MEDIAWATCH: Poll shows NZers want TVNZ/RNZ Merger


Despite the Rights best attempts to paint the TVNZ/RNZ Merger out as the worst thing ever in Western Civilisation, people DO WANT a public broadcaster that doesn’t indulge in Fuck Boy Island

In case you missed this in the last few days before Christmas, I just wanted to draw your attention to research commissioned by Better Public Media Trust that shows more New Zealanders support the RNZ/TVNZ merger than oppose it.

The Research NZ poll taken 15 to 19 December 2022 found that of those with an opinion, 60% support the merger and 40% oppose it.

Including the ‘don’t knows’ the results were:

    • 44% support
    • 29% don’t support
    • 26% don’t know

The question was – The government is planning to merge TVNZ and RNZ into a new state-owned public media service, with an extra $109 million per year, which equals to $22 per person per year. If this organisation provided new content for niche, minority and regional audiences while keeping the current TV, radio and online services as well, would you support it?

“This result shows considerable support for the ANZPM policy, considering the high levels of negative reporting and opinion pieces against it,” said Myles Thomas, Chair of the Better Public Media Trust.

“With a little more information about the merger, including the cost and the purpose for it, New Zealanders are more supportive of this policy.

“This shows the government can have confidence in its ANZPM policy. When New Zealanders know more about the ANZPM, they support it, and that is likely to grow further once the ANZPM is established in July.”

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The research was completed between 15 and 19 December 2022 by Research NZ with a nationally representative sample of 1000, weighted to represent the adult population. The maximum margin of error is +/- 3.2% (at the 95% confidence level).

The new poll differs from a Taxpayers Union poll on the same subject which found 54% opposed and 22% supported the merger, with 24% unsure. That poll was taken in early November.

Another reason for the difference could be the difference in questions asked. Our question adds some context for respondents who may not know what the government’s ANZPM plan is. The other poll’s question expected respondents to know about what they were being asked if they support.

Research NZ analysed the results by demographic and found significant differences by age and gender:

    • Male respondents were more in support of the proposal than female respondents (49% and 40% respectively).
    • Younger respondents were also more likely to support the proposal than older respondents. For example, 65% of respondents aged 18-24 were in support compared with 42% of those aged 55-64.
    • There were no significant differences by geographic location.

…the TVNZ/RNZ Merger is however something Labour need to see through.

Our public broadcasting infrastructure desperately needs upgrading, the feral protest on the lawns of Parliament this year showed us what happens when conspiracy theories over run rationality.

We need to take RNZs journalism and inject it into a platform as huge as TVNZ and we need it now!

Look at how the crime debate has been twisted by crime porn clickbait media? It was John Campbell’s journalism that provided actual insight, we need more of his journalism and less of the ratings driven garbage.

ANZPM is an antidote to that.

It is important for the right wing corporate media to destroy the RNZ/TVNZ merger because they see it as direct competition to their own interests.

Despite new legislation that will force Google and Facebook to provide new revenue streams for the private media and despite the money going from NZ on Air to ANZPM to commission content from the private media (as opposed to building internal capacity to produce all content themselves), the right wing corporate media still see the new ANZPM as a direct competitor threatening their interests.

That’s why the criticism towards the merger is relentless form the private media.

I actually laughed out loud when Damien Venuto was ‘exploring’ the ‘range’ of media responses to the RNZ/TVNZ merger…

TVNZ-RNZ merger: Simon Power’s message to Government, advertisers as uncertainty hangs over state broadcaster

TVNZ boss Simon Power is a man in limbo, existing between the world that was and the foggy landscape ahead.

In his first – and ostensibly last – showcase address today for the organisation that will soon be formerly known as TVNZ, Power addressed that uncertainty that everyone has been speculating about for months.

The showcase event has always been seen as TVNZ’s opportunity to hype up the advertising community with a steady announcement of new shows – and there was some of that.

But there was no escaping the uncertainty that hangs heavy over everything TVNZ plans to do.

What will the advertising mix even look like when TVNZ and RNZ are merged into a single media beast? How much room will there be for the advertisers that have long propped up public broadcasting in this country? And how much of this will come to fruition given the legislation hasn’t even been finalised yet?

From the outset, Power made it clear that he had two audiences in the room: advertisers and the Government.

