Proposals for the application process
The application process aims to minimise compliance costs and operate on a high trust model with the sector. We want to hear your views on the following proposals and any other factors you feel are important to include in the application process and requirements.
Prior to an application, businesses must register with the GDSR delivery agent, NZ On Air. Registration may take place throughout the eligibility period but should occur no later than 31 December in a given period (i.e. no later than three months before the close of the eligibility period). Businesses will be required to declare their type of business activity (previous, current and planned), including information on current and planned projects, and an estimate of qualifying expenditure.
The information provided will help NZ On Air assess a business’ eligibility as being “primarily involved in developing digital games” and developing “eligible games”. It will also support planning by NZ On Air.
On the basis of its assessment, NZ On Air will provide the business with an acknowledgement letter indicating whether the business may submit an application in respect of its activities. This letter is non-binding and does not give any guarantee the business will receive a rebate or the amount of that rebate.
Businesses will be asked to verify their registration each eligibility period.
Statement of “readiness”
The GDSR has relatively tight timeframes for applications and processing of claims, which will take place in the April-June period each year. In case there is insufficient time for a business to provide an auditor’s statement with their application to verify qualifying expenditures and their claim, we propose that the business provides a statement of “readiness”.
Specifically, prior to an application, businesses must provide NZ On Air with an auditor’s statement verifying that the business has robust processes in place to accurately establish its eligible expenditures and rebate claim in accordance with the GDSR’s eligibility criteria. This statement of “readiness” will help businesses submit high-quality applications and assist in the integrity of the scheme.
If a business has successfully registered and provided its statement of “readiness”, it may submit an application. Applications are to cover eligible expenditures incurred during the period 1 April – 31 March (eligibility period) and must be submitted to NZ On Air within 15 working days following the end of the eligibility period. Application forms and detailed processes for submission, with guidance material, will be developed by NZ On Air. Businesses make one application per year and there is one rebate payment per year to successful applicants.
In their application, applicants must declare any other government grants or subsidies received during the eligibility period.
The application must be accompanied by a statutory declaration, in which the signatory declares the truth of the business’ rebate application. The statutory declaration must be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, solicitor or another person authorised to take a statutory declaration. It is a crime to make a false declaration.
NZ On Air will assess applications and may request further information or clarification from applicants. NZ On Air may seek its own expert advice on applications, e.g. related to accountancy, legal, or sector specificities. In particular, NZ On Air will undertake audits of applications as deemed necessary to ensure proper use of government funds.
Other requirements and conditions for applicants
Businesses receiving payments under the GDSR must:
- acknowledge the support of the GDSR on relevant digital games where possible;
- contribute information as required for the compilation of a catalogue of projects supported by the rebate, curated by NZ On Air; and
- take part in any evaluation activities or other information gathering exercises led by NZ On Air or MBIE that are required to assess the GDSR’s performance against its goals.
No rebate will be provided to businesses that ceased to be eligible businesses during the eligibility period.
No rebate will be provided to businesses for which insolvency proceedings have been requested or opened in relation to their assets.
The names of businesses receiving funding under the GDSR may be published for transparency purposes, alongside the aggregate amount of rebate funding provided for the year.
In cases of over-subscription
There may be cases where eligible firms make applications that collectively over-subscribe the annual funding ($40 million less scheme administration costs) available for the rebate. In such cases, NZ On Air will allocate funding on a pro-rata basis.
Questions on application process
- Do you agree with having a registration process and statement of “readiness” prior to applications? Why, or why not? What are some alternatives?
- Do you agree with the proposals for the application process? Why, or why not? How could they be improved?
- What do you think is the most appropriate way for businesses to acknowledge GDSR support on relevant digital games?
- What are your views on the suitability of the other requirements and conditions for applicants?
- Do you think a pro-rata system of rebate payments is appropriate if the scheme is over-subscribed? Why, or why not? What would be better?