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Public media in New Zealand to get big funding boost

New Zealand’s new public media entity that will be created by the merger of TVNZ and RNZ will receive NZ$327 million (US$209 million) in public funding during its first three years of operation, between 2023 and 2026.

Announcing the figure, Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi said the “substantially increased” funding would ensure New Zealanders could “continue to access quality local content and trusted news”, the New Zealand Herald reports.

RNZ currently receives funding of just over NZ$35 million a year from the government to support its operations, while TVNZ operates on a commercial basis and is self-funding.

“The new entity will be multi-platform and designed to reach new and existing audiences,” Mr Faafoi said. “Built on the best of TVNZ and RNZ, it will better meet the challenges of technology changes and global competition.”

This includes providing local news, entertainment and documentaries across a number of platforms and partnering with other New Zealand media.

Mr Faafoi reiterated that the new entity would be “not for profit” but would continue to generate commercial revenues, which have come in the past primarily from TV advertising, to supplement its taxpayer funding.