RNZ a big winner at the New York Festival Radio Awards!

RNZ Award Winners

Gold Award Mohamed Hassan Public Enemy
Gold Award Kim Hill Best Radio Personality
Silver Award Adrian Hollay & Tim Dodds Otello
Silver Award Colin Peacock & Jeremy Rose Mediawatch
Bronze Award John Campbell Best News Anchor
Bronze Award RNZ News Kaikoura Earthquake Coverage of Breaking News
RNZ Finalists

Phil Pennington Steel Mesh Investigation
Kathryn Ryan Best Talk Show Host
Noelle McCarthy A Wrinkle in Time
Philippa Tolley The Oldest Profession

You can read more in RNZ’s press release here.

RNZ has already proven that it’s worth more than the pittance that it gets! Let’s #FundRNZ – The fight resumes!

Petition here.

You can donate to the fight here.




RNZ to move some jobs to Auckland!

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.”

Lunch with Hayley Holt in Auckland Central!

Feeling hungry this May? Want to help fund the Fund RNZ campaign? Well, why not place a bid to enjoy a tasty lunch with Hayley Holt? The fight needs funding, then the fight continues!

Further details can be found here!



RNZ has lots of finalists in the Canon Media Awards!

RNZ continues to produce excellent work! They have a lot of finalists in this year’s Canon Media Awards! We are lucky to have such an excellent public service broadcaster! They deserve and need all the funding that they can get!

Congratulations to:

Best Feature Writer

Tess McClure, “Banana Republic,” RNZ
Aaron Smale, “Child Welfare children,” RNZ

Feature Writer of the Year

Aaron Smale,  Mana magazine, New Zealand Geographic and RNZ

Feature Writer Business and Politics

Mava Enoka, The Wireless

Best Artworks / Graphics

Toby Morris, RNZ and The Wireless

Best Coverage of a Major News Event

RNZ, Kaikoura eathquake

Best Editorial Campaign or Project

RNZ, Panama papers

Best Trade / Specialist Publication and / or Website

Marcus Stickley, The Wireless

Cartoonist of the Year

Toby Morris, RNZ and The Wireless

Editorial Executive of the Year

Glen Scanlon, RNZ

Science and Technology Award

Alison Ballance RNZ

Opinion Writing Finalist

Simon Wilson, Public Address, RNZ and The Spinoff

Opinion Writer General

Toby Manhire and Toby Morris, RNZ

Best Investigation

Tess McClure, RNZ

Phil Pennington, RNZ

Reporter – Maori and Ethnic Affairs

Mohamed Hassan, RNZ

Aaron Smale, Mana magazine and RNZ

Reporter of the Year

Tess McClure, RNZ

The Canon Media Awards will be held on the 19th of May. Good luck to all of them!

You can view all of the Canon Media Awards finalists here.

Petition to increase funding for RNZ here.

If you want to donate, you can do so here.






Fund RNZ Petition hits 11,000 signatures!

The petition has just hit 11,000 signatures! It is 53 days until The Budget!

RNZ has been having a rough time what with having to sell its Auckland studios and go on an 8 year lease and having the profits from the sale go to the crown. There isn’t much left to sell after all these years of asset sales. They need extra funding!

The fight continues!

Petition to unfreeze RNZ’s funding here.

If you would like to donate to help fund future events you can do so here.

Or like us on our new Facebook page.


Radio New Zealand’s Auckland Studios Have Been Sold !!!!!!

In a disgraceful move, RNZ is now homeless & has to rent them back and the profit will be returned to the crown, not RNZ!!!! RNZ will have to pay rent on this place, when they are already operating under a 9 year funding freeze, and have even less money to operate with !

Have a look for yourself. They have an 8 year lease, but who knows whether they’ll be subject to rent increases in the future. And what other cutbacks are they going to have to make to pay for this rent? They have already sold their grand pianos, got rid of Radio New Zealand House in Auckland, lost a floor in Radio New Zealand house in Wellington, closed regional offices in Tauranga, Palmerston North and Queenstown and heaps of other things!

Of course, if things continue this way, we will be losing the biggest asset of all – RNZ itself!



Give a Little:







Public Meeting about the state of Radio New Zealand’s Funding!

There will be a public meeting, with a panel of speakers, to discuss the state of Radio new Zealand’s funding. It will be held on Monday the 20th of March at 1:30pm in the Burns 1 lecture theatre at the University of Otago. You can RSVP here.

There are just 75 days left until this year’s Budget and I’m hoping that the government will give RNZ a decent funding increase with the guarantee of further annual increases to keep up with inflation.

Last year, the government disestablished the Broadcasting portfolio and split its responsibilities between the Communications and the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolios.

I am concerned that RNZ will continue to sell its assets, make people redundant and cut programmes just to keep costs down.

We have an opportunity to do something about this by sending a message to the government that we care about RNZ, a good way to do this would be to sign and share the petition.

I don’t think they can wait another year! Let’s end the 9 year funding freeze! Let’s #FundRNZ !


RNZ Needs A Secure Future!

Radio New Zealand is our public service broadcaster. It does a fine job of providing us with high-quality news and current affairs. When people hear about the funding freeze, a lot of them ask me “is it because people aren’t listening to RNZ ?” Well,  people are according to its 2015-2016 annual report. RNZ programmes have great weekly audience numbers with Morning Report getting 385,900, Nine to Noon 281,700,  Checkpoint 243,700, Sunday Morning 234,400, Afternoons 231,000 and Saturday Morning 215,800. A total of 600, 200 people listen to RNZ each week!

