RNZ Welcomes Funding Announcement

6 April 2023
New Zealand’s government has announced it will increase RNZ’s funding by $25.7m, after it abandoned plans to combine RNZ and TVNZ earlier this year. 
Wellington New Zealand - February 9 2020: Sign on building of Radio New Zealand, which is the main public broadcaster in radio, providing commercial-free radio. Credit: Jon lyall/Shutterstock

This press release was originally published on RNZ and is republished with permission.

New funding announced today for RNZ is recognition of the crucial role it plays in the public media sector at a time of much change, board chairman Dr Jim Mather says.

Dr Mather has welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister for Broadcasting and Media that RNZ will receive $25.7m in increased funding.

Read more: RNZ-TVNZ merger scrapped

He said international best practice demonstrated the value of sustainable investment in public media and RNZ was determined to provide New Zealanders with an enhanced public media service.

“The increase will ensure we can protect what audiences love now but also strengthen what we do, allowing us to innovate and better serve Aotearoa New Zealand and the wider Pacific.”

Dr Mather said RNZ’s value was shown again in the recent weather emergencies in the North Island.

“Our people provided a crucial service which helped inform people and keep them safe.”

Dr Mather said RNZ’s board was working on a new strategy which would help prioritise how the funding was invested.

RNZ CEO Paul Thompson said the funding came at a time of significant pressure on all media organisations and reflected the importance of supporting and preserving New Zealand’s diverse stories and culture.

“Media in Aotearoa New Zealand are being challenged by rapidly changing commercial models, the rise of international media giants and foreign content, the increasing cost of local content, and the spread of misinformation, disinformation and public distrust.

“RNZ’s mandate, driven by its Charter, is incredibly important at such a time. It’s a fact recognised by nearly everyone involved in the recent debate around the proposed ANZPM legislation.”

Mr Thompson said RNZ provided an essential service which needed investment to not only address legacy infrastructure issues, but to ensure it could reach more diverse audiences which aren’t well served now.

“Our ability to collaborate with others means we are very well positioned to provide a resilient and comprehensive service to connect and inform New Zealanders while also supporting the wider media sector,” Mr Thompson said.

“We look forward to working together with others to ensure the broader media sector that underpins a healthy democracy flourishes.”