Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour.
“CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and proud’ history of Māori and Pacific programming. Sadly that will no longer be the case,” Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says.
“TVNZ’s washing its hands of Pacific and Māori programming shows the National Government has given it a clear mandate – make money and forget about serving Kiwi audiences programmes that reflect our own cultures.
“This move and the moves at Māori Television in the last week confirm National has had these plans in the wings for some time and was only waiting for an election result to execute them.
“I wouldn’t imagine Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples being okay with what is going on. So what do Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox think of these changes?
“And does Pacific Island Affairs Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga think it is okay for the long-serving flagship Pacific current affairs programme Tagata Pasifika to be outsourced?
“TVNZ is meant to be a public broadcaster. It’s clear it just wants to be a content aggregator now. What next? Will it outsource its news and current affairs content?
“Other questions also need to be answered. Such as, was this planned for some time given the refurbishment of TVNZ’s head office and is this the beginning of the process of readying TVNZ for sale?
“New Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams should just come clean and admit that National doesn’t care about public broadcasting.
“New Zealanders want to see programmes that reflect their own cultures and lives. But to do that we need a strong public broadcasting culture. National killed another piece of that today.”