New Zealand’s Minister for Broadcasting and Media, Kris Faafoi, has announced the appointment of a Governance Group of eight experts to lead the next phase of work on a potential new public media entity for the country.
“The Governance Group will oversee the development of a business case to consider the viability of a new public media entity. The business case will look at how a potential new public media entity could meet the changing expectations of New Zealand audiences and support a strong, vibrant media sector,” Kris Faafoi said. “Public media makes an essential contribution to the overall media mix. Government is committed to ensuring public media is fit for the future and able to thrive and adapt amid the changing media landscape.
“Members of the Governance Group bring a wide range of expertise to their roles. They were chosen for their expertise in public broadcasting, private media, the Māori media sector, government policy, public engagement, change management and business case processes,” Kris Faafoi said.
The Governance Group members are: former New Zealand First Broadcasting Spokesperson and Minister for Children, Tracey Martin (Chair); Chief Executive of Te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho (The Broadcasting Standards Authority), Glen Scanlon; former Chief Executive of MediaWorks NZ Ltd and Austereo Group Ltd, Michael Anderson; Director of film and media production company, Kingston Productions, Sandra Kailahi; independent producer Bailey Mackey; digital broadcasting consultant William Earl; outgoing Chair of Kordia Group, John Quirk; and Associate Professor in Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, Dr Trisha Dunleavy.
The members will be appointed until Cabinet has considered the outcome of the Business Case. The Governance Group will also lead work to gather input on a Charter for the potential new public media entity.
“They will seek feedback on what should be included in a Charter for the new entity so that it meets the needs and expectations of New Zealanders in the 21st century and beyond,” Kris Faafoi said.
“A new public media entity would operate with a mixed funding model, drawing part of its revenue from commercial sources, and part from Government funding. It would provide content across a variety of platforms and have full editorial and operational independence from Government, enshrined in legislation. A new public media entity would operate in a way that complements and collaborates with private media.
“RNZ and TVNZ are high performing entities that have served New Zealanders well. They provide a strong basis on which to build for the future.
“Alongside work to assess the option of creating a new public media entity, Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson, is leading work to enhance support for the Māori media sector.
“This is a unique opportunity and the right time to make decisions about the whole public media system,” Kris Faafoi said.
The business case for Strong Public Media is expected to be completed around the middle of the year.
Cabinet will be provided with advice on the option to create a new public media entity before the end of the year.
Radio New Zealand Chairman, Dr. Jim Mather, welcomed the appointment of the Governance Group saying RNZ is strongly supporting the development of a policy and business case that will be critical to ensuring the proposed entity has a public media focus, mandate and purpose enshrined in a Charter.
“We believe, as a board and an executive team, that this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a stronger public media system that will benefit all New Zealanders and ensure we stay connected, informed, and part of a cohesive democracy,” he said. “The new entity needs to have a mandate to collaborate, not compete, with other media entities, and great care will need to be taken to ensure a sustainable and adaptable underlying financial model is established.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Mather said RNZ remained committed to ensuring that it reflects what a progressive, contemporary public media organisation should look like in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2021 and into the future.
“Our focus at RNZ is on ensuring that we continue to perform strongly so that our people, services, and public media ethos make a significant contribution to the proposed new entity.”