Toi Pāho screen-sector capability and development plan

Te Wao Nui o Toi is a report which conveys industry views on addressing the acute shortage of skilled below-the-line production workers in Toi Pāho: defined for our purposes as the film, television and interactive media industries.

Background information

The report findings in Te Wao Nui o Toi were developed from August to December 2022 through consultation with:

  • over 75 industry experts, students, academics, training providers, employees, contractors, industry advocates and studio executives
  • an industry scan of 42 data reports, surveys and strategy reports
  • a targeted survey of 60 Toi Pāho employers and 337 individual workers.

Participants highlighted challenges in attracting, training and developing Toi Pāho employees, including:

  • limited knowledge among people outside Toi Pāho about below-the-line roles and career opportunities available
  • limited understanding of the value of creative and technology careers, particularly within Māori and underserved communities
  • poorly defined and unsupported Toi Pāho career pathways at secondary school level
  • significant disconnect between the capabilities of Toi Pāho graduates and where the industry needs them
  • limited capacity for industry to provide skilled workers to train and support newcomers
  • scarcity of short-form courses to allow rapid upskilling to meet industry demands
  • non-standard workplace training and the absence of an industry-wide training body
  • minimal visibility on medium to long-term Toi Pāho capability requirements
  • lack of policy to incentivise worker conditions and skills development.

To address these and other challenges, the report recommends better alignment between below-the-line workforce needs and vocational training and education, initiatives to make Toi Pāho careers more attractive/accessible and increased collaboration across education, government and industry.

Consultation phase

Toi Pāho industry members and education providers were invited to provide feedback on the report’s goals and recommendations, and highlight ways these may be achieved.

The feedback Toi Mai received during the consultation phase will inform the final recommendations and advice to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for investing in vocational education and training for Toi Pāho careers, and The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for its support of the sector.

The consultation phase concluded in April 2023, an action plan and roadmap has since been created to better align industry and workforce training to 2032.

Download a copy of the key documents below for more information.

Toi Mai would like to thank the many industry representatives across the motu from film, television and game development studios, training providers, employers, employees, contractors and industry advocates whose honest and open feedback enabled us to gain compelling insights so that together, we can shape a better future for the industry and the people of Aotearoa.

We would also like to acknowledge and express our gratitude to the Assurity Consulting Design and Innovation team, Anton Matthews and our Toi Mai whānau for the significant role they played in bringing this important kaupapa to life – ngā mihi nui.

Te Wao Nui o Toi is a result of genuine mahi tahi and we are indebted to your generosity of time and spirit throughout.

Industry reference group members

Megan Blackwell, Pan-Asian Screen Collective

Vanessa Byrnes Unitec/Te Pūkenga

Dale Corlett, New Zealand Film Commission Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga

Lisa Endersby, Regional Film Offices of New Zealand

Cameron Harland, Irirangi Te Motu NZ On Air

Matt Horrocks, Screen Auckland

Blake Ihimaera, Te Māngai Pāho

Todd Karehana, Film-maker

Jon Kirk, South Seas Film School Campus – Yoobee College of Creative Innovation

Anna Middleton, Wētā FX

Tim Ponting, Centre Of Digital Excellence (CODE)

Chelsea Rapp, NZ Game Developers Association

Lanita Ririnui, Ngā Aho Whakaari/Māori in Screen

Samson Samasoni, Pacific Producer, PISA (the Pacific Islands Screen Artists group)

Robyn Scott-Vincent, Disabilities in Screen / Attitude Pictures

Ness Simons, Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) / The Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand

Research participants

Rachel Antony, Greenstone TV

Megan Blackwell, Pan-Asian Screen Collective (PASC)

Nicci Boucher, Producer

Tim Bourne, CerebralFix

James Brookes, Department of Post

Bayley Broome-Peake, Director of Photography

Jo Carkeek, Whakaata Māori / Māori Television

Adrian Clarke, University of Canterbury (UC) / Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha

Amber Clotworthy, TVNZ

Annie Collins, Directors and Editors Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand (DEGANZ)

Kylie Croft, Greenstone TV

Victoria Dabbs, Firefly

Philly de Lacey, Screentime New Zealand

Antony Deaker, Enterprise Dunedin

Brendan Donovan, University of Auckland / Waipapa Taumata Rau

Lisa Endersby, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited

Kristy Grant, Lane Street Studios

Wena Harawira, Whakaata Māori / Māori Television

Jon Kirk, South Seas Film School Campus – Yoobee College of Creative Innovation

Stephen Knightly, RocketWerkz

Shuchi Kothari, Pan-Asian Screen Collective

Kelly Lucas, Screen Industry Guild of Aotearoa New Zealand

Casey Lucas-Quaid, Dinosaur Polo Club

Suzette Major, SAE Creative Media Institute

Kahurangi Maxwell, Arataua Media

Grae Meek, Writer / Director (film)