Considering how valued and loved RNZ is in New Zealand and the South Pacific, I was very disappointed to read that Gareth Morgan, of the Opportunities Party, said that he would be open to selling Radio New Zealand.  

It is the Opportunities Party’s policy to sell off Television New Zealand and put the proceeds of this into New Zealand on Air to fund public journalism. The idea is that from there, RNZ would be able to apply for funding along with all the other organisations that need it. If RNZ stays in crown hands, this isn’t a good way of giving RNZ a funding increase. What happens if RNZ applies for extra funding, but loses out to other companies? Or maybe it gets a bit of extra funding, but not enough to do very much good? What happens next year?

RNZ needs a funding increase with stable funding, of a guaranteed amount each year, that keeps up with inflation. This would help them with their forward planning, they don’t need the uncertainty of funding applications. I would go as far as to say that funding for RNZ should be removed from NZ on Air altogether. There are enough media organisations in New Zealand who are underfunded without RNZ eating into the pie as well. For example regional television and access radio. RNZ should be funded over and above the NZ on Air pool in its own right.

If we were to sell TVNZ, then something needs to take its place. We have already lost TVNZ6 and 7. They were TVNZ’s non commercial TV channels. They were both financially viable to keep. They were axed. TVNZ adds value to New Zealand and the South Pacific. In their annual report, end of financial year June 2016, it says that TVNZ broadcast a minimum of 11 hours of programming to Pacific nations every week. Programming included One News and Tagata Pasifika. We should at the very least think long and hard about the full implications of selling off TVNZ.

The question is do we revamp TVNZ and give it back its public service arm or do we go with something else? Going with something else doesn’t have to include selling TVNZ. We have many options, we could create something new or even expand RNZ further to include public service television. One thing is for certain, we need to keep RNZ! It’s our only public service broadcaster and it does a great job!

Let’s arohatia (cherish) RNZ !

Petition to unfreeze RNZ’s funding here

Donate to the campaign to unfreeze RNZ’s funding here

Volunteer here: (NB this form goes directly to my email. If you wish to comment on this post, please scroll down to the very bottom of the page, below the picture).


Channel 39 Interview of the #FundRNZ campaign!

Southern Television interviewed me last week about the state of Radio New Zealand’s funding. You can view the video of it online here it will also be screening on The South Today tonight at 7pm on Freeview channel 39. RNZ’s funding has been frozen for 9 years, that is longer than it takes a lot of people to go from beginning an undergrad degree to getting a PhD!

I have a lot of concerns about the future of Radio New Zealand. In RNZ’s Annual Report 2006, they stated that they had recently opened regional offices in Tauranga, New Plymouth and Queenstown. During the funding freeze, two of these offices have since been closed, plus Palmertson North, with Queenstown being the last one operating until the end of July last year. 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. Those reporters have to travel long distances in order to cover local stories around the South Island. Yes, they have introduced an app to allow people to comment remotely on stories, but those reporters still have to put together the stories from those comments and cannot rely on remote comments as its sole method of reporting on events around the South Island. The reporters deserve to be well-resourced to do their jobs and I believe that they would be more likely to get those resources if we can get RNZ’s funding increased to an adequate level.

During the past 9 years, RNZ has made a lot of people redundant, sold assets, cut programmes, not replaced some broken down equipment – including their 27 year old AM analogue transmitter which served the South Pacific which has meant reduced radio service for some areas that can neither receive FM radio nor has internet access, required staff to take on additional roles to cover staffing gaps, closed regional offices and are now considering selling their Auckland studios and renting them back off the new owner. This is not an exhaustive list of all their problems. They are doing a great job with what they have, but it shouldn’t be such a struggle for them to keep their heads above water! By the way, a 9 year funding freeze is actually a funding cut when you take into account the rising cost of pretty much everything over the past 9 years!

The government disestablished the Broadcasting portfolio last December. We can still send them the message that we care about RNZ and its funding. The petition to end funding freeze can be found here.

If you feel like donating to the campaign to unfreeze RNZ’s funding, you can do so here.




The South Pacific to lose more short wave radio access as the ABC prepares to end AM transmission there!

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has decided to end all its AM transmissions throughout the South Pacific on the 31st of January. For those of you who don’t already know, the ABC is the Australian equivalent of our own RNZ. You may have already read the piece that I wrote last year expressing the concerns people have about Radio New Zealand’s AM transmission being reduced in the South Pacific due to a lack of money to replace their broken down AM transmitter. This meant that they went from two transmitters broadcasting over the South Pacific down to just one and that transmitter doesn’t always provide any AM broadcasts to the communities where that is the only kind of radio signal that is available to them. The link to the piece I wrote is here .

Radio New Zealand could fully restore its AM transmission to the South Pacific back to what is was before the transmitter got too old to work, if only it had the funding levels to do it. This year the funding freeze turns 9, we should throw it a birthday party with an ice theme! The fight to unfreeze RNZ’s funding continues. Watch this space!

If you would like to donate to the campaign to Fund RNZ you can do so here and there is also a petition to increase funding for Radio New Zealand here and another petition regarding the ABC withdrawing its AM transmission from the South Pacific here . Also, if you’re on Twitter, the hashtag is #FundRNZ.

UPDATE 6/1/17 at 5:49pm – If you have any friends or family in Australia, consider letting them know about the ABC petition.