How Chippy saves the TVNZ/RNZ merger


The argument by the private mainstream media is that the TVNZ/RNZ merger is pointless and costly and should be dumped, but the private mainstream media would say that wouldn’t they because they are the ones who stand to lose a revenue stream (despite the Government negotiating better deals for them from Facebook and Google).

Polling shows people do want the public broadcasting merger and Myles Thomas makes the case for the merger brilliantly here.

In a time of disinformation, injecting RNZ journalism into a broad platform like TVNZ is a necessary public broadcasting infrastructure upgrade for our democracy!

The madness of the Parliament Lawn protests is an example of what happens when citizens disappear down conspiracy holes.

Instead of throwing the merger out, Chippy should use it as an example of how he can fix things while reminding us of their importance.

Chippy is economic justice over social justice and his focus is on the end user, not the Bureaucratic structures, he gets the viewer is the biggest part of the RNZ/TVNZ Merger.

To this end Chippy can make TVOne advert free and allow TVNZ to make money from TV2 and Duke so that viewers get the benefit of TVOne being advert free while allowing that advertising revenue to be shared with private media.

Critics keep pointing out that the merger won’t give us a BBC because there won’t be any commercial free space generated by it. Removing advertising from TVOne gives viewers the choice of content without adverts rammed down their throat.

TDB Recommends

By removing adverts on TVOne, TV One content doesn’t have to ‘rate’ for commercial pressures, and can actually push content beyond the crassness of Fuck Boy Island.

End users don’t see what they will get from the merger, but making TVOne commercial free changes the entire dynamic of content and provides Kiwis with a space for quality broadcasting without the adverts rammed down their throat.

End users will see the point in the merger and Chippy saves a project most had written off and surprises the electorate with his ability to fix things.


Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media


  1. “In a time of disinformation …”

    And who would you say are the biggest purveyors of disinformation, Martyn?

  2. There’s a pretty simple, low-cost way to start this off.

    Rename the two companies, no actual merger. NZBC Radio and NZBC Television. The old names are back, the same “new” companies underneath.

    The government could announce that Rich Sutherland, RNZ Head of News, now works directly for the Minister. His new title is “NZBC Head of News” — Phil O’Sullivan, Head of TV News, would have to answer to Sutherland.

    Dave Allan, RNZ Programme Director, could become the overall “NZBC Programme Director”, also working for the Minister. John Kelly, TV Programme Director, would have to answer to Allan.

    You haven’t really spent anything, it’s just a reshuffle.

    On television, you could then do a simple frequency switch. The two main channels would go non-commercial. The other three frequencies could be “Duke 1, Duke 2, Duke 3”, and filled with endless commercials and the horrible reality TV junk.

    In the long run, you need to start sacking executives on the TV side, and start hiring people from major public broadcasters. The licence fee probably has to come back as well, even if it resembles more of a tax than a “mailed bill”.

    • “There’s a pretty simple, low-cost way to start this off.”

      The whole proposal could have been pretty simple. Various boffins, industry ‘insiders’, consultants and branders all have different ideas as to the best way to do it. Most of them, as ticket clippers with their own self interest and earnings at stake have made the whole thing go bugger up.

      I gave up on BPM although I still support them to the hilt. Only because they, and their predecessor have been pushing shit uphill for well over a decade and I’m not really into martyrdom, and it’s been a bit depressing watching the whole concept of public service broadcasting being destroyed or made harder, usually by politicians, consultants and marketers holding neoliberal or 3rd way ideological faith.

      Destroy or privatise the commons’ assets
      – Demolish Broadcasting House Wellington
      – Flog off a purpose built television centre at Avalon
      – Flog off things like the NFU and Natural History Unit (Joe Public must now pay for the privilege of watching much or their work)
      – Steel more assets necessary for the provision of PSB. ( Commercialise and separate out KORDIA, and rather than have anything it earns put back into PSB provision – use it’s earning elsewhere. Arguably, KORDIA now provides commercial broadcasters with a better service than it does PSB).

      For the service we get, New Zealand now has the most OVER-managed systems in the world, and the ticket clippers love it. What was it that the last TVNZ CEO earned p.a.? I think it was around $4 mill. (I gave up watching and keeping track of the various managerialists’ salaries – people that generally served little purpose in provision. You could probably have watched half of them fall under a bus, and there’d have been no impact to day-to-day operations). Imagine that money being put to useful purpose.

      Indeed, there is an easier way, and one that the NZ Public, our Pacific neighbours, and even NZ’s PSB global affiliates deserve. AND there are still people around that could help get there.
      It’ll be high on my list of things that will determine which way I vote later this year, although probably not for most. It could be achieved quietly and without fuss. We’d probably have to take politicians, consultants and other highly paid bullshit artists out of the equation though

      • Labour: it’s the art making something simple incredibly complex and fucked in order to pay as many bureaucrats as possible in the process.
        Example: 3 Water – by the time any money reaches the pipe fixers, gazillions would have been spent on layers and layers of personnel. Already the have committed to HQ premises and staff in the most expensive part of Auckland…and the thing has even gone over the finish line!
        Example: TVNZ merger – 370 million dollars committed without any cost analysis or targets. Millions already spend on, you guessed it….CONSULTANTS!

