National Foundation for the Deaf, 6 June 2014: For the record, the New Zealand Captioning Working Group do not believe the level of captioning in New Zealand is ‘pretty satisfactory’.
When the 2011 Rugby World Cup was staged in New Zealand, Catherine Delahunty, MP asked the then Minister of Broadcasting, Hon. Jonathon Coleman, a question in the house 21 September 2010.
[Catherine Delahunty] ‘To the Minister of Broadcasting. Will he ensure accessibility to Rugby World Cup television broadcasts for the deaf community by requiring captioning on all public channels and will he remind all broadcasters of their responsibility under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities’
[Speaker] The Hon. Jonathon Coleman.
[Hon. Jonathon Coleman] ‘Mr Speaker, TVNZ is the only New Zealand broadcaster that has the ability to carry out live captioning of matches. They are broadcasting 7 Rugby World cup games live including the final, semi final, quarter finals, sorry not the quarter finals, the bronze final, 2 quarter finals and the opening match and all 7 will feature live captioning.
[Catherine Delahunty] Will he extend captioning beyond the Rugby World Cup given that the United States of America has had captioning of all sports games on television since 1982?
[Hon. Jonathon Coleman] Well as I said Mr Speaker only TVNZ has the ability to do live captioning. The Government spends $1.9M a year on captioning for the deaf community and in consultation with them it is decided how the money will be spend [Catherine Delahunty is seen in the video shaking her head]. So 240 hours per week of prime time television is broadcast with captioning and I think that is a pretty satisfactory result’
Almost four years on Mojo Mathers, MP (20 March 2014) asked the current Minister of Broadcasting Hon Craig Foss about captioning. Hon Jonathon Coleman responded ‘250 hours of television programming is being captioned per week in New Zealand’.
– In 2011 it was 240 hours, and in 2014 its 250 hours. Hardly statistically significant.
– TVNZ remain the only broadcaster with live captioning capabilities.
No NZ broadcasters support captioning for TV On Demand
The current government approach to ‘encourage’ broadcasters to caption is clearly not working.
And for the record, the New Zealand Captioning Working Group do not believe the level of captioning in New Zealand is ‘pretty satisfactory’. It wasn’t in September 2010, it wasn’t in March 2014 and it’s not now.