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Bill ensures ongoing success for RNZ

The passing of the Radio New Zealand Amendment Bill ensures the iconic broadcaster is better equipped to meet the challenges and opportunities of a multi-media era, Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams said today.

“This Bill strongly reaffirms RNZ’s role as an independent, commercial-free, public service broadcaster, providing it with the freedom to speak for and comment on New Zealand society,” Ms Adams says.

“The new Charter setting out RNZ’s purpose is up-to-date and flexible.

“Section 8 of the Bill, covering the revised Charter, provides the multi-media broadcaster with the impetus to take advantage of the most effective means of delivery to reach its audiences.

“This multiplatform approach sees RNZ’s services, whether it be podcasts, live streaming or a smartphone app, tailored to meet audience needs. This framework ensures RNZ is fit for purpose and the Bill reflects its role as a responsive public broadcaster operating in a multi-media landscape.

“The Bill also clearly defines what it means for RNZ to be commercial-free. Operating without sponsorship or advertising ensures that its content does not disappear behind a pay wall. 

“Additionally the Bill sees a change to how often the Charter must be reviewed by Parliament. This remains at five-yearly intervals, but only takes place five years after any review has been completed and any changes made.

“RNZ now has some room to explore opportunities for strategic partnerships and audience-building through content, without losing any integrity as a public service provider.”

Ms Adams said the review and subsequent changes to the Charter confirm the service and range and breadth of content New Zealanders expect from their public radio.

“RNZ continues to grow its audience base across all platforms, with a live-listening audience of over 560,000 per week and 4.2 million items downloaded in 2014/15 (up from 3.5 million the previous year).  In 2014/15, page views reached 36 million (15 million higher than the previous year) and users of the RNZ mobile app grew by some 50 per cent,” Ms Adams says.

“This Bill ensures RNZ will have greater freedom to explore new media platforms and extend its reach, in turn providing greater value for every dollar spent on RNZ’s content.”

Updated on 31st March 2016