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Hon. Paul Goldsmith, Ben Stephen Knightly

Hon. Paul Goldsmith, Ben Kenobi,  Stephen Knightly,  Dr George Barker




Oliver Driver

Oliver Driver – MC

Paula Browning - Chair, We Create

Paula Browning – Chair, WeCreate

WeCreate held an event in Auckland to launch the 2014 PwC valuations for the NZ book, music, game development and film & television industries, available here under Facts & Stats.

The report, and a government Creative Sector Study were announced by Hon. Paul Goldsmith - Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs and the Minister was thanked by WeCreate’s Chair, Paula Browning.

A large number of WeCreate members and friends attended the evening together with a team from MBIE.

Thank you to all who made it a great event!




Four Innovative new digital projects have been selected from a very competitive field of applicants, along with three flourishing previously online projects for varied audiences.

Two of the projects supported from them Digital Media Innovation fund are for children.

My Guardian (Toku Taniwha) is an interactive ebook app for 6 to 12 year olds. Using puzzle and game elements and te reo, it tells the interactive story of a boy and his taniwha.

Moe And the Unexpected Bully, for a younger audience, sees the loveable furry kids TV character Moe help children deal with the subject of bullying, through an interactive e-book app.

For a youth audience, The Outlook for Someday is New Zealand’s sustainability film project for young people, supporting creative innovation by about 1000 young people each year. The funding will ensure the shortlisted and winning films are online and enable live streaming of the Someday Awards ceremony.

Lifestylers is a series of eight short documentaries about some of the characters living in The Supported Lifestyle Hauraki Trust. Audiences first met one of he residents through the acclaimed short documentary Wayne, as part of the 2015 Loading Docs.

NZ On Air is also pleased to renew support for the three ongoing online projects hat reach large and varied audiences. The Fresh Voices strand of content on The Wireless continues to deliver stimulating content to a young adult audience, and The Coconet is continuously expanding its Pasifika content that connects young Pacific people with their roots. NZ On Air will support a further year of the Loading Docs documentary shorts project this year with the theme of ‘Change’.

“Digital content makers ar finding new creative ways to engage audiences. We encourage and support this. The funded projects are he best of an exceptional pool of applications,” said NZ On Air Chief executive Jane Wrightson. “These type of projects allow diverse content to reach audiences that are not well-served by mainstream, or in new engaging ways.


A new animated pre-school series encouraging kids to explore simple science ideas is the first co-production funded by NZ On Air that is hoping to access the revamped NZ Screen Production Grant scheme.

Darwin and Newts will take youngsters on a comical journey of learning as two brothers figure out how stuff works. Under scheme rules revised last year, qualifying television animations and children’s drama projects are eligible for rebates of up to 40% on qualifying NZ production expenditure. These are the only genres that can also apply for NZ On Air funding.

Also returning The Moe Show, Sticky TV returns for it’s 15th season and What Now celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2016. A second series of The Barefoot Bandits and the rebranded teenage afternoon show, The Adam and Eve Show.

We are currently reviewing our Children’s funding strategy to ensure we are keeping pace with the demands of this very mobile audience. We anticipate making changes in 2016/2017 year,” said Jane Wrightson CEO of NZ on Air. “Children are very well served by television but are increasingly content online via a range of devices.


NZ On Air has been inundated with creative, innovative stories for audiences on multiple screens and devices attracting a record 109 applications.

In total eight web series, most with a strong comedic themes, have been supported.

“The calibre was outstanding; we were blown away. We had to make some very hard choices, but we were so impressed that we found some extra money to support more than we had originally intended,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.



NZ On Air has reported the expansion program into diverse factual programmes available on television including new programmes on music superstars, Paralympic heroes and the characters you find in the halls of Parliament.

A one off documentary of Split Enz will chart the band’s triumphs and disappointments, the creative processes and relationships behind the songs that have formed a soundtrack for a generation.

A joint production between Attitude TV and TVNZ will follow the road to success of our Paralympian’s in Ready, Set…Rio – Paralympics 2016 delivering comprehensive coverage across multiple platforms of the NZ team in Rio.

The fly-on-the-wall series aiming to demystify the workings of Parliament giving a younger generation a greater understanding of what MP’s do taking us Inside Parliament, a new series that will feature on Māori Television.

“All these new programmes and the returning series hold a mirror up to New Zealand, demonstrating our diversity,” said NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

Innovative video game Dynabrick is set to be New Zealand’s next digital hit export after winning the KiwiGameStarter, New Zealand’s only startup programme for interactive games businesses.

