To all Members of Parliament
We, the undersigned, urge you to adopt the following principles and recommendations to ensure we have a thriving, independent, well funded, and inclusive public broadcasting and media.
Taxpayer funded public media should:
Protect and enhance Aotearoa New Zealand’s democracy.
Uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Ensure a diversity of perspectives, audiences and genres.
Guarantee secure and sustainable funding that is annually adjusted for inflation and population changes.
Ensure governance structures have robust cross-party, cross-sector and citizen participation and consultation processes, at the heart of policy decision-making.
Maintain editorial independence from government.
Remain flexible to rapidly adapt to changes in the media landscape so as to keep abreast of technological advances and audience changes.
Ensure content is easily discoverable and freely accessible to all people in New Zealand, including the elderly, children and people living with disabilities.
Measure success in holistic terms, considering people, place and planet first, followed by profit.
Require that all public media funding decisions are governed by a Charter(s) which gives effect to these principles.
The panel makes the following policy recommendations:
- New Zealand On Air and RNZ funding should be increased now, and annually in line with inflation.
- A charter should be established to ensure that all taxpayer funded public interest media, regardless of platform, form or publisher/broadcaster, fulfils certain standards and objectives in line with the Principles above.
- New Zealand On Air should be further mandated to fund the production and promotion of more news, current affairs and citizenship education material, including text-based content.
- Media literacy and critical analysis of traditional, digital and social media should be included as a core component of the New Zealand Curriculum.
- There should be an independent review of all taxpayer funded media structures and institutions including TVNZ, New Zealand On Air, Creative New Zealand, RNZ and the New Zealand Film Commission to ensure that the Principles outlined above are achieved.
- There should be Government funding for ongoing professional development in public service media vocations.