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Audiobook Funding

PANZ has received support from Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage to fund publishers to produce and distribute audiobooks. We are running three rounds of funding and you can find all the details below.

Includes is an overview of the eligibility for funding, criteria and priority areas for specific books and outlines the additional information you need to submit a strong application.

Please read this page alongside A Guide to Audiobook Production in  Aotearoa which has been prepared to help and support publishers produce their own audio titles. You can download a copy of the report here or contact Katherine Shanks –

PANZ acknowledges support from the Manatū Taonga Regeneration Fund for this initiative.

Funding Rounds

There will be three opportunities to apply for funding.

Round 1 is now closed
See below for results of Round 1

Round 2 closes Monday 18 December 2023, 5pm
Results of Round 2 announced Wednesday  7 February

Round 3 closes Monday 11 March 2024, 5pm
Results announced Tuesday 9 April 2024

Audiobook Funding Round 1 Results

Congratulations to the successful recipients of the first round of  Audiobook Funding. PANZ was thrilled to be able to offer grants to 6 publishers for a total of 19 audio books that include a range of books by Māori writers, a wide array of fiction and non-fiction titles and strong local classics. The successful recipients are:

  • Allen & Unwin Pty: $16,323 towards the production costs of five audiobooks
  • Bateman Books: $7,114  towards the production costs of two audiobooks
  • Cloud Ink Press: $2762 towards the production cost of one audiobook
  • Duckling Press: $1,776 towards the production cost of one audiobook
  • HarperCollins Publishers New Zealand: $13,555 towards the production costs of five audiobooks
  • Penguin Random House New Zealand: $19,000 towards the production costs of five audiobooks
Project Outcomes
  • To support the development of a sustainable and resilient audiobook sector
  • To increase commercial opportunities for publishers and writers
  • To ensure that a diverse range of readers and listeners have access to New Zealand books in a range of formats
  • To promote writers from Aotearoa locally and internationally

PANZ is keen to ensure that this project is as accessible to a range of diverse publishers. If you have any questions at all about the application process, or anything else to do with the project please don’t hesitate to contact Katherine Shanks –

Project Scope


  • You can apply for funding for up to 5 audiobooks per application and a total of 10 audiobooks across the funding rounds.
  • You can apply for funding of up to 50% of the production and distribution costs of each audio book, up to a maximum amount of $5K per audiobook.
  • Funding is available to support production and distribution costs but we are unable to support the purchase of recording equipment or contribute to marketing and promotion expenses.
  • Retrospective funding for audiobooks already produced is not available.
  • Projects which have already received government funding for the audiobook/s for which you’re seeking funding are not eligible. If you have received other government funding for publishing in a different format, e.g. print then you are eligible to apply for the audiobook funding.
  • We expect that your audiobook will be produced within six months of you receiving funding.

Eligibility for Applicants

We accept applications from:

  • Publishers based in Aotearoa New Zealand seeking funding for an audio book written by a citizen or permanent resident of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Publishers must demonstrate they are the exclusive legal copyright holders for each audiobook they are requesting funding for.
  • Publishers with a proven track record and have published a minimum of 5 books which have been successfully distributed in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Publishers who can confirm that they will meet the PANZ-advised minimum audio specifications and requirements. See page 25 of A Guide to Audiobook Production in  Aotearoa.

If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements but feel that you have a strong track record and can deliver to the project outcomes please get in touch with Katherine Shanks – to discuss further.

Funding Criteria

We will consider applications for fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and educational titles from publishers that:

  • Have published new titles which will also be available in a print and/or ebook format.
  • Are seeking funding for books which have already demonstrated proven demand, e.g. books that are strong backlist titles which have sold well in print or are written by an author with a strong online presence.
  • Have a strategy which demonstrates a long-term commitment to audiobook production
  • Where relevant, provide evidence that books will protect the integrity of te reo Māori language.
  • Demonstrate a clear distribution strategy through for example an established platform or a publishers website.
  • Include a compelling marketing and publicity strategy which includes strong platform and audience-specific promotion.
  • Feature a well articulated budget which include supplier costs, production costs, distribution and promotion.

Priority Titles

Priority will be given to:

  • Books which respond to matauranga Māori, are written by Māori authors and are written in, or translated into te reo Māori.
  • Books that demonstrate inclusivity and diversity.
  • Books in a category known to be successful in audio format, please see the Audiobook Production and Distribution in Aotearoa report for further information on popular audiobook genres.
  • Publishers who demonstrate a longterm approach to developing a sustainable audiobook list.

The Assesment Process

PANZ is committed to running a fair and transparent assessment process. The steps are as follows:

  • On receipt of your application we will confirm your eligibility and those of the titles you’re seeking funding for.
  • Your project will be assessed by a diverse panel of independent assessors with a good understanding of the publishing industry.
  • Feedback will be given to unsuccessful applicants and it may be possible for them to resubmit their application following discussion with PANZ staff.

Documents to Submit

You will need to submit the following documents with your application:

  • Completed application form.
  • Evidence of rights ownership.
  • Budget – please refer to budget templates on p.27 – 30 of Audiobook Production and Distribution in Aotearoa New Zealand for guidance on what to include in your budget.
  • Supplier quotes for audio production and distribution.
  • Publicity and marketing plan.


If your application is successful you will be required to report on the outcomes of your funding on completion of the audiobook/s and then within one year of publication.