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What was achieved?

Although the Government decided not to progress with a new public media entity, aspects of the work have future benefits:

  • Through consultation on a draft charter for public media we now have a much more informed view of what New Zealanders want from their public media and an example of modernised public media legislation.
  • We also have a fully formed business case that evaluates multiple options for strengthening public media in New Zealand.  This will continue to be referred to as a basis for future public media options.
  • Both Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and Radio New Zealand (RNZ) have a better understanding of their way forward in the current media landscape, and the challenges and the opportunities ahead to serve New Zealand communities.

Business case phase

A business case for the programme was developed between February 2000 and March 2022. It tested the viability of a new single public media entity in Aotearoa New Zealand and was overseen by a Business Case Governance Group.

Keyword: Strong Public Media business case
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Strong Public Media business case

Establishment phase

In February 2022, Cabinet decided to create a new public media entity, Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media (ANZPM). An Establishment Board oversaw this phase which went from April 2022 to March 2023. Work during the Establishment phase included:

  • designing the new entity
  • designing its operating model
  • the change process to create the new entity and support the legal disestablishment of RNZ and TVNZ and legal establishment of ANZPM.
Keyword: Cabinet Minute CAB-SUB-0034: Establishment of a new public media entity
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Cabinet Minute CAB-SUB-0034: Establishment of a new public media entity
Keyword: Strong Public Media Establishment Board Terms of Reference
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Strong Public Media Establishment Board Terms of Reference

We administered the Establishment phase with $38.3 million in funding from Vote Arts, Culture and Heritage over three financial years (1 April 2022 to 30 June 2024).

With the decision to close the programme, $24.86 million of unspent funding was returned to the Government for other priorities.

Cost of the programme

The costs disclosed below are draft and subject to audit. The final audited results for the 2022/23 financial year will be available in our 2023 annual report.

Total cost for the Strong Public Media programme

The total cost for the Programme from 2019 (including the costs for the business case) to end March 2023 is $19,604,000.

This is made up of:

  • Business case phase: $6,101,000
  • Establishment phase:$13,503,000

This work included:

  • Research on the New Zealand media system and funding New Zealand media
  • Engagement and consultation on the Charter
  • A fully formed Business case
  • The development of modernised public media legislation
  • Change management (and establishment/disestablishment of RNZ/TVNZ) requirements

Total cost for contractors

The total cost spent on contractors from 2019 to end March 2023 is $6,480,000.

This is made up of:

  • Business case phase: $3,271,000
  • Establishment phase: $3,209,000

Specialist services were required to do the level of design, build and change needed to create a new public media entity. Manatū Taonga is a small Ministry of 189 people, with no existing programme management office and individual contractors were hired to complement the Ministry’s capabilities.

Total cost for consultants

The total cost spent on consultants from 2019 to end March 2023 is $5,416,000.

This is made up of:

  • Buisness case phase: $1,422,000
  • Establishement phase: $3,994,000

A range of consultants were engaged on the programme from January 2020. This includes specialist business case and design support from PWC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and Deloitte. Consultants were also contracted for research and evaluation; Charter stakeholder engagement; specialised legal and financial services.

Total cost for reimbursements to RNZ, TVNZ and NZ On Air

The total cost spent on other professional services from 2019 to end March 2023 is $3,154,000.

This is made up of:

  • Buisness case phase: $66,000
  • Establishement phase: $3,088,000

Outside of contractors and consultants, the Crown-owned companies RNZ and TVNZ were reimbursed for their establishment activity and expertise beyond usual RNZ/TVNZ operations. This included travel and accommodation for RNZ/TVNZ to support the programme by attending meetings, change workshops and readiness checks in Wellington and Auckland.

  • Amount reimbursed to TVNZ: $1,977,000
  • Amount reimbursed to RNZ: $1,055,000

The Crown entity NZ On Air, were also engaged at times to support the programme through content and funding expertise.

Total cost for Business Case Governance Group and the Establishment Board

Total cost for the Business Case Governance Group and the Establishment Board $394,000.