…to ‘prove’ how universal that criticism against the merger is, Damien gives us the full expanse of his vision…

Warnings of unintended consequences with the media changes aren’t limited to TVNZ boss Simon Power.

Stuff CEO Sinead Boucher has warned MPs that the combined entity could have too much bargaining power when it came to securing staff.

“In some cases, the salary offers have been 30 per cent above what we have been paying and what we are paying is very much the market rate – not low paying, so we are already starting to feel the effects of it and the entity is not even formed,” she said.

NZME managing editor Shayne Currie has argued that the merger could have “distortionary effects” on commercial players in the market and that the Government needs to assess the impact these might have.

MediaWorks CEO Cam Wallace also weighed in, saying the dual-funding model would give the entity the best of both worlds and potentially create circumstances allowing what would be the country’s biggest media provider to offer “predatory pricing” for advertising.

And Spinoff founder Duncan Greive worries that ANZPM could have too much power when it comes to commissioning new shows.

These criticisms span the political spectrum and come from those who have first-hand experience in what it takes to run a media organisation in New Zealand.

…wait, WHAT?

The political spectrum of what? Stuff, NZME, Mediaworks and The Spinoff? 4 media organisations who all take money from NZ on Air and who all have vested interests in the outcome?

How is that the full political spectrum? That’s the full spectrum of people who get money from NZ on Air!

TVNZ is a crass ratings chaser who puts on Fuck Boy Island, we need a RNZ merger to  take over public broadcasting editorially and start using our immense media infrastructure to actually lift its game and become a trusted news source again.

We have seen what happens when people fall down rabbit holes over Covid, the RNZ/TVNZ merger is a solution to disinformation and the fact Google and Facebook are destroying their advertising model.

All the private media who will lose NZ on Air funding don’t want that for very obvious reasons.

NZers need a trusted source of information and we need to demand more than clickbait entertainment from TVNZ.

ANZPM can be a real cultural treasure to New Zealand, the self interested corporate media and Political Right don’t want a merger that can successfully challenge their mythology.



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    • Which is why I’ve always maintained it should be more of a takeover by RNZ than a merger.
      I’m all for a merger, but it still doesn’t fix the problem of NZ having one of the most over-managed, over complicated public broadcasting systems in the world.
      We’ve gone from one extreme (during the days of the NZBC) to the other where assets belonging to the commons have been stolen (e.g. broadcasting house Wellington) or commercialised.
      Merger fine – it’s probably the best we can hope for as a first step

  1. RNZ’s awful. It’s a twinkle spouting verbal diarrhoea. It used to be pretty good but then the neoliberals mated with public media and a creature crawled out in the form of Kath ryan. Merging rnz with tvnz’s like breeding vampires with blood donors. A short lived romance where no good came of it. rnz coupled with tvnz is going to create a thing that can neither be watched nor listened to. I can just see high sugar diet teenagers uncapping their sharpies to grip then scribble brain-fart puff pieces about the latest news re Beyoncé’s preferred bra straps. S’gonna be cool aye? Sweet-as even.

  2. Given such a strong right wing media bias in this country will this merger offer balance or would it be, as it should be, neutral .
    As it is Newstalk ZB and TV 3 are right wing corrupt and we need balance.

    • Haaa!
      Right wing media bias haaaa

      Idiot, let me ask you one question..a simple yes or no answer:

      If National offered 110million to MSM/print media, as a fund they could access, and held zoom/WebEx meetings with newspaper editors every Monday morning….would you be screaming blue murder and say National/PM is buying the media and it’s a corrupt practice?


      • The NZ media is socially liberal and economically right wing.

        Sure they’ll scream about identity politics issues like gender, sexuality and race till the cows come home

        But when economic policies are being reported on 9/10 they report them from a right wing perspective and not the paternalistic kind of right winger of like a Muldoon or a Winston, no a full on Ayn Rand free market lambs to the slaughter individualistic gods and clods Ruth Richardson right wing.

        Any economic policy that might actually help people gets crucified while policies that help individuals based on their identity are praised from the rooftops.

        And no media merger is going to change that because the mindset of bureaucrats and the upper middle class types who run these kinds of organizations is: bugger the people.

