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Govt welcomes report on public broadcasting

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran has welcomed a report on the future of public broadcasting and media and thanked the group behind it for its work and commitment to public interest media.

“The People’s Commission report has come out of a series of public meetings where three key themes emerged – investment, independence and inclusion. It’s broadly in line with my view that quality New Zealand programming and journalism is crucial to our national identity,” Ms Curran says.

“I believe a well-resourced public media is necessary to tell our stories and inform our democracy.”

The People’s Commission On Public Broadcasting and Media calls for increased funding for both RNZ and NZ On air and includes six recommendations to the government including an annual inflation-adjusted funding increase, effective immediately.

“The report was crowd-funded by small donations from almost 1,000 people plus a $5,000 contribution from Better Public Media. I want to thank BPM for keeping the flame alive at a time when public broadcasting was being starved of funding under the previous government,” Ms Curran says.

“We want to transform RNZ into a truly multi-platform provider dedicated to quality New Zealand programming and journalism and want NZOA to be able to better support independent commercial producers and commercial networks to make content that’s valued by people.

“This report gives us some additional ideas to consider as we move to support services that reflect Labour’s values of cultural diversity, artistic expression, and independence.”

The report and an open letter were handed to Ms Curran at Parliament this afternoon.

“The Government has already pledged to increase the funding to NZ On Air and Radio New Zealand from 2018 and we are working through the details of that now. It’s a significant investment in the quality of our public media so they can continue to produce and fund content that is diverse, innovative and relevant,” Ms Curran says.