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Government Public Media plans a lame duck

Labour has failed to deliver on yet another election promise, with Labour’s much-heralded RNZ+ and its $38 million a year public broadcasting policy now dead in the water, National’s Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media spokesperson Melissa Lee says.

“As well as total money for public broadcasting services dropping by $2 million this year, Associate Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Grant Robertson told a Select Committee today the Government will not proceed with a Public Media Funding Commission and that the secretive Public Media Ministerial Advisory Group will cease to exist at the end of this month.

“It’s sad to see confirmation that this Government chose to raise the hopes of Kiwi broadcasters and public media organisations but won’t deliver.

“We still have no idea what the Government’s plans are for the future of New Zealand’s public media needs, even after more than $1.5 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent towards the Commission and Advisory Group, both of which will soon be a distant memory.

“While the Local Democracy Reporter pilot announced last week is a positive step towards good practice public media funding, it was a last minute spend up of the NZ On Air-RNZ Joint Innovation Fund announced last year.

“There is no certainty it will last beyond 2020, especially as failure to deliver is the recurring theme of this Government. KiwiBuild has only just cracked 100 houses, fees-free has been a flop and there’s been a measly 1 per cent increase in funding for medicines.

“More questions remain about the ongoing serious issues public media is facing for the future, National looks forward to continuing to scrutinise the little action this Government takes.”



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