Public media advisory group established

  • Hon Clare Curran
Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media

Cabinet has confirmed the establishment of a four-member ministerial advisory group to investigate the establishment of a Public Media Funding Commission.

Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran says “in all democracies the media has a critical role in holding public and private institutions to account and in reporting on the government of the day.

“I believe a well-resourced public media is necessary to tell our stories and inform our democracy and I want to be sure we have the right framework for a resilient and sustainable New Zealand broadcasting system. 

“A Public Media Funding Commission will be a non-political voice advising Parliament on the state of the media and the resourcing needs of public media agencies. The members of the advisory group - Michael Stiassny, Sandi Beatie, Josh Easby and Irene Gardiner - bring together vast governance, public sector and broadcasting experience.

“They’ll report back to me with advice on the potential establishment of the Public Media Funding Commission - its functions, role and scope. I will take these to Cabinet.

“Aucklander Michael Stiassny is a highly experienced director and accountant and will be the group’s chair.

“Sandi Beatie from Kapiti was Deputy State Services Commissioner from 2013 to 2015 and has an in-depth understanding of Crown-connected organisations.

“From 2010 to 2016 Josh Easby of Cambridge was a director and then deputy chair of Radio New Zealand. He is currently the managing director of digital book publisher Hurricane Press Ltd.

“Aucklander Irene Gardiner is an experienced television producer, director and consultant and is currently a freelance television consultant.

“The Advisory Group was initially planned to have 5 members but one candidate has since withdrawn.  I am confident the remaining 4 members have the skills and capacity to provide the required advice.

“The Advisory Group will hold its first meeting and meet with me this week,” Ms Curran says.

Members’ appointments are until 30 June 2019.

The Cabinet paper ‘Ministerial Advisory Group: Allocation of funding and role of a Public Media Funding Commission’ and Terms of Reference are being proactively released and are attached.