Koi Tū has made a submission on the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill.
It was developed with support from our affiliate members and other experts including industry, academic and legal professionals, who joined us over two hui to discuss the bill.
The hui attendees were addressed by the chief executives of Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand, and by the chair of the Establishment Board.
Koi Tū’s focus is on the long-term social future of Aotearoa New Zealand. Issues of social cohesion, democracy and human capital are central to the work of Koi Tū. The proposed entity will have significant impacts on these issues which is why we have made a considerable effort on developing a detailed submission.
Key submission points
Effectively, the Bill is mainly an instrument to give legal effect to the merging of RNZ and TVNZ. We submit that this is not enough. The Bill must provide the framework for a new public media entity conceived for the digital age – embracing the rapidly advancing technological opportunities it will bring – and founded on principles and objectives that contribute to the positive development of this country as a diverse, but cohesive, participatory democracy. It is not yet fit for that purpose.
It is timely for the public broadcasting sector to be reviewed, given the pace of change in the information environment. However, as presently drafted, the Bill lacks essential ingredients through which democracy and civic trust in media and society will be sustained and assured. At a practical level, the shape and limits of the entity’s operations have been left outside its scope. We are concerned that this Bill, which will be a cornerstone of the sector for some decades, is so incomplete and raises so many issues that it would be unsafe to enact it in its present form.