NZ On Air’s role as a funder of quality and diverse NZ public media content will be enhanced by new opportunities arising from a funding boost in 2018/19 announced today by the Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media.
NZ On Air’s contestable fund will receive a one-off $4m boost, while RNZ receives $4.5m, and the two organisations will jointly manage a $6m fund for innovation.
“Well-resourced public media is vital to national identity and informed democracy. We are heartened by this first step towards greater investment, encouraging further innovation and greater diversity of quality public media for all New Zealanders,” said NZ On Air Chair Dr Ruth Harley.
The $4m for NZ On Air to invest will be contestable funding targeted towards particular audiences, for example children.
“We recognised the need for more content for children and developed the ad-free platform HEIHEI with TVNZ and are keen to explore further ideas for our youngest media consumers. We’ll also look at other options such as on-line drama as we seek the most effective impact from the funding,” she continued.
NZ On Air’s Board will meet in a week and discuss options.
“Undoubtedly the winners from this announcement are audiences, who will enjoy more quality public media, and the independent production sector who will have access to more funding this year,” said Dr Harley.
NZ On Air looks forward to working with the Minister and RNZ on the next steps in this plan to increase public media funding.