Beehive, Wellington, 19 March 2014: Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss has welcomed the NZ On Air Local Content Report released today, showing that Kiwi content makes up more than a third of free-to-view TV schedules.
“New Zealanders are reaping the benefits of a fast-changing media environment. The opportunities to watch home-grown NZ On Air funded content are greater than ever as online and time shifted viewing options increase in popularity.
“NZ On Air has been funding Kiwi content for more than twenty years. Never before has there been so much choice for Kiwis watching to watch local content,” says Mr Foss.
The taxpayer invests around $80 million in free-to-view content each year through NZ On Air which funds around 1000 hours of new Kiwi content per annum.
“It is no longer necessary to be sitting in front of a TV set at a predetermined time to view a Kiwi show. Time-shifted viewing and the expansion of online distribution has put Kiwis in charge of choosing the content they watch, and when.
“When NZ On Air started funding Kiwi content in 1989, it was only able to be viewed on television once and unless you had recorded it to VHS, you wouldn’t have an opportunity to view it again. The entire model has been turned on its head, viewers are now in control of what they watch.
“I would like to congratulate NZ On Air for embracing technological changes and adjusting its funding models to include online platforms through the Digital Media Fund,” says Mr Foss.
Since NZ On Air first began recording this data, local content on television has increased 333 per cent.
“There are challenges in this evolving media environment. We need to ensure that good content is produced, and that it is easily accessible. An increase in online-viewing means that home-grown content is competing with television shows made all over the world. We need to ensure Kiwis have access to Kiwi content, regardless of how and when they choose to view it,” says Mr Foss.