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Award Winning Programmes But Funding Still Tight

NZ On Air Chief Executive, Jo Tyndall, today announced that award winning, undercover-cop drama, Lawless, would receive funding for two more telefeature episodes in the new year.

Lawless scooped the awards at the recent TV Guide NZ TV Awards 1999.

"We are delighted to be funding two more installments of this excellent drama. Our research consistently shows that New Zealanders want, and need, to see dramas that depict themselves. Quality dramas like Lawless meet this need well," said Ms Tyndall.

Ms Tyndall said that in spite of their high ratings, the cost of producing drama from scratch meant that locally made programmes would not happen without funding from NZ On Air.

"Unfortunately, due to our funding constraints, we are constantly having to weigh up which programmes we're going to fund.

"This year we have prioritised children's programmes and drama, which has only been possible by cutting back on funding for documentaries. Even then we know that what we can afford to do overall is not going to be enough," said Ms Tyndall.

Ms Tyndall said that although NZ On Air would continue to fund mainstream high rating programmes, she hoped that in the future broadcasters would assist more.

Other Kiwi favourites back on television next year thanks to NZ On Air funding are Havoc and Newsboy's Sell-Out Tour, and Backchat 2000 - the lively arts and issues magazine series named as New Zealand's Best Lifestyle Programme at the TV Guide 1999 Television Awards.

NZ On Air has allocated $1,625,000 to South Pacific Pictures for two episodes of Lawless for transmission on TV2; $298,000 to TVNZ to produce 13 half hour episodes of Havoc and Newsboy's Sell-Out Tour for TV2; $1,000,000 to the Gibson Group to produce a second series of Backchat for TVOne.

ENDS..

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