Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Free-to-air digital TV to begin roll-out

15 June 2006 Media Statement

Free-to-air digital TV to begin roll-out next year

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey announces the roll out of free-to-air digital television in the Beehive Theatrette – Scoop Image


Government decisions announced today pave the way for free-to-air digital television to begin transmission during 2007, says Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey.

Plans for the new service have been developed by Freeview, a consortium of New Zealand's free to air broadcasters, including Television New Zealand, CanWest, Maori TV, Trackside and Radio New Zealand.

New Zealanders will be able to access FreeView digital TV through a set-top box, with programmes broadcast through a combination of terrestrial (land-based) and satellite services (requiring a satellite dish). Terrestrial will provide around 75 percent of coverage once the first phase of the service is fully rolled out. Set-top boxes are expected to retail at $200 initially.
Satellite is expected to begin early next year, with progressive rollout of terrestrial services to follow, and eventual switch-off of analogue anticipated in 6-10 years.

Steve Maharey says the move to digital television is essential to securing the future viability of free-to-air broadcasting in New Zealand. "The Labour-led government wants to ensure all New Zealanders are able to enjoy the benefits of digital television, and that public broadcasting remains a strong part of the free-to-air mix.

"Now that we have established a way forward, the government is keen to see the industry roll out digital as rapidly as possible.

"Digital TV will mean better pictures and sound, more content to choose from, crystal clear reception, and the scarcely tapped potential of interactive TV. Programmes available on analogue will be broadcast on digital, along with the progressive introduction of new content and services as broadcasters develop them.

"Switching to digital will also benefit our economy and ensure New Zealand is not left behind in the worldwide shift to this technology."

Steve Maharey said the findings of an independent study reinforced the need to move ahead now with the shift to digital. "As well as highlighting the considerable benefits to New Zealand, including a net financial benefit of around $230 million, the study reinforces the risks of delaying the switch to digital. The issue now is not whether to go digital, but whether we are getting there soon enough.

Steve Maharey said the government is prepared to provide up to $25 million over five years to assist with establishment of Freeview, with the bulk of costs to be met by broadcasters.

Broadcasters will also have free access to digital frequencies during the transition to digital, estimated to be worth up to $10 million. Freeview will operate on a non-profit basis during this period, with open access for new services.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment And Conservation: Changes To Our Oceans Pose Serious Concerns

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment. More>>


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news