80% contribution by Government to platform contribution fee 

The focus of more immediate relief in response to the impact of Covid-19 is reducing cost and easing cashflow pressure across the sector.

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and New Zealand On Air Irirangi Te Motu have worked together to deliver an initiative that decreases the cost for broadcasters on their platform contribution by 80% within the three NZ On Air funding rounds for 2020/21.

In the July funding round, 5 applications have been awarded with $3.49 million made available. The successful applicants are listed here.

In the September funding round, 7 applications have been awarded with $2.77 million made available. 

In line with the intent of this initiative this funding significantly reduced a large operating cost for a for a range of organisations across the sector.  It also ensured that New Zealanders continue to have access to new and high-quality New Zealand content.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Who will manage the allocation of the funding?

Allocation of funding for the Platform Initiative will be managed through the normal contestable fund process managed by NZ On Air and apply to the July, September and December 2020 funding rounds.

NZ On Air will also work to ensure that rights attached to content funded through the Platform Initiative are protected if the platform provider fails to make the funded content publicly available by requiring the platform provider to sign an agreement with NZ On Air. The agreement is separate from the Platform Initiative application form and will be managed by NZ On Air.  

For enquiries about the NZ On Air contestable fund process, please contact NZ On Air at: [email protected].

What is the role of Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage?

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH) is responsible for ensuring applicants meet the COVID-19 impact eligibility criteria.  MCH will assess applications for the Platform Initiative that have been made using this application form.

If I have already applied and met the COVID-19 impact eligibility criteria for the New Zealand On Air Platform Contribution Initiative in a previous round, do I need to apply again?

Once MCH has determined that a media organisation meets the COVID-19 impact eligibility criteria, their eligibility status will remain valid for subsequent funding rounds included in the New Zealand On Air Platform Contribution Initiative (Platform Initiative). 

Media organisations that have already been accepted by MCH for the Government advertising pre-payment (via the Supplementary Fund initiative) do not need to reapply as they would be automatically deemed to have met the COVID-19 impact eligibility criteria.

If this applies to your organisation, you need to inform NZ On Air and will not be required to complete a Platform Initiative application form.  NZ On Air will be able to seek confirmation of this eligibility from MCH.

If I do not meet the COVID-19 eligibility criteria, am I still able to make an application to the July, September and December 2020 NZ On Air funding rounds?

Yes, you can still make an application to these rounds.  However, you will not be eligible for the 80% reduction in platform contribution provided by the New Zealand On Air Platform Contribution Initiative.

Are organisations that receive operational Crown funding eligible for the New Zealand On Air Platform Contribution Initiative?

Organisations that receive operational Crown funding will be considered on the same eligibility criteria as outlined above, on the basis of their total revenue.

What does impacted by COVID-19 mean?

For the purpose of the New Zealand On Air Platform Contribution Initiative, impacted by COVID-19 means your business may have experienced, as a result of COVID-19 one or more of the following:

  • A minimum of 30% decline in revenue (this may be demonstrated via successful application for the Government’s wage subsidy scheme)
  • A decline in predicted revenue
  • Letting a staff member go, staff are on unpaid leave or have reduced hours (since COVID-19).

Definition of revenue - Revenue means the total amount of money a business has earned from its normal business activities, before expenses are deducted.

Determining a decline in revenue - To determine a decline in revenue, the business must compare one month’s revenue against the same month the previous year (e.g. February 2020 compared with February 2019). The revenue of the month in the affected period must be less than it was in the month it was compared against.

Businesses operating for less than a year or have high growth - New businesses which have been operating less than a year or high growth businesses (e.g. that have had a significant increase in revenue) can apply for the New Zealand On Air Platform Contribution Initiative. To determine whether these businesses meet the 30% decline in revenue assessment, they must compare their revenue against a previous month that gives the best estimation of the revenue decline related to COVID-19. E.g. loss of revenue attributable to COVID-19 comparing January 2020 to March 2020.

What are active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?

For the purpose of the New Zealand On Air Platform Contribution Initiative a business must be able to demonstrate the active steps they have taken to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on their business. This could include:

  • Drawing from your cash reserves (as appropriate)
  • Activating your business continuity plan
  • Making an insurance claim
  • Proactively engaging with your bank
  • Seeking advice and support from:
  • the Chamber of Commerce
  • a relevant industry association
  • the Regional Business Partner programme.
  • Implementing initiatives to retain staff such as reducing hours (since COVID-19)
  • Any other mitigating actions.

Further information 

If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected]


Updated on 23rd October 2020