        What a fuck up of a govt the last 6 years have become! Really, this govt needs to go…sorry Chippy, I like you but not your ministers.

    • So this could be seen to devolve into political interference, not idependence – “The government could announce that Rich Sutherland, RNZ Head of News, now works directly for the Minister. His new title is “NZBC Head of News” “If the public is to place their trust in the entity … they need to be in no doubt that it is independent from any potential political interference,” Gluckman said. Gluckman is chair of Kio Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures, a University of Auckland think tank studying the proposed merger.

      • @Thomas:
        I believe that for most of its history, the B.B.C. Board of Governors had this exact problem.

        I think how it works now is the Minister recommends non-executive directors, who are appointed by the King. Those directors then appoint the executives.

        You could make an argument that there should actually be elections for the Director-General.

  3. Quite frankly we need this merger if we are to get anything decent on our TV screens. All we are currently getting is reality dreck, like MasterChef and Celebrity Treasure Island, and I am really over it

  4. I listen to RNZ while at work, but seriously, how many people still watch free to air TV these day? Even YouTube has better, more entertaining and educational content, that can be accessed for free and probably has less commercial advertising than broadcast TV.

    • All true! And what does that say about the state of our PSB.
      There are a number of problems though with that thinking in the short/medium/long term.
      I can’t even stand the minimal bullshit ads you get on Youtube and I’m seriously considering a subscription to eliminate them.
      – I’m not sure though that many of our fellow Kiwis would put that as a priority on their minimal incomes – some of them can’t even afford their rent. So I guess they’re not entitled to try and keep informed eh?
      – Who knows whether the promises and deals you get and are promised, in that commercial environment are going to be kept. Right now, YOUTUBE would be my buzz. But it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been let down by bullshit promotions form a number of outlets. A lot of people I know are pissed off when trying to follow various sports having been made promises (Formula 1 for example.)
      – There are still a shitload of people that are ‘digitally divided’ and who are likely to be for the rest of their lives
      – Let’s just destroy all existing infrastructure because the latest fad of delivering media is internet-based (fibre or 4/5G). Let’s put total reliance on that eh?. Even when some natural disaster, or some hacker, or a number of other things take it out. Should be OK -until it isn’t.

      The tensions between the technophobe and the technophile eh. Good luck if you want to go with either extremity

    • Oh, and here’s another thing for the technophobes and technophiles to think about.

      We decided to go digital TV and even subsidised, and even paid for decoders for people to receive the complete crap we get on the likes of Freeview. Shopping channels to pump out shit they don’t need. Fuckboy Islands; dear wee Matty boise weddings and Shortland Street alike. RNZ and other stuff is a side effect benefit
      We decided digital radio was less worthy and we’re now stuck with that decision, and even if we had, there was probably a case for retaining a backup option. (The likes of Tongan volcano victims and others would probably say yes, although Sopping Channel and property porn viewers most likely couldn’t give a shit)

      • The other thing to consider regarding the digital divide, is that many poorer people don’t have the unlimited, high speed internet connections, many of us take for granted. Many people only have their phones to access the internet, often with very limited data packages, so can be quite limited in what they are able to do on the internet, so are stuck watching F Boy Island if that’s all there is.

  5. Anything that makes TVNZ advertising free, generates local content and is programming agnostic, will get me tuning in a lot more than I do now.

    I’ve got a little black book with my poems in
    Got a bag with a toothbrush and a comb in
    When I’m a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone in
    I got elastic bands keeping my shoes on
    Got those swollen hand blues
    I’ve got thirteen channels of shit on the T.V. to choose from
    I’ve got electric light
    And I’ve got second sight
    I’ve got amazing powers of observation

    And that is how I know
    When I try to get through
    On the telephone to you
    There will be nobody home

    • Hello?
      Is there anybody in there?
      Just nod if you can hear me.
      Is there anyone at home?
      Come on, now,
      I hear you’re feeling down.
      Well I can ease your pain
      Get you on your feet again.
      I’ll need some information first.
      Just the basic facts.
      Can you show me where it hurts?

  6. I read TVNZ will lose $50 million in adverting in the next five years. Out of $341 million in revenue they made $ 8 million profit and put the downturn down to digital Investment. With that revenue they could give NZrs a subscription to Netflix and turn out the lights. To compete with the big players a lot more of our money will be needed. My advice would be to keep the breakfast shows, I know you are choking on that, Have news bulletins at lunchtime and evening and some NZ interest programs. After that stop transmission and save us some of our money to watch online entertainment. TVNZ entertainment programs are dumb shit watched by even dumber people. They should do us all a favour and ditch them.

  7. What’s the point of TVNZ. A state of emergency in Auckland and no special News or updates on TV1. Oh that’s right we don’t work in the weekend.

Comments are closed.