The Business Case Governance Group cost $125,000 and the Establishment Board, $269,000.

  • The Business Case Governance Group was appointed in March 2021 and oversaw the development of a Business Case to consider the viability of a new public media entity in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Business Case Governance Group were a Ministerial advisory group paid according to the Cabinet Fees Framework. The Business Case Governance Group concluded in late 2021.
  • The Establishment Board were a Ministerial advisory group, appointed on 21 April 2022 with a term to June 2023 and were tasked with overseeing the design and change required for a new public media entity. They were paid according to the Cabinet Fees Framework and concluded their work in March 2023.

Establishment Board after decision to halt ANZPM

The Board costs above include a final meeting of the Establishment Board on 16 February to sign off final documentation and a meeting with the Minister for Broadcasting and Media on 6 March cost $16,360.

Total cost for staff

The total staff cost was: $1,352,000.

This is made up of:

  • Buisness case phase: $294,000
  • Establishement phase: $1,058,000

Ministry staff were seconded to the Strong Public Media programme on a fulltime and part-time basis through the course of the Programme. This included staff in legal, policy and communications roles. When the programme was stopped, seconded staff returned to their substantive roles in the Ministry and assisted in additional closedown activities for the programme.

Total cost for travel

The total travel costs were: $120,000

This is made up of:

  • Buisness case phase: $34,000
  • Establishement phase: $86,000

Travel costs for the programme included monthly Establishment Board meetings which alternated being held in Wellington and Auckland. Travel for face-to-face change workshops and readiness checks for RNZ and TVNZ were held in both Auckland and Wellington.

Total cost for meetings and venue hire

The total cost for meetings and venus hire was $51,000.

This is made up of:

  • Buisness case phase: $11,000
  • Establishement phase: $40,000

Meeting space and venue hire was required for Board meetings and face-to-face change workshops that took place outside of Wellington.

Total cost for overheads

The total cost of overheads was: $2,637,000.

This is made up of:

  • Buisness case phase: $868,000
  • Establishement phase: $1,759,000

Total overhead costs across the life of the Strong Public Media programme. Overhead costs capture the services and support provided by the Ministry’s Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and Facilities teams as well as general Legal advice and Ministerial support.

This also includes:

  • Additional floor space leased for one year to accommodate 35 employees from the Ministry, Deloitte, RNZ, TVNZ and the Establishment Board at a total of $259,000
  • Internet, wifi, networking, dark fibre, Video Conferencing equipment, headsets, phone charges, stationery, printing, and hardware were required for those on the Strong Public Media programme to ensure secure access to the Ministry’s software and government systems at a total cost of $138,000

Ongoing initiatives to support strong public media

We have continued work on initiatives to support the delivery of high-quality content, news and entertainment for all New Zealanders. These include:

  • The development of legislation to support New Zealand news organisations to negotiate with big online digital platforms, such as Google and Meta, to pay a fair price for the local news content they share and host on their platforms.
  • The implementation of The Strategic Framework for a Sustainable Media system to provide a foundation for future policy decisions and a way to assess the effectiveness of various media policy, regulatory and funding initiatives.
  • The Public Interest Journalism Fund which allocated $55 million to provide targeted, short- to medium-term funding for public interest journalism (implemented through NZ On Air).

    Journalism funding (NZ On Air)

  • The Content Regulatory Review, led by the Department of Internal Affairs, to ensure freedom of expression and digital content is ‘safe’ for New Zealanders.
  • Māori Media Sector Shift, led by Te Puni Kōkiri, which explores how the sector can continue its success long into the future given a fast-changing digital landscape and changing audience demands.

Additional funding for the media

When the Government announced in 2023 that work on the TVNZ/RNZ public media entity would stop, it also announced additional funding support for the media sector, including:

  • providing extra funding to RNZ to both secure its financial stability and expand and strengthen its public media role
  • exploring ways to ensure TVNZ plays a more public broadcasting role
  • ensuring funding is provided for public broadcasting across any platform, including funding through NZ on Air.

Funding boost to deliver world class public media for all New Zealanders (Beehive)