According to this piece by John Drinnan. Radio New Zealand is going to move 4 key roles, in its news division, from Wellington to Auckland. This will include an on-air position. Some staff may be unable or unwilling to move to Auckland. RNZ says they are moving staff due to the Kaikoura earthquake because it “showed how the capital and the RNZ head office were vulnerable to natural disaster.” I’m assuming that Radio New Zealand House has been deemed safe for staff to work in. I know that buildings in Wellington have to comply to a standard which allows them a good chance of withstanding a large earthquake.
Could it be the earthquake risk? Or could it be that it is getting a little crowded there in Radio New Zealand House? Last year, RNZ vacated a floor in Radio New Zealand House, presumably to tighten their belt even further due to the funding freeze. Plus they were forced to sell their Auckland studios earlier this year! It seems to me that RNZ is gradually centralising its operations in order to save money. As I wrote in another piece earlier this year, RNZ’s Annual Report 2006 states that they had recently opened regional offices in Tauranga, New Plymouth and Queenstown. They have subsequently closed regional offices in Tauranga, Palmertson North and Queenstown, which only closed last year. They clearly saw the need for their reporters to be located in these places so it stands to reason that these closures were due to the funding freeze. There are currently just 7 reporters working for RNZ in the South Island – 2 in Dunedin, 4 in Christchurch and 1 at the top of the South Island.
Yes, the funding freeze has technically ended, but $2.85 million extra per year isn’t enough to make up for the financial hole that was left over from the funding freeze! It’s a funding shortfall rather than a windfall!
Plus, All Night Programme announcer, Lloyd Scott, is leaving the organisation. I know that his listeners wish him all the best.
Let the good times roll! (sarc)
UPDATE (15/6/17 at 6:46pm): According to John Drinnan, “50 jobs to move north over time – but CEO pledges RNZ is not abandoning Wellington.”