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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

New NZ Public Media Entity Bill Introduced

The Bill to create a new public media entity, Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media, has had its first reading in the NZ Parliament.

“The Bill brings in the changes needed to make sure that our public media will keep delivering for future generations,” said Minister for Broadcasting and Media, Willie Jackson

“With increasing levels of misinformation around the world, a rapidly changing media landscape, and increasing global competition, New Zealand needs strong, independent, public media more than ever – it is critical to the functioning of a healthy democracy.”

The Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill sets out the parameters to create the new entity and contains the Charter under which the entity will operate.

The principles-based Charter provides the framework for what the entity will be expected to achieve, what it will need to deliver, and the way it will be expected to work. The entity will be accountable each year for reporting on how it is fulfilling its Charter obligations.

The Bill:

  • Makes clear ANZPM’s editorial independence and its role as a trusted source of news and information.
  • Recognises the Crown’s responsibility to give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • The Charter also sets out objectives around reflecting Māori stories and perspectives.
    Provides for the entity’s mixed funding model, of both Crown and commercial revenue, to make the entity more sustainable, and
  • Confirms its role as a public media entity and to collaborate, where appropriate, with other New Zealand media – for example, sharing infrastructure with other public media in order to reach audiences and developing talent across the sector.

The Bill also provides transitional arrangements that will see RNZ and TVNZ’s staff, assets, and contracts transfer to the new entity when it is formed next year.

Willie Jackson said this approach provided certainty for both staff and audiences during the period of transition. It is planned for the new entity to be established on March 1, 2023 – this is the commencement date in the Bill – and to begin operating with its new funding and mandate in July 2023.

The Bill will be considered by the Economic Development, Science and Innovation select committee, with a six-month public consultation period.

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