The Dynabrick prototype was developed by Wellington-based developer Rox Flame. The second place went to Swordy by Frogshark.

New Zealand Games Developers Association chairperson Stephen Knightly says Dynabrick edged out the other three finalists due to innovative “morally reactive gameplay” in which the actions of a player can positively or negatively influence the game environment, creating the ability to play the same content multiple times with different outcomes and experiences.

“The standard of prototypes was extremely encouraging. They showed a diversity of talent, and each had well-developed business plans.

“Interactive games software is New Zealand’s fastest growing export industry, growing from $20m to $79m in exports in the last four years, and a competition like KiwiGameStarter provides a fast-track for a budding developer to showcase their talent and hopefully go on to make a make on the industry globally.”

Rox Flame will receive $10,000 plus software, marketing, legal and business mentoring support worth over $25,000. A second prize of $5,000 and Unity game engine software was awarded to Swordy by Frogshark.

KiwiGameStarter, run by the New Zealand Game Developers Association, aims to help early-stage games businesses to develop prototypes ready for investment or crowdfunding. It is supported by government R&D agency Callaghan Innovation, ISP BigPipe, game development tool makers Autodesk and Unity 3D, Pursuit Public Relations and Hudson Gavin Martin lawyers.

As well as the cash prize (delivered in two stages) Roz Flame will receive a one-year license for Autodesk Maya LT, a commercial suite license for Unity 3D Pro 5.0 including all add-on modules, PR advice from Pursuit Public Relations worth $2,000, license agreement and legal advice from Hudson Gavin Martin lawyers worth $4,000, and mentoring from some of New Zealand’s most successful game developers.

Eighteen entries were received for the 2015 KiwiGameStarter, with four finalists pitching to a judging panel at the NZ Game Developers Conference on 10 September.

The winner of last year’s Kiwi Game Starter, Eyemobi, has seen their horror game Phantasmal available for pre-sales on the popular Steam Early Access programme where it has a 9/10 user rating. It has been accepted into Microsoft’s ID@Xbox publishing programme and was featured in Xbox’s trailer at E3, the world’s largest gaming event.

Video games have become New Zealand’s fastest growing ICT export sector, earning over $80.2 million in 2013/2014. However, the Association has identified that a lack of support for gaming startups is holding back the sector’s continued growth. The worldwide video games market will be worth USD$111 billion this year according to Gartner Research, larger than the film or music industries.

New Zealand’s video game studios created 134 new high-tech creative jobs in the last financial year, according to an independent survey by the New Zealand Game Developers Association. The sector now employs 568 fulltime employees and earned $78.7m in FY2015, up 3% on the previous year. 82% of revenue came from digital exports.

The survey shows that established game studios continue to do well but the overall sector’s growth has slowed due to a lack of new businesses being established by either local startups or international investors.

In response, the NZ Game Developers Association is running its own startup programme, the KiwiGameStarter, and calling for government screen visual effects schemes to be modernised to attract international video game productions.

“We expect a good year ahead for the established games studios, but we’re concerned that our pipeline of up and coming studios has dried up,” says Game Developers Association Chairperson Stephen Knightly.

Employment of game programmers and artists grew significantly to 568 fulltime jobs as studios invested in new product development. Recent New Zealand-made game launches include Outsmart’s Bloodgate, Ice Age Avalanche by Gameloft Auckland, Monsters Ate My Metropolis by Pikpok and Path of Exile’s The Awakening expansion.

“Tellingly, every local games business with more than 10 employees is at least six years old. We haven’t seen another local success scale up in recent years,” says Knightly.

“Although we have a proven track record, skills and the ability to reach global markets digitally, the survey highlights a scarcity of startups on track to become the next generation of sustainable studios. Since games are global and digital in nature, with a good prototype it is possible to attract crowdfunding, publishing deals or private investment. But a gap in investment at the early stage is preventing small independent developers from even getting that far.”

To address this, the Association and sponsors have created the KiwiGameStarter where one promising games business will receive funding, software, and business mentoring support worth over $25,000. A second studio will also win $5,000 plus software.

The KiwiGameStarter competition aims to help early-stage games businesses develop prototypes ready for investment or crowdfunding. It is supported by Callaghan Innovation, ISP BigPipe, Microsoft, game development tool makers Autodesk and Unity 3D, Pursuit Public Relations and Hudson Gavin Martin lawyers.

Playable prototypes and business plans for the competition are due on 28 August. Details are available on NZGDA.com.

Despite international interest, New Zealand is also missing out on international game visual effects productions because they are excluded from the relevant visual effects incentive.

