© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

The good and the bad. Some New Zealand media outlets are happy with the media support package, others are not

Tia McDougall
tv reporter
Reporter  MetroNews

Minister of Broadcasting Kris Faafoi announced an immediate $50 million dollar support package to free up cash for commercially funded media organisations.

Representatives from numerous New Zealand media outlets told the epidemic committee last week that the Government needed to support local media financially as all advertising revenues had dried up.

The package announced today includes:

  • $20.5m to completely cut TV and Radio transmission fees for six months

  • $16.5m to reduce media organisations' contribution fees to NZ On Air for the next financial year

  • $1.3 million to purchase central Government news media subscriptions
  • $11.1 million for targeted assistance to companies, specifically local media. 
  • $600,000 to completely cut RNZ AM transmission fees for six months

  • A commitment to further develop the Local Democracy Reporting pilot.

NZME CEO Michael Boggs welcomes the Government's announcement.

 "The revenue challenges we currently face have been well documented - we're looking forward to working with the Government on the package announced today, as well as longer term initiatives to ensure the New Zealand media industry is healthy and vibrant."

However, Stuff Chief Executive Sinead Boucher doesn't feel the package adequately supports all media.

“It seems print and online businesses, which employ the majority of journalists in the country, will not get the same level of benefit as the broadcasters.”

Only $11 million dollars of the $50 million is available for non-broadcast media.

“Throughout Covid-19 Stuff.co.nz’s audience has at times reached 2.4 million New Zealanders. While our audience is at record numbers, we have been seriously impacted by the fall in advertising and being unable to publish our community titles and magazines,” says Boucher. 

Faafoi said the package wasn't the last, and the second support package was being developed ahead of budget discussions in May.