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Public media to face business case

The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has announced that work is to begin on a business case to assess the viability of forming a new public media entity.

Minister Kris Faafoi said it was important that public media assets were fit for the future and able to thrive amid a changing media landscape.

“It’s well known that New Zealand’s media sector, both public and private, is facing unprecedented challenges with competition from the likes of Google and Facebook, declining revenue shares, and changes in when and how audiences access their information and entertainment,” Mr Faafoi said.

“That presents risks for the future viability of New Zealand’s public broadcasting operators, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) and Television New Zealand (TVNZ), and the Government needs to address those risks,” he said.

“Cabinet has now given approval to complete a business case to examine the viability of establishing a new public media entity as an independent multiple-platform, multi-media operation.”

He said final decisions about the future of RNZ and TVNZ would be made once the business case was completed.

“It is about establishing the best way of providing New Zealanders with a range of trusted news, information, and entertainment that reflects New Zealand – its diversity, history, and aspirations,” Mr Faafoi said.

“At the same time we need to ensure any new public entity has the flexibility and the strength to meet future change and challenges.”

He said that NZ On Air would continue to have an important role in funding local content for both commercial and non-commercial media outlets.

The business case is expected to be completed mid-2020.