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Media Sector Support

Our role

The media plays a vital role in a healthy democracy by holding governments and the commercial sector to account, sharing the stories that are important to us and reflecting who we are as New Zealanders. Our media showcases Aotearoa’s unique identity, culture and languages.

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage works with the media sector and provides advice to the Minister for Broadcasting and Media, to help address the challenges and opportunities faced by the sector.

We also share guidance with the media sector on changes in policy and legislation that could impact on their environment and operations.

Working alongside our funding agencies, we draw on specific expertise within the sector to design and deliver initiatives that help media organisations evolve and flourish over time.

Latest Initiatives

Government has a range of initiatives underway to support the media sector in the short term and shape a more sustainable media eco-system in the long term.  

Strong Public Media
Public Interest Journalism Fund
Content regulation review
Post COVID-19 relief

Strong Public Media

Public media provide services that sit alongside those in the wider sector to ensure a range of trusted local information and perspectives are present and accessible, ultimately contributing to our social connectedness, democracy and cultural identity. 

Public media is also a key part of enabling effectiveness and sustainability of  New Zealand’s media eco-system.

All media – in New Zealand and globally - are facing challenges with on-going changes in technology, audience behaviour and traditional revenue models. The Government has a responsibility to ensure the investment it makes in public media meets the needs of New Zealanders in delivering accessible, relevant content and supports a healthy media sector.

As part part of the Government’s priority to strengthen public media in Aotearoa, Manatū Taonga had a programme of work underway – called the Strong Public Media Programme. The Strong Public Media programme was tasked with supporting the creation of a new public media entity, Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media (ANZPM). On 8 February 2023, the Prime Minister announced that this programme of work would stop.  

Detail of the Strong Public Media Programme

Public Interest Journalism fund

In February 2021, Minister for Broadcasting and Media, Kris Faafoi announced a $55 million package to support public interest journalism. The Public Interest Journalism Fund will support New Zealand’s media to continue to produce stories that keep New Zealanders informed and engaged and support a healthy democracy.
NZ On Air is administering the Public Interest Journalism Fund. 
More information on the Public Interest Journalism Fund 

Media and online content regulation

A comprehensive review of media content regulation in New Zealand was announced by Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon Jan Tinetti, on 8 June 2021. The review is managed by the Department of Internal Affairs, with support from Manatū Taonga. 

The review aims to create a new modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework to mitigate the harmful impacts of media content, regardless of how it is delivered.

The framework will still need to protect and enhance important democratic freedoms, including freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

For more information please visit the Department of Internal Affairs website

COVID-19 relief 

COVID-19 exacerbated the existing challenges facing the media sector.  The drop in advertising revenue through the lockdowns also had a significant impact on many media organisations.

In April 2020, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage worked with the sector to rapidly develop the $50 million media sector support package. This support package focussed on reducing cost and easing cashflow pressure for a range of media organisations.  $18 million made available to the sector within a month of announcing the relief. As of June 2021, $39.48 million has been delivered to support more than 300 media organisations. Organisations that have received support range from small broadcasters serving specific communities to large media companies that reach a spread of New Zealanders.

Manatū Taonga engaged MartinJenkins to carry out an independent review of the Media Support Package. More information on Media Support Package Review Report

The initiatives were:

Transmission fee waiver  in which the Government fund six months of transmission fees for DTT, DTH, FM and AM for eligible organisations.

NZ On Air Platform contribution in which Government fund 80% of the platform contribution fees for 2020/21 for eligible media organisations.

Advance purchase of news subscriptions in which Government make advance purchase on news subscriptions for selected government agencies for 2020/21.

Advance purchase of advertising in which Government make advance payment for government agency advertising space for 2020/21, to eligible media organisations.

Publications grant in which $4 million is targeted at media organisations that have yet to receive significant relief from the fund – in particular magazines and community newspapers.

Further information 

Other useful sites Unite against COVID-19 and COVID-19: Information for Businesses

If you have any queries please contact [email protected]

Updated on 22nd February 2023