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Job losses are a direct result of government funding freeze

Radio New Zealand job losses are a direct result of the government funding freeze

The Coalition for Better Broadcasting calls on the Minister of Broadcasting, Amy Adams to improve Radio New Zealand funding as a matter of urgency. Radio New Zealand has announced that 20 staff will lose their jobs over the next six months.

"Radio New Zealand is being slowly shutdown by this government with a harsh funding freeze that promises to bring our last public service broadcaster to its knees," said CBB Chief Executive Myles Thomas.

The government has continually refused to increase funding despite increasing operating costs and the need to adapt to massive changes. As Radio New Zealand Chief Executive Paul Thompson notes, ‘All media are going through upheavals, but RNZ has suffered severely from limitations on its ability to increase revenue’.

It is understood that prior to the last Budget, RNZ made a strong case for improved investment from government to fund online expansion and maintain current services. This request was turned down flat. Similar countries enjoy multiple radio, video and online services, and New Zealanders expect the same from our government. Sadly the Minister of Broadcasting has chosen to deny us any of the benefits of new technologies.

"What does the Minister expect Radio NZ to do if she will not increase its funding?" asked Mr Thomas. "She is forcing them to either decrease services or run advertising."

"Research shows that Radio NZ is hugely respected among the majority of New Zealanders for the independent news, emergency, entertainment and cultural services that only RNZ provides. But the government seems determined to slowly kill off its radio broadcaster through lack of funding.

The latest redundancies at RNZ show that government policy is taking effect.

The CBB calls on the government to urgently improve funding to Radio NZ to cancel these redundancies and avoid further weakening of RNZ's service to the public.


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