        All you’ll get is more “diversity” of neoliberal robots. You’ll see more brown gay and trans neoliberal robots championing social policy and bashing economic policy and shilling for authoritarian govts like china.

    • lol at the Stockholm Syndrome responses to this. The MSM are bought because they told me they were. WTF is MSM anyway? Is it where the junk dealer lives?

  3. There must be a lot of people who don’t watch or listen to the local broadcasters at all any more.

    I recall the A.B.C. reporting that, prior to Warner Bros. announcing their offer for the old TV-Works stations, that the country was at serious risk of having no commercial news bulletins on T.V. whatsoever.

    Imagine a parallel universe where the country had demanded to remain a British dependency, and the B.B.C. has set up shop instead of the (now splintered) N.Z.B.C.

    The entire network would still be commercial free, and the licence fee would still pay for it.

    Every province would still have its own local B.B.C. radio station, as well as the national stations.

    B.B.C. Radio One would be the dominant F.M. Top 40 station, and the dominant station for sports would be B.B.C. Five Live.

    Large amounts of televised sports would be on B.B.C. One. Presumably there would be a local version of B.B.C. News 24.

    After all, every one of those things is still the case in the U.K. right now. The A.B.C. still provides virtually all those things, even without the licence fee (or commercials).

    No wonder they are afraid of a unified N.Z.B.C. coming back to life. People might actually demand the same service.

  4. Doesn’t matter if the ‘voting public’ want it or not, it’s the 200-250million price tag that will push it into the back burner till after election.
    3(5?) Waters with 30% support and let’s roll on with it!
    RNZ/TVNZ merger 60% support let’s drop it.

    Don’t you love politicians lol

    If Labour truly believe ‘if we don’t talk about it, they’ll forget about it till after election’….then they are really as fucked as everyone feels they are.

    • You mean like 1.2 million voting against a state asset sale (in a referendum on that very topic, not part of some overall manifesto) and doing it anyway?

      • Ohhhh wheel, the election was the referendum!
        FFS keep up….Labour (Goff) was the one who said this is the biggest referendum on state assett sales, he was talking about the general election and told anyone who would listen that it was a pseudo referendum against who wants it and who doesnt….which National dually won and did what it campaigned on and had a partial sale!
        To the winner the spoils.

        • I’m Right, just like anything Labour decides to do right?
          Even things they decide to do after the election they are mandated to do.
          To the winners the spoils.

          • Wait a min Horse Mike…National campaigned on partial asset sale, they won the election they partially sold assets, correct?

            Labour NEVER campaigned on 3 waters or co-governance!
            But it’s a moot point, and glad they did as it’s been the final nail in their coffin, Labour at 26-28% polling coming soon to a poll near you lol, NZ voters just do not trust Labour/Arden anymore, the maori caucus has fucked Labour for next 2-3 terms.

            • Doesn’t matter. They were elected so are mandated to do what they like. What’s the point of a.referendum if you don’t abide by the result. In fact it becomes wasteful spending. I’ m sure if Labour had wasteful spending you’d be the first to complain.
              Your nostradamus polling is like your opinion, crap. Despite your hard right outlook, Ardern is still the preferred P.M. and National and ACT will complete their demolition of NZ.

              • Haaa you talk of ‘Wasteful spending’….under Labour:
                50 million paid out to consultants and engineers on a bike lane on Akl bridge…result, plan dropped!
                ‘We will start work on the Akl light rail by 2021’….result, the route has not even been decided and nothing has happened…a hundred+ million spent so far and not even a sod of earth has been turned!
                Don’t start with ‘wasteful soending’ when talking about this Labour Govt Horse Mike, you will lose every argument as there are dozens of examples!
                New Polytech anyone?

                • New Flag Anyone?

                  You will lose the wasteful spending every single time. Roads of National significance that were so underbudgeted. Like your argument National I’m never right opposition( for a reason) you’re a loser.

                  • New Flag….26mil
                    Cycle way across bridge…50mil in fees and nothing, at least the 26mil had an actual result!
                    Akl tram system….100+ mil in fees and nothing!
                    Polytech merger 200mil in the red, forecast to be 300mil soon and NO Polytech….nothing yet, CEOs resigning even before it’s bloody up and running…

                    You go Horse Mike, you tell em how it is with wasteful spending by National lol

                    • National, 600mill in creating Crown Infrastructure Partners.
                      54 million Predator free NZ
                      10.5bill roads of National significance ( massively over budget)
                      171.6 mill on social housing that went where?