The Postproduction, Digital and Visual Effects scheme offers a 20% rebate on visual effects productions completed in New Zealand. The government recently announced a reduction in the qualifying expenditure threshold from $1 million to $500,000 to stimulate demand for post-production and smaller visual effects companies.

“Existing programmes could simply be modernised to include comparable games visual effects and generate a greater economic benefit for New Zealand. Instead of chasing more but smaller visual effects projects, we could attract higher margin, multi-million dollar game projects. Video game and film visual effects work are comparable and only one criteria needs to be revised to make games eligible,” said Knightly.


As well as the Silver Scroll Award for 2015, the ‘Lost Scroll’ of 1981 was also presented as a part of the 50th Celebrations. “It’s a mark of a great song that can feel both familiar and completely original at the same time” says APRA AMCOS’ Anthony Healy.

And the winners are…..

2015 APRA Silver Scroll Award – won by Ruban Nielson and Kody Nielson for Multi-Love (Mushroom Music)


Kody Nielson

1981 APRA Silver Scroll Award – won by Phil Judd, Wayne Stevens and Mark Hough for Counting the Beat (Mushroom Music)


Mark Hough – aka Buster Stiggs

APRA Maioha Award – won by Stan Walker*, Vince Harder and Troy Kingi for Aotearoa* (*EMI Music Publishing Australia).


Vince Harder

SOUNZ Contemporary Award – won by Chris Watson for sing songs self.

Chris Watson

Chris Watson

APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film – won by Grayson Gilmour for Consent.


Grayson Gilmour

APRA Best Original Music in a Series – won by Tom McLeod for Girl vs. Boy (Season 3).


Tom McLeod


Most Performed New Zealand Work Internationally – won by Ella Yelich-O’Connor* and Joel Little** for Royals. (*Native Tongue Music Publishing on behalf of SONGS Music Publishing LLC/**EMI Music Publishing Australia).

Most Performed New Zealand Work in New Zealand – won by Marlon Gerbes, Matiu Walters and Priese Board* for Special (Kobal Music Publishing Australia and *Native Tongue Music Publishing)

New Zealand Music Hall of Fame Inductee – Bill Sevesi

Alongside the award presentations, 92 year-old bandleader, composer and master of the slide -guitar Bill Sevesi was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. 


Anthony Healy (CEO APRA AMCOS), Bill Sevesi, Mike Chunn (CEO Play It Strange)

Publishers Asson Logo

Now in their seventh year, Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book awards were announced on 10 September, 2015 at Te Papa.

This history category was won by a book charting the sweep of Māori history from ancient times to the 21st century. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris has already won the prestigious Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize and is being lauded as the one of the most significant Maori histories.

The non-fiction prize went to Anglican Bishop Muru Walters, his son Robin and daughter-in-law Sam for their photographic celebration of the country’s meeting houses in the book Marae: Te Tatau Pounamu.

The biography category was won by Nelson’s Hilary and John Mitchell for the fourth edition of a series on the history of Māori in the Nelson and Marlborough area: Ngā whānau Rangatira o Ngāti Tama me Te Ātiawa – The Chiefly Families of Ngāti Tama and Te Ātiawa.

The Arts section winner was Te Whetū o Te Rangi by Des Tatana Kahotea capturing the efforts of local people as they undertook the creation of art works, carvings and navigated the Māori customs associated with the rebuilding of Te Whetū o Te Rangi.

The Creative Writing award went to poetry anthology He Puna Wai Kōrero by leading Māori poets and scholars Robert Sullivan and Reina Whaitiri.

Winner of the Te Reo prize The Value of the Māori LanguageTe Hua o Te Reo Māori drew on research from more than 30 contributors on the value of the Māori language. It was edited by Rāwina Higgins, Poia Rewi, Vincent Olsen Reeder.

An Illustrated History

Robert Sullivan and Reina Whaitiri

Te Hua o Te Reo Māori


We are pleased to announce the release of a limited edition 7” pressed on ruby red vinyl to celebrate the Charts 40th anniversary!  The double A-side features record-setting singles by two of New Zealand’s iconic artists, Tiki Taane Tikidub Productions and Scribe.
Tiki Taane’s ‘Always On My Mind’ spent the most weeks in the Singles Chart by a NZ artist (55). Scribe’s ‘Stand Up’* was the Kiwi single that spent the most weeks at #1 (12). 


Both artists donated their tracks for the project with all proceeds going to the New Zealand Music Foundation.

There is only 500 of each version, so make sure you don’t miss out on this slice of music history!