On Air

Our editor members are always working away at something in the background. Two new NZOA series have just come out, featuring DEGANZ members.

In TransGenerations, edited by Jai Waite (DEGANZ) with additional editing by Charlotte Evans (DEGANZ) and fellow member Ramon Te Wake as Executive Producer, high-profile trans rights activists share their stories and shine a light on trans experiences in Aotearoa. The series opens with a look at how the increased media visibility of trans people has been both a blessing and a curse. The first episode focuses on actor and singer Brady Peeti, who shares how trans issues and rights are being championed like never before. However, she also shares her fears for trans people due to the influx of dangerous anti-trans rhetoric. With each episode, transgender Kiwis, young and old, tell their stories.

You can follow the video series’ release on NZME throughout July!

Meanwhile, DEGANZ member Kelly Weaver worked as assistant editor on Endangered Species Aotearoa with WWF. This new docu-series follows comedian Pax Assadi and conservationist biologist Nicola Toki across the country as they learn about the beautiful but vulnerable wildlife in Aotearoa and the South Pacific. The show offers a light-hearted look into the serious issue of endangered species and the conservationist work trying to help. WWF and the show aim to bring attention to how we can all help restore Aotearoa’s beloved wildlife all the way from the sky to the sea.

Check it out on TVNZ+ now!

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If Queen Elisabeth were still alive, she’d be telling us what an annus of a time it’s been so far for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our thoughts at DEGANZ go out to those of our members and all others impacted by the weather events we have experienced in recent times. For many, it’s been devastating. There have, though, been some rays of sunshine for the screen sector in what’s been a truly miserable summer to date.

While the Guild supported the idea of bringing RNZ and TVNZ together in a merged entity, we expressed our serious concerns about the manner in which it was being done, with little real detail provided as to what exactly was going to happen and what it meant for us all in the screen industry. It was with some relief, therefore, on my part at least, that Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media was canned. However, while the Prime Minster did say that:

  • RNZ will receive additional funding to strengthen its public media role,
  • New Zealand on Air will also receive more funding to support public media content,
  • funding will be available to a wider range of broadcasters, and that
  • remaining funding will be redirected to other Government priorities,

it’s still decidedly unclear as to what ‘public media content’ actually is. Is it News and Current Affairs? Documentary? Scripted Comedy? Drama? Reality? Other? Our screen industry is still operating in a vacuum at this point.

NZ On Air’s recently released commentary in its Shorts Newsletter doesn’t engender much positivity either: “We remain very energised by the strategic shift we had articulated in the Transitional strategy and feel this is still a valid direction, albeit with more funding than was going to be available.” For those of you who haven’t read their Transitional Strategy, you can find it here.

On a more positive note, we now have the Screen Industry Workers Act (SIWA) in place, although you wouldn’t think so based on the contracts I’ve seen so far this year from producers—elements required by law have been missing. You can learn what needs to be in contracts now and a great deal more in the comprehensive resource on our website about SIWA—thanks to the Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand, who provided us with much of the information. You can access it here. You will be hearing from us frequently from here on in about SIWA as we move forward with education, training and preparations for collective bargaining.

And then, of course, there was Te Matatini. What a fabulous event it was, although TVNZ’s coverage could have been better. That teams from cyclone-hit regions were there to compete was a testament to the desire of many to lift the spirits of Māoridom and the whole country after such a trying time. The call for greater financial support from the Government for this exceedingly popular showcase of artistic talent is fully justified.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director

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2020 is a watershed year in time for the screen industry because of COVID and the Level 4 lockdown we endured.

New Zealand On Air’s latest ‘Where Are The Audiences’ research was conducted during May and June, when we had come out of Level 4 and were in Levels 2 and 1.

Although potentially skewed because of COVID and possibly having an irreversible effect when it comes to content viewership that’s too early to truly gauge, the results make interesting reading, and potentially signal the writing is on the wall for free-to-air TV2 with its target audience of 18 – 49-year-olds.

Two’s popularity with all New Zealanders 15+ showed a continued decline from 27% in 2014 to 14% in 2020. More telling is that from 2018 when the survey was last conducted to now, The channel’s popularity declined by 7%, its biggest drop for the two-year periods across which the surveys have been conducted since 2014.

The research indicates that 2020 is the crossover point between traditional media and digital media for attracting the biggest daily audiences of New Zealanders overall with YouTube video now the most popular site, station or channel. But for 15 – 39-year-olds, a large part of Two’s audience, that crossover point occurred in 2018 or earlier.

Exacerbating the problem for Two is the increased adoption of digital media by those aged 40 – 59, containing the remaining chunk of the channel’s audience. This 40 – 59 age group is moving away from free-to-air TV and towards SVOD, OnDemand, and other digital options.

2020 would seem to be the cross over point for the 40 – 59 year-old shift from traditional to digital media.

On the bright side for TVNZ, OnDemand popularity is increasing, rising from 7% in 2014 to 21% in 2020.

Coincidentally, the percentage increase in popularity of OnDemand is essentially the same as the decrease in popularity of TV2 at 6 – 7%.

The younger demographics are digital natives or early digital adopters and as time passes the older age groups are utilising digital more on more. While free-to-air viewing remains stable, you’ve got to wonder how much more of a decline Two can take with its core demographic before it becomes unsustainable for TVNZ, who are contributing to Two’s audience cannibalisation with TVNZ OnDemand.

We’ll likely know come the next survey results in 2022.


Tui Ruwhiu
Executive Director