New Innovation Fund part of public media funding allocation

  • Hon Clare Curran
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media

Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran has revealed a new $6 million Innovation Fund to drive more public media content for under-served audiences such as Maori and Pacific Peoples, children and regional New Zealand.

A total of $15 million in funding, announced in Budget 2018, will be split between the Innovation Fund, Radio New Zealand and New Zealand on Air.

“The new Innovation Fund will see RNZ commissioning content in a joint venture with NZ On Air. The multi-media content developed with this funding will air on RNZ platforms and be commissioned from the independent production sector using NZ On Air’s existing funding processes,” says Clare Curran.

“This exciting concept signals a new type of sector-wide collaboration. Quality New Zealand programming and journalism are crucial to our national identity and need this type of innovative, ongoing and sustainable resourcing.

“RNZ will receive $4.5 million to extend its services to reach more people in different ways. It takes RNZ several steps closer toward the fully digital multi-platform public media organisation - RNZ+.

“$4 million is ear-marked for NZ On Air to support the production of more diverse local content.

“Public media in New Zealand is poorly funded. Compared with other countries of a similar size, and with Australia, the $216 million being spent on all broadcasting purposes in 2017/18 is clearly inadequate.

“Denmark invests $935 million in public broadcasters, and Australia nearly $1.5 billion. This increase for New Zealand public media is just the beginning. With it we’re on our way to a fully comprehensive pubic media which tells our stories, in our own voice.

“Over time, I want to develop the public media system into a full, modern, multi-platform service for the entire population, comparable to top public broadcasting services in other OECD countries.

“In all democracies, the media has a critical role in holding public and private institutions to account. I want a public media system here that can continue to do that and also supports innovation, utilises new technology and uses public resources to maximum effect.

“Though final decisions on programming rest with RNZ and NZ On Air, I expect this funding will result in additional content, along with news and current affairs, for under-served audiences.

“$500,000 will be used to research how Crown-funded media agencies can use their assets more efficiently, and to work out the level of funding required for an effective public media well into the future.

“I want to thank the Ministerial Advisory Group for its first report  - on how best to allocate the funding for public media set aside in the Budget.

“I’m now considering the Advisory Group’s second report on the establishment of a Public Media Funding Commission.  This report will also be publicly available once final decisions are made,” Clare Curran says.