MINISTER SEES BRIGHT FUTURE AHEAD FOR PUBLIC RADIO

  • Jenny Shipley
Radio New Zealand Ltd

"The Coalition Government is committed to public radio in New Zealand," the Minister Responsible for Radio New Zealand, Jenny Shipley, said today.

Speaking at the opening of Radio New Zealand's new premises in Wellington, Mrs Shipley said the broadcaster's capital funding requirements have been met with an additional $3.5 million dollars.

"We now have to settle on the level of on-going operational funding requirements. To that end, a review is underway, to establish what's needed in terms of funding and structure to ensure Radio New Zealand can meet its Charter requirements in an appropriate way. I expect this matter to be completed by the end of the year.

"The review is being conducted by a steering committee chaired by Bryan Kensington, who heads the board of RNZ, and includes board member Denis Dutton and a consultant with experience in the radio industry, Joan Withers, along with two government officials.

"I know staff of Radio New Zealand feel they have been subject to years of endless reviews and restructuring. I expect this review to be the final step in settling Radio New Zealand's structure and funding requirements for the years ahead.

"This will give Radio New Zealand a solid foundation on which to build a public radio service that meets New Zealanders' expectations in the innovative, professional and expert way that is required by the Charter.

"RNZ is owned by New Zealanders, and on behalf of those New Zealanders I want to thank the staff who have continued to provide interesting, relevant and entertaining radio through the separation from the commercial stations and the shift to new premises. It hasn't been easy, but your efforts are appreciated by the listeners and the Government.

"With the Coalition Government's on-going commitment to public radio, I am confident broadcasters and listeners can look forward to a positive future," Mrs Shipley concluded.