New Zealand government allocates more money to public media in 2018 budget

The New Zealand Labour Government delivered its budget last week, giving more money to the country’s national broadcasters and granting funds for an advisory group on public media.

$15m has been injected into the public media sector in the Ardern government’s 2018 budget.

Radio New Zealand and TV On Air wil both receive extra funds, and further money has been reserved to fund recommendations from a newly formed Public Media Advisory Group.

RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson said:

“This is good news and signals the Government’s commitment to investing in a stronger, multimedia RNZ that provides freely-available, high-quality journalism and programming.

“While we have yet to receive detail of RNZ’s share of the funding we are preparing our plans to ensure the public benefit from any increase.

“RNZ is the nation’s commercial-free public broadcaster and we will play a growing role in ensuring New Zealand is a connected and informed democracy.

“We are also encouraged by the indication that further funding will be allocated in future budgets for full implementation of the Government’s public media policy.”

Showing a commitment to the importance of public media in strengthening democracy, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran said: “in all democracies the media has a critical role in holding public and private institutions to account and in reporting on the government of the day.

“I believe a well-resourced public media is necessary to tell our stories and inform our democracy and I want to be sure we have the right framework for a resilient and sustainable New Zealand broadcasting system. A Public Media Funding Commission will be a non-political voice advising Parliament on the state of the media and the resourcing needs of public media agencies.”

The terms of reference for the advisory group include:

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