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Strong Public Media FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Why is the Government proposing to make changes to public media?

Public and private media in New Zealand face the same challenges as their counterparts across the world. Digital transformation has given audiences more choices about when and how they access content and has reduced the level of commercial revenue available to traditional media entities.

The Government recognises the need to support the wider media sector to respond to these challenges and ensure that the entities it owns, and funds, are fit for purpose in the 21st century.

Significant changes need to be made to the way public media is delivered so future generations can continue to have access to trusted high quality New Zealand content.

That’s why the Government has commissioned a detailed business case to look at the viability of creating a new, fit-for-purpose public media entity.

Will the public have an opportunity to have their say on the proposed new public media entity?

The Strong Public Media Governance Group engaged with key stakeholder entities and experts within the media sector to get insights on aspects of the business case.

It also oversaw targeted engagement with key groups on the possible characteristics of a charter for any new entity.

Feedback from these groups has supported the development of advice to the Government.

Once there’s been a decision on whether to proceed with the creation of a new entity, there will be an opportunity for the public to give their views on a charter and the proposed legislation for a new entity through the Select Committee process.

What did the business case process involve?

The Strong Public Media Governance Group oversaw the development of the business case and the detailed work required to complete it was done by Deloitte.

A formal business case is a mandated five-step process specified by Treasury that requires an in-depth analysis of an issue – including the economic, commercial and management aspects.

What was the role of the Strong Public Media Business Case Governance Group?

The Business Case Governance Group had two important roles for the business case phase of the work. It oversaw:

  • completion of the business case
  • targeted stakeholder engagement on the possible characteristics of a new charter.

Who are the chair and members of the Governance Group?

The chair and members of the Governance Group are:

  • Tracey Martin (Chair)
  • Glen Scanlon
  • Michael Anderson
  • Sandra Kailahi
  • Bailey Mackey
  • William Earl
  • John Quirk
  • Dr Trisha Dunleavy

What skills and experience did the Governance Group chair and members bring to the role?

The Governance Group is made up of people with a broad range of knowledge and experience. They were chosen for their expertise in public and private broadcasting; other media business experience, including within the Māori media sector; government policy making and public engagement processes; change processes; and business case processes.

Biographies for the Governance Group Members

What is the timeline for a potential new public media entity?

In January 2020, Cabinet agreed to commission a detailed business case to examine the viability of establishing a new, fit-for-purpose public media entity.

In April 2020, work on Strong Public Media was paused, following the completion of the draft strategic and economic components of the business case, in order to focus on the immediate COVID-19 response.

In March 2021, Minister for Broadcasting and Media Kris Faafoi appointed a Governance Group to lead the work to complete the business case.

The Minister for Broadcasting and Media will report back to Cabinet on the outcome of the business case before the end of 2021. Final decisions on the proposal to establish a new entity will be considered at that time. 

How would a potential new public media entity be funded?

A potential new public media entity would be funded through a mixed funding model, drawing part of its revenue from commercial sources, and part from Government funding.

How does work on a potential new public media entity fit with the work in relation to Māori media?

Media plays a vital role in revitalising te reo Māori and connecting more New Zealanders to Māori culture. Alongside work on the business case to examine the viability of creating a new, fit-for-purpose public media entity, the Minister for Māori Development is leading work to shape the future of Māori broadcasting and support a capable and sustainable Māori broadcasting sector.

Officials are working together to ensure alignment between these two projects and to identify how shared outcomes can be best achieved.

This is a unique opportunity and the right time to make decisions about the whole public media system.

How would a potential new public media entity serve Māori, Pasifika, ethnic and other underserved communities?

It will be vital that a potential new public media entity can reflect New Zealand’s diverse cultural identity and our languages, experiences and communities.

Cabinet has agreed to a set of public media outcomes, which include that public media content and services reflect the language and experiences of Māori and Pacific peoples, and other under-served audiences.

A potential new public media entity would need to meet the needs of diverse audiences across New Zealand.

How does work on public media relate to private media?

The Government understands that a strong media sector requires both public and private media. That means supporting both public and private media to succeed and make their contribution to the lives of New Zealanders while continuing to fund NZ On Air so that quality local content is available to NZ audiences.

Legislation to create a new public media entity would define how its role relates to that of private media and provide private media with certainty about the role of the new entity. A potential new public media entity would operate in a way that complements private media to build a strong New Zealand media environment.

What support has the Government given the media sector?

Alongside work on a potential new public media entity, the Government has provided a range of support for the media including:

  • $50 million support package to help media entities manage the immediate impacts of COVID
  • $55 million public interest journalism fund to provide transitional support to the media sector (over three years)
  • $25 million over four years, from Budget 2020, to NZ On Air to increase the operational funding it provides to the likes of community access radio, Pasifika radio, student radio and disability media.
  • policy work to support a more sustainable media sector in the long-term.

Updated on 9th September 2021