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Reprieve for Children’s Drama

27 August 2002

Reprieve for Children’s Drama

Increased funding for NZ On Air has brought a reprieve for children’s television drama initiatives, which were previously under threat, according to NZ On Air’s Statement of Intent for 2002/2003.

The statement details NZ On Air’s spending plans for television, radio and NZ music over the coming year.

“We had been forecasting a decrease in our TV budget as our reserves were drawn down,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jo Tyndall. “Drama, including children’s drama, was going to bear the brunt of the decreased funding, along with our innovation category, which had produced Flipside, the new youth focussed programme on TV2.

“Now with the $5.3 million boost to our budget announced by the Government in May, we’ll be able to maintain the spend for both drama categories, although the special innovation fund is still a casualty,” she said.

“We are particularly excited about children’s drama – an initiative we’ve nurtured, and one that has already resulted in two series of Being Eve, and another series, Hard Out, which is in production. Two years ago there was a glaring gap in the television schedule, so it’s great to be able to support up to two children’s drama series per year.

“We’ll also maintain momentum with support for series drama such as Street Legal, Mercy Peak and The Strip, which we’ll complement with what you might call ‘signature’ drama and documentaries. There are some significant projects in the pipeline, like the series Frontier of Dreams, the Maori ghost stories series Mataku, and at least two telefeatures. They’ll follow in the footsteps of award winning projects like Clare and Captain’s Log,” said Ms Tyndall. “That sort of positive development, along with the growth in NZ music on the radio helped along by our Phase Four music initiative makes us optimistic about the future.”

“The Government’s continued strong support for broadcasting will enable NZ On Air to fund more than 900 hours of New Zealand television in the next year, in addition to at least 14 NZ music albums, 60 singles by new recording artists and at least 110 music videos, as well as maintaining the public radio services, and archiving and transmission functions we fund,” she said.

More information on NZ On Air’s Statement of Intent and other policies are available on the NZ On Air website at


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