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Convergence programme moving apace

The Government’s Convergence Work Programme is making excellent progress towards ensuring New Zealand is well-placed to take advantage of an increasingly digital media environment, says Broadcasting and Communications Minister Amy Adams.

“Today’s converged media landscape is changing the way we communicate, conduct business and access entertainment channels. Streaming content on-demand through our mobile devices or obtaining news on the web is now the new norm,” says Ms Adams.

Better broadband is putting large volumes of global and digital content at the fingertips of New Zealanders. Already, around one-in-four New Zealanders are tuning in to an on-demand video service each day.

“We established a cross-Government convergence work programme last year to ensure our regulations are fit for purpose in an increasingly converged media environment. Substantial progress is being made on all fronts,” says Ms Adams.

This work includes:
• Reforms which have been announced to the regulation of broadcasting content that will make it fit for purpose for a digital age
• A review of the regulatory framework for telecommunications to set the high-level direction for the future regulation of communications services. A detailed options paper is open for consultation.
• Consultation has concluded on the review of the Radiocommunications Act and the intention is to include any changes in upcoming legislation.
• In December 2015, the Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan was launched to help protect New Zealanders from cyber attacks while still realising the opportunities arising from technological innovation
• The Creative Sector Study aims to gain an insight into how the creative sector interacts with copyright and designs regimes in a converging technological landscape. The first stage of the study was completed in May.
• In May, a law was passed to collect GST from cross-border services, including content and software purchased from off shore websites
• The Data Futures Partnership is engaging with New Zealanders on their view of data use and sharing gets underway in October.

“We want to ensure New Zealanders are fully able to realise the potential benefits and opportunities presented by convergence, so we’re making sure our legislation is fit for purpose and able to withstand the rapid changes we are seeing across the sectors.”

Updated on 31st August 2016