Toi Pāho Screen-sector Capability and Development Plan

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

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, strategy reports; and
  • 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, and
  • 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.

Toi Pāho industry members and education providers are invited to give feedback on the report's goals and recommendations, and highlight ways these may be achieved. The consultation period ends on 10 April 2023.

Feedback will inform the final recommendations and advice to the Tertiary Education Commission for investing in vocational education and training for Toi Pāho careers, and The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for its support of the sector. An action plan and roadmap will be created to align industry and workforce training to 2032.

Have your say on what Toi Pāho needs to build a thriving and sustainable workforce

Te Wao Nui o Toi - download the full report

Report summary - includes the strategic goals and recommendations.

Complete the feedback form - please note the closing date is 10 April 2023. 

Watch the Toi Pāho webinar - includes presentation on the strategic goals and recommendations (video is also available below).

#ToiPāho - share your thoughts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter and include #toipāho to help spread the word. Don't forget to tag Toi Mai in your posts/stories, so we can re-share on to our platforms and encourage others to take part in the consultation.

  • Kia pua i te hua | Strategic goals and recommendations

    It is important to acknowledge industry work already underway to address the workforce challenges faced by Toi Pāho. It’s now the Government’s turn to step up and back the industry on its quest to build a thriving and sustainable Toi Pāho workforce.

    Hei puanga hua tuatahi: Te whakaawetanga hei pūhou
    Strategic goal 1: Inspiration for a new-generation Toi Pāho

    Recommendation 1: Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) to fund, and Toi Mai to coordinate, initiatives that make below-the-line screen careers visible and attractive to rangatahi Māori whānau, hapū and iwi, and reflect the diversity of underserved communities, including Māori, Pacific peoples, Asian, migrant communities, LGBTQIA+, women, tangata whaikaha and neurodiverse people.

    Recommendation 2: TEC and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to fund targeted campaigns that celebrate success, promote the value of creative and technical initiative and enable people to ‘see themselves’ in Toi Pāho roles.

    Recommendation 3: TEC and MBIE to fund and Toi Mai to coordinate the design of a campaign to attract talent from adjacent industries.


    Hei puanga hua tuarua: Hei taunga manu hāereere
    Strategic goal 2: Accessible and equitable Toi Pāho opportunities

    Recommendation 4: Government agencies to support initiatives that connect rangatahi Māori, whānau, hapū, iwi and underserved communities with creative and technology roles in screen.

    Recommendation 5: Toi Mai to endorse work-based learning initiatives that create positive industry environments where diverse voices can thrive.


    Hei puanga hua tuatoru: Te wao hei akomanga, te matarau hei akoranga
    Strategic goal 3: Relevant training and support delivered by providers and industry

    Recommendation 6: TEC to direct funding to programmes that align closely with industry and industry requirements.

    Recommendation 7: Toi Mai to endorse and TEC to fund targeted training that supports underserved communities to build Toi Pāho careers.

    Recommendation 8: TEC to widen its criteria for provider funding to include pilot funding for non-NZQCF (New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework) listed, industry-defined and delivered short-form courses and stackable micro-credentials that are flexible, nimble and meet immediate industry needs.


    Hei puanga hua tuawhā: Mahi tahi
    Strategic goal 4: Mahi tahi

    Recommendation 9: Industry, Toi Mai, TEC and MBIE to investigate the potential merits of, and help define the purpose of, the nascent initiative towards creating an Industry Training Body for Toi Pāho.

    Recommendation 10: Toi Mai to work with industry towards establishing a medium- and long-term workforce capability pipeline.

  • Ngā whakamānawatanga | Acknowledgements

    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 webinar (recording) transcript
Toi Pāho - Screen-sector Capability and Development Plan for the Below-the-line Workforce.