Te Wao Nui o Toi — Capability and Development Plan for the Below-the-line Screen Sector Workforce


Toi Pāho – the film, television, and interactive media sector of Aotearoa New Zealand – is facing skills shortages and a lack of diversity in its ‘below-the-line’ workforce.

Te Wao Nui o Toi is a research project that provides direction for industry and government toward initiatives for lasting workforce improvement.

view website

  • MORE
  • Demand is exceeding supply. Aotearoa’s award-winning film, television, and interactive media sector (Toi Pāho) is internationally recognised for producing high-quality location, production, and post-production products and services. The sector is seeing increasing demand; however, that demand is being stifled by production restraints and the scarce availability of experienced workers. The project challenge was to gain a deep understanding of the people who work in Toi Pāho with a view to discovering pathways toward attracting and nurturing a diverse, well-trained, and supported workforce.

  • To uncover the challenges faced by entrants, workers, educators, and employers, an empathy-led and data-quantified approach was taken: - 75 empathy interviews, including separate Māori workstream - Co-design workshops throughout - Industry survey - Literature review A bicultural approach reflecting the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi was central: - Establishment of a Māori-led engagement workstream. - Deployment of Te Ao Māori methodologies, including Te Wao Nui o Toi – a metaphor of a thriving forest ecosystem that guided project synthesis, discussion, and communication. - Visual identity and bespoke typeface embodying the whakaaro of Te Wao Nui o Toi.

  • Te Wao Nui o Toi has just been released but is already having an impact: - The recommendations outlined are guiding government organisations toward investment strategies that can adequately support Toi Paho to build a healthy and diverse workforce. - Toi Mai holds Te Wo Nui o Toi as an example of how to properly consult and apply indigenous voices and methodologies. Capability uplift initiatives such as ‘Co-designing the Toi Mai Way’ build on the work’s approach and are being rolled out for government staff. - Opening a powerful dialog – over 63 individual and group industry consultation responses received to date.

  • Storytelling enlivens our past and helps forge the future, and the film, television, and interactive media industries are inherently a storytelling medium. To accentuate the story of Toi Pāho, a visual identity and bespoke typeface that embodies the whakaaro of Te Wao Nui o Toi was created. The services of renowned Māori artist Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Haua, Ngāti Manu) were employed to provide a visual expression of the project narrative, exploring themes of growth, circularity, evolution, and interrelationship.