Jess Millar, Wētā FX

Jasmine Millet, Screen Auckland

Dan Millward, Gamefroot

Chey Milne, Arataua

Maru Nihoniho, Metia

Vee Pendergrast, Centre Of Digital Excellence (CODE)

Chelsea Rapp, NZ Game Developers Association

Samson Samasoni, PISA (the Pacific Islands Screen Artists group)

Robyn Scott-Vincent, Attitude Pictures

Ness Simmons, Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA)

Emma Slade, Firefly

Marg Slater, Slater Films

Kaarin Slevin, Toi Whakaari / New Zealand Drama School

Morgan Leigh Stewart, Producer

Andrew Szusterman, South Pacific Pictures

Taikawa Tamati-Elliffe, Centre Of Digital Excellence (CODE), Ngāti Gaming

Jeremia Tauamiti, Writer / Director

Hori Te Ariki Mataki, Ariki Creative

Lee Timutimu, Arataki Systems

Bella-Wai Tipene, Greenstone TV

Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa, Film Director and Founder of PISA (the Pacific Islands Screen Artists group)

Eloise Veber, Proud Voices On Screen

Patricia Watson, Women in Film and Television Inc (WIFT NZ)

Alix Whittaker, Candlelit Pictures

Julian Wilcox, Māori broadcaster / Director (television)

Kereama Wright, Aukaha

Brigitte Yorke, Associate Producer (film)


Marcus Bailey, Glimpse Photography

Anton Matthews, Hustle Education

Graham Tipene, Te Wheke Moko Design Studio

Assurity Consulting

(Design and Innovation team)

Melissa Helyer-Akhara

Simon Holbrook

Sanjiv Menon

Thomas Nye

Akshay Rao

Angela Roper

Simon Rycroft

Carol Soundy

Courtney van Beek

Toi Mai Workforce Development Council – Project team

Gavin Bryce, Te Whatu Ohooho / Senior Policy Advisor

Tama Kirikiri, Poumatua

Claire Robinson, Te Tumu o Toi / Chief Executive

Nihal Sohanpal, Te Whatu Rarau / Data Analyst

Jeannette Troon, Mata Herehere / Relationship Manager

Toi Mai Workforce Development Council – Contributors

Tinaka Birch, Mata Herehere / Relationship Manager

Graeme Cowie, Te Pā Whakatupu / Vocational Pathways Advisor

Tim Croft, Mata Herehere / Relationship Manager

Mary-Jane Duffy, Te Ringa Hanga / Qualifications Development Facilitator

Dawson Marama Feagai, Mata Herehere / Relationship Manager

Sasha Gibb, Mata Herehere / Relationship Manager

Moana Hamilton-Neville, Te Paā Tū / Equity Advisor

Sharleen Hewson, Te Ringa Hāngai / Quality Assurance Specialist

Stephen Lai, Te Whatu Rarau / Data Analyst

Teara Leaupepe Timoteo, Te Pā Rere Hua / Communication and Marketing Lead

Ngarongoa Lentfer, Te Ringa Hanga / Qualifications Development Facilitator

Laarni Mandap, Te Whatu Hura / Research Analyst

Mark Ormsby, Poururuku Rāngai Pārekareka / GM Industry Engagement

Daniel Payne, Mata Herehere / Relationship Manager

Jenni Pethig, Poururuku Rāngai Ringa Tohu / GM Qualifications and Assurance

Tia Rata, Poururuku Rāngai Pā Manaaki / GM Pathways and Equity

Geoff Simmons, Te Poururuku Rāngai Taumata Tirotiro / GM Strategy, Insights and Impact

Lynne Stokes, Te Ringa Hanga / Qualifications Development Facilitator

Salatielu (TJ) Taotua, Te Kanohi Ahurea ā Kiwa / Pacific Transformation Lead

Joanne Te Morenga, Te Pā Whakatupu / Vocational Pathways Advisor – Māori

Te Whainoa Te Wiata, Te Kanohi Ahurea / Mātauranga Māori and Te Reo Māori Specialist

Brett Turnidge, Mata Herehere / Relationship Manager

Astrid Visser, Mata Herehere / Relationship Manager

Tim Worth, Te Whatu Hura / Research Analyst

Other research participants (who wish to remain anonymous)

Director and producer, television and digital media


Game development industry workers (eight)

Graduate, screen school

Industry leaver, game development

Industry leaver, television

New entrant, game development (two)

Producer, career switcher

Recent entrant and editor, film and television

Student, screen school

Student, screen school – final year, career changer

Student, Year 11 (three)

University lecturer

Toi Pāho release and consultation webinar