Statement From Incoming TVNZ CEO
Statement from incoming CEO
Broadcasting has always been my passion. I am one of those fortunate people who have been able to do what they love doing in the course of my career. So I am looking forward to this new role with TVNZ. I am very grateful to the Board of TVNZ and chairman Dr Ross Armstrong for the opportunity.
I must emphasise from the outset that TVNZ is no longer a company being prepared for sale. It is a company that is gearing for a greater role in informing and reflecting New Zealand to New Zealanders, and offering a richer and more diverse range of programming.
That is why I am here; because of this change. For the first time the role of Chief Executive will be in the hands of someone with practical, on the ground experience as a New Zealand commentator, broadcaster and reporter.
This appointment coincides with a demanding time for TVNZ. It’s also followed a long period of 4-5 years of to-ing and fro-ing about whether to sell TVNZ to the private sector or to try to enhance it as the television organisation owned by the NZ people. That has been immensely unsettling for the people working here. That issue is now settled.
These are tough times for television and media businesses. Television is increasingly global and intensely competitive. For New Zealanders there’s much, much more television available than there was even when I last left TVNZ. There is real pressure on cost structures and declining advertising revenues.
The TVNZ Charter recognises the role public television should play in informing, entertaining and educating. I support the Charter and the opportunity it offers for Television NZ to earn the authority and respect of all New Zealanders - including numbers of New Zealanders who don’t watch TV at all.
New Zealand television is increasingly important to the national psyche in a world of increasing globalisation. We celebrate the brilliant programmes available to us from all around the world. I’m keen to see more of New Zealand on air, but I also want to see better and more diverse programmes of all kinds from all around the world. It’s not just about more, it’s about better. But let’s accept that the emphasis at TVNZ is to entertain, communicate and inform in the New Zealand idiom within the limits available to us.
The goal will be to give impetus to quality New Zealand television and to work in a cohesive fashion with the whole New Zealand industry.
I care hugely about New Zealand and I care about our quality of life.
I see the opportunity for TVNZ to better reflect the changes taking place to the makeup of New Zealand. We need to reach out into every corner of New Zealand - to be open, enquiring and responsive. There is no room for complacency or smugness or blandness.
Public television must earn authority and respect. These days that can’t be taken for granted. It has to inform the public so they are in a position to make their own judgements.
It must report what is significant as well as what is topical with rigour.
TVNZ is not my pulpit and it’s certainly not the Government’s. The viewers come first. So we’re accountable first and foremost to the public - and not simply to the shareholders.
As a television interviewer I’ve always been conscious of the obligation to exercise my editorial responsibilities in a fair and unbiased fashion.
I have strong beliefs and, I’d like to think, strong values. But as a journalist, I’ve tried to make sure I leave them at the studio door. I’ve exercised my editorial responsibilities in a fair and impartial fashion. And I’ve tried to be brave where I’ve felt I had to be. I don’t intend to change the habits of a lifetime.
I know TVNZ people - and I respect them. There are a lot of creative, talented, energetic people inside this organisation, at all levels. I’ve worked with many of them. I know their qualities. There’s a big job to be done and a lot of promises to be kept. I am confident they will throw themselves into the job and feel privileged to be leading them on the new course.
Ian Fraser OBE
Oct 98-Present Chief Executive of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
1989-1998 Presenter/interviewer for TVNZ
- 1993 - Host of Counterpoint
- 1994,95,97 - Host of Fraser
- 1996 - Moderator Meet The Press
- 1993 and 1996 Sole anchor of TV ONE’s Election night telecast
- 1996-98 - Host of Showcase, TV ONE top-rating starquest
- 1998 Presenter of Revolution television documentary series
1990 Executive Producer and Presenter/interviewer of The Living Treasures television series on TVONE.
1989-1992 New Zealand Commissioner General and Executive Director of the New Zealand project at Expo 92, Seville, Spain.
1987-1988 Zealand Commissioner General and Executive Director of the New Zealand project at Expo 88, Brisbane, Australia.
1984-1989 Account Director rising to Chairman, Consultus (NZ) Ltd, Public Relations Company.
1974-1984 1974 Presenter. Interviewer on TVNZ’s Nationwide current affairs programme.
1975-76 Studio interviewer and documentary maker for Seven Days, TVNZ’s flagship weekly current affairs programme.
1977-79 Anchor and studio interviewer of Dateline Monday for TVNZ.
1980-1984 Host of Newsmakers, TVNZ’s first weekly studio interview programme.
1973 Executive Officer for the Performing Arts, Queen Elizabeth 11 Arts Council.
1970-72 1970-71 Documentary and Features Producer for NZBC Radio
1971-72 Presenter/Producer/Interviewer on NZBC Radio’s Checkpoint current affairs programme.