                      You go now I’m always wrong, you tell em how it is wasteful spending by Labour lol.

                  • You can’t win the ‘wasteful spending’ argument Horse Mike….give up, you will lose each time!
                    Stuff report today;
                    A controversial crossing and speed limit lowering has cost $2.4 million, with more than $500,000 going to consultants, in a bid to improve safety near Wellington’s airport and the ASB Sports Centre.

                    • Even when I show you Nationals waste, which is far beyond Labours! I can’t debate dumb of which you win handsomely.

    • Problem with 3 waters is the word co-governance.
      New Zealanders are very protective of what they stole and new New Zealanders don’t understand the treaty and want to get rid of it.

      • Treaty settlements are part of recompensating for the land we stole.

        We arent’ talking about land as such, but water, something every human being needs.
        If you are going to divide us on race, then Pakeha developed the infrastructure.
        I doubt there is one single Maori in NZ now who doesn’t have Pakeha ancestry.

        Maori stole land off each other, no calls for compensation there

  5. I’m skeptical of a poll where a majority of people are in favour or merging a shit TV organisation (Fuckboy Island) and shit radio station so that it can offer minority appeal content. It’s right up there with a poll where 60% of turkeys want an early Christmas.

  6. We just need Labour to continue with what they are doing….It’s important they do not backtrack on any of their policies….They are doing great….The merger will be fine….What could go wrong..??

  7. The NZ wants … so what? It won’t make a blind bit of difference unless (a) it’s funded properly, and (b) there is strict enforcement of political neutrality and balance. How likely is (b) from a government that gave us the so-called “Disinformation Project”, forced maatauranga into the school science curriculum, and appointed Joanna Kidman to head a centre to combat “violent extremism”? Not that the Nats would do it any better – I have no illusions about them either.

    And as another commentator has asked above, why is this such a high priority for the government? Why is this more important than funding legal aid properly, or funding universities properly (i.e. ditching the neolliberal user-pays model)?

    • 100% agree yet again Pope.

      It is heartening to see others on this blog who are aware of the issues.

      I posted yesterday on this blog about the Curia poll that showed that less people are in favour of the merger.

  8. 60% support the merger and 40% oppose it.

    Including the ‘don’t knows’ the results were:

    44% support
    29% don’t support
    26% don’t know

    Either these numbers do not compute,
    Or I’m a wee bit more stupid than I think I am…

    • The post says: “of those with an opinion, 60% support the merger and 40% oppose it.”

      So, the don’t knows are excluded, leaving the 60% being a recalculation of the numbers of those who support compared with those who don’t support the merger.

      • Imagine if those with no opinion were 2000 people, but those with an opinion were 20 people and say 15 supported it. Headline: 75% SUPPORT TVNZ MERGER – CLEAR MANDATE TO GO AHEAD!!!!!!!

        • The percentages say otherwise. There’s a slightly lower percentage of don’t knows than for don’t supporters. So if the don’t knows were 2,000 people, the don’t support it would be a bit over 2000. And the people who do support it would be well over 2,000 people (probably between about 3,000 and 4,000 people.

  9. We want a public broadcasting system. A TV channel with no ads, or interruptions during a programme. Also we don’t want it called by another set of letters. What is the matter with National Radio, and National TV.
    Why Advertisers want space on TV, I cannot understand. Who watches them? We certainly don’t.

    Another comment. Please please can someone influence the amount of background music. I need a TV where I can turn the music off. I find it irritating and I cannot hear the story or the speakers. Can programme makers manage to think what is important – a conversation or music.

  10. RNZ won’t raise standards of journalism in TVNZ. In the longer term the reverse will happen as history suggests standards will always be dragged down. If you want excellence you need to start afresh.
    Besides, neoliberal NZ worships the lowest common denominator. It’s content is easiest to produce and it’s from where money can be most easily extracted.

  11. John Campbell’s recent journalism has been as a TVNZ chief correspondent. What exactly is RNZ producing since it was placed under neo-liberal management and asked to focus on the Auckland market?


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