Government forces state broadcasters TVNZ and RNZ to merge

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 09, 2022 |

The Government is forcing TVNZ and RNZ to merge.

Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi made the announcement on a Zoom call to media.

Currently, TVNZ makes its money from commercials online and on air.

RNZ is already fully funded by the Government.

Faafoi said a business case, which looked at the feasibility of and best approach to creating a new entity, emphasised the importance of public media and its role in society to provide trusted news and content that reflects our people and cultures.

“It also confirmed the pressures New Zealand’s public media is facing retaining audiences and attracting new ones, particularly young people, in the face of access to global platforms.”

“That is why the Government has decided to establish a new public media entity, which can utilise new and existing platforms to build audience here in New Zealand, as well as take our stories abroad more successfully.”

“The new public media entity will be built on the best of both RNZ and TVNZ, which will initially become subsidiaries of the new organisation. It will continue to provide what existing audiences value, such as RNZ Concert, as well as better reaching those groups who aren’t currently well served; such as our various ethnic communities and cultures.”

Government funding decisions will be made as part of Budget processes, and the entity will be an Autonomous Crown Entity with complete editorial independence receiving commercial and Crown funding for operations and will:

  • provide quality public media content to all New Zealanders, including groups who are currently under-served or under-represented

  • use a range of platforms, including current radio and linear TV and those of third parties, to reach audiences when, where and how audiences choose

  • operate under a charter, set out in legislation, and provide trustworthy news as a core service

  • deliver on the Crown’s Te Tiriti obligations and provide Māori stories and perspectives.

  • carry advertising, while ensuring services which are currently commercial-free will remain so

  • collaborate with and support the wider New Zealand media sector where appropriate.

An Establishment Board will be appointed next month to oversee the detailed design of the entity and the change process, with the aim of having it operational by 1 July 2023.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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