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Commissioning Protocol

Commissioning of Programmes

Producers wishing to submit an idea should do this via the relevant commissioning executive. This requires the producer to identify which genre the programme falls under. If a producer is unsure, the best point of contact is the General Manager, Commissioning & Production Andrew Shaw.

Proposals should include detail on the programme concept, duration, key personnel, production budget and timetable.

Many programmes can only be accepted subject to sufficient funding being secured. Once the programme concept has been agreed, an application must be lodged with the relevant funding authority (NZ On Air, Te Mangai Paho or other organisation). On approval of funding and in consultation with the commissioner, pre-production may proceed.

Once a programme is commissioned the commissioner will report regularly to the General Manager, Commissioning & Production on a work-in-progress basis. This will include any financial, creative and production issues arising from the commission.

The commissioners will be held accountable for the success of the programmes they are overseeing, for maintaining positive relationships with the production community even when programmes are rejected, and for ensuring that any programmes experiencing difficulties receive helpful feedback and support where possible.

Programme Commissioners

TVNZ has recently restructured its Programme Commissioning Department to provide a stronger focus on its commercial and Charter objectives.

The current structure is based on genre specific commissioners. Andrew Shaw is the General Manager of Commissioning & Production.  He oversees the commissioning of programmes for both channels and has responsibility for managing the output of TVNZ's internal production unit.

The Process

Simple straightforward processes that do not inhibit, slow or remove the decision-making processes of both channels, but protect both the producers and TVNZ form part of TVNZ's Commissioning Protocol:

Each written proposal submitted to TVNZ from a producer (developed entirely by the producer) will be confirmed in writing within five days. All materials will be returned if subsequently rejected.

Where co-development exists it will be documented at the outset. This will include an agreement on ownership of the copyright and any equity participation by either party.

Where it is a TVNZ developed idea or purchased as a format from an overseas source, the idea will be put to the market (within reason). In this case production companies invited to quote on a programme will submit material in confidence. Any material submitted will be returned to the unsuccessful company or companies.

Should TVNZ wish to defer its decision on a project it will signal its intention to take an option. The producer retains the right to withdraw the proposal at any time. This is different to just asking for a short period to consider the idea.

When rejecting a programme proposal the commissioners will explain the reasons for the rejection in a professional manner.

Production budgets will be negotiated which take into account the needs of both TVNZ and the producer.

It is the intention of both TVNZ and the producer to complete contracting before production commences.

Relationships with Funding Authorities

When appropriate, all genre commissioners, TVNZ's Head of Maori Programmes and the General Manager, Commissioning & Production will represent TVNZ at NZ On Air and Te Mangai Paho Board meetings to discuss commissioned programmes.

The overall management of the relationship with NZ On Air/Te Mangai Paho and the independent production community is the responsibility of the General Manager, Commissioning & Production. Day-to-day management with these funding authorities will be conducted by the commissioners.