New Zealanders oppose taxpayer-funded bailouts for private media companies

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Apr 10, 2024 |

Warner Bros/Discovery-owned Newshub will close in July.

A new poll shows New Zealanders are opposed to taxpayer money being used to fund struggling private media companies.

A Taxpayers’ Union – Curia Poll has revealed that 55 percent of New Zealanders oppose a bailout, with just 29 percent in support.

Labour voters were the only demographic in support of media bailouts (+7 percent net support), while those aged under 40 were split evenly. A majority or plurality in every other demographic opposed taxpayer-funded media bailouts.

Voters were asked, “You may have heard reports about the proposed closure of Newshub. Would you support or oppose taxpayer money being used to fund struggling private media companies?”

Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager Connor Molloy said, “It comes as no surprise that taxpayers are unwilling to reach into their own pockets to fund media organisations that they are increasingly becoming disillusioned with.

“We know from our previous polling that taxpayer-funding of private media undermines perceptions of independence. With trust in the media already in free-fall, the worst thing the government could do is step in with taxpayer money to bail them out,” Molloy said.

“All businesses must deliver a service of value to get money from their customers. If the government stumps up with taxpayer-money there is no incentive for these companies to change their business model into something consumers trust and value more.

“We should allow those companies that aren’t providing a service people want to fail so that new companies who do create value can take their place.”

The full polling report can be found here.

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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