AUT research center for Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD)

The official release of this report and debate around it will be live streamed on The Daily Blog 5pm today 

For the first time in seven years, a major shift in NZ media ownership

There has been a major shift in New Zealand media ownership, reveals the JMAD 2017 New

Zealand media ownership report. For the first time in seven years, privately and independently

owned media companies outnumbered the combined number of shareholder owned and Crown

owned media outlets.


In 2017, there were seven privately owned media companies of which five were locally owned.

The privately owned media outlets include BusinessDesk, NBR, The Spinoff, Newsroom, Allied

Press, MediaWorks and Bauer Media. Additionally, Scoop is owned by a local charitable trust.

“We have now more independently and locally owned media companies in New Zealand, and

this can be positive for the whole media sector. However, it is difficult to predict how sustainable

the new digital ventures will be in the longer term”, said the report’s author Dr Merja Myllylahti.

“It would be foolish to think that the underlying market structures have substantially changed.

Print, online, radio and television news markets are still controlled by corporate owned players

such as NZME. This hasn’t changed.”


The report raises concerns about the viability of New Zealand commercial television

broadcasting sector. In 2017, the revenue and profit for TVNZ, MediaWorks and Sky TV

declined. In Australia, the commercial broadcasting sector has encountered serious financial

difficulties. Earlier this year Ten Network was placed into voluntary administration and was later

purchased by American media conglomerate CBS.


JMAD is AUT research center for Journalism, Media and Democracy, and it has produced an

annual report of New Zealand media ownership patterns since 2011.