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Diversity and Inclusion

He Ara Whakaurunga Kanorau
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He aha te mea nui o tēnei Ao, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata. 

What is the most important thing in this world, ‘tis people, ‘tis people, ‘tis people.

Our Statement of Commitment

Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga | The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) is an Autonomous Crown Entity that empowers and attracts distinctive and diverse screen productions for all audiences. The recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, our commitment to tangata whenua and integrating diversity and inclusion into all aspects of the NZFC are essential in achieving this mission.

The NZFC acknowledges that many people in the Aotearoa screen sector have benefitted from colonial and patriarchal structures – structures that have contributed to discrimination and exclusion of a range of people and practices. The NZFC are committed to redressing systemic exclusion to support our staff, filmmakers, storytellers, stakeholders and audiences who identify with historically underrepresented communities.  

He Ara Whakaurunga Kanorau | NZFC Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

The NZFC has developed an organisational Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to proactively respond to the needs of our staff, filmmakers, storytellers, stakeholders and audiences. It provides a roadmap to assist the NZFC in becoming a diverse and inclusive organisation and lays out our outcomes, actions, timeframes and targets. The Strategy takes a people-centred approach and is centred around five strategic outcomes:

  1. The NZFC has a workplace culture that is diverse, inclusive and equitable
  2. We understand the makeup of our industry and see progress in diversity and inclusion
  3. NZFC practices, processes and services are accessible
  4. Talent and skills development opportunities are equitable and inclusive
  5. Diverse realities are represented on and off camera

Te Rautaki Māori Strategy and the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy are mutually beneficial and interwoven strategies. They connect in elevating our commitments and delivery of support and funding initiatives that better serve and advance the diverse communities of the Aotearoa screen sector.  

How was the Strategy developed?

The development of this Strategy has been led by the NZFC Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The Committee is comprised of NZFC staff, including members from the Leadership Team.

The NZFC has sought and considered qualitative and quantitative research on diversity and inclusion in both the Aotearoa and global screen industry. Research, data collection and monitoring is ongoing so that the NZFC can make sure actions and outcomes under the Strategy remain appropriately targeted and relevant over time.

The Diversity and Inclusion Strategy is also informed by evaluation of existing NZFC activities, consultation with industry practitioners, screen sector guilds, key stakeholders and experts in the field. The NZFC has taken a lived experience approach in the development of this Strategy.

A series of workshops have been held with a group of filmmakers and screen storytellers with lived experience of being underrepresented and/or marginalised within the screen sector of Aotearoa.

These individuals were invited personally by the NZFC on the basis they have demonstrated a commitment to, and knowledge of diversity and inclusion. The NZFC has engaged with this group throughout the process of drafting the Strategy and we refer to them as the Industry Leadership Group.  

Feedback on the Strategy

This Strategy is not an end-product – it is part of a journey and an ongoing conversation. The NZFC will review progress against the Strategy, and update it as required; as such, it is a living document. Any changes to the document will be communicated and shared publicly.

We value input from the sector, and welcome feedback from any individual or organisation who would like to help us achieve the outcomes. We acknowledge that language is constantly evolving, and one label or definition may not capture the complexity of diversity and inclusion. Feedback is encouraged on the language that is used and we are open to change, continuing to learn and listen to everyone’s perspective.

If you have any feedback about Diversity and Inclusion at the NZFC please email This email address is monitored by the NZFC Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

The NZFC understands that having the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback supports cultural safety.  If you would like to provide anonymous feedback, you may complete the anonymous feedback form by clicking this link.

Underrepresented Communities

The NZFC has identified the following groups as underrepresented: Māori, Pacific peoples, Asian communities, MELAA (Middle Eastern, Latin American and African), women, gender diverse, LGBTQIA+ communities, people with a disability, regional communities (defined for the purposes of the New Zealand screen sector as those outside of Auckland and Wellington), people below the age of 30 and people above the age of 60.

The NZFC's definition of underrepresented communities is based on a review of existing qualitative and quantitative research (domestic and international). The NZFC has sourced research that looks at representation in key creative roles (Director, Writer, Producer) in both film and television. Consideration was also given to research that looks at representation on screen (characters, stories, places, history and culture). This is a living definition, and may change over time as new data and research becomes available. Any updates to this definition will be communicated on this page.

Bespoke Funding

The NZFC offer a range of development and production funding programmes to support Māori filmmakers.

He Ara is a development fund committed to presenting more Māori and Pacific Island stories on screen.

The annual Gender Scholarship award recognises and celebrates women in the screen industry and is aimed at supporting their career progression.

A Diverse Team

As part of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, the NZFC is committed to reflecting and representing the diversity of the communities we service across our teams, just as we are committed to doing through the stories we fund. Part of this commitment is being transparent about the makeup of our workforce.

The diversity of our workforce is published in each Annual Report.

Diversity and Inclusion Resources

A list of organisations and tools that inspire diversity, inclusion and equity in the Aotearoa screen sector can be found here.

If you would like to request any of the documents on this page in an alternative format, please email

Progress Reports on the Strategy

Progress reports on the Strategy are provided to the NZFC Board twice a year and published on the NZFC website. This is an action under Outcome 2 of the Strategy: We understand the makeup of our industry and see progress in diversity and inclusion. It is also part of our commitment to accountability and transparency. All progress reports can be found here.


Last updated: 
Thursday, 6 October 2022