Broadcasting and Communications

Preamble

  • Radio New Zealand is advertising-free and largely untainted by commercial influences. There is no equivalent in television, despite massive public investment.

  • Digital technology offers unprecedented programming choices, but it brings with it the danger of further increasing corporate influence on our society and massive profits for the global media corporations.

  • The private sector continues to make record profits while many New Zealanders do not have access to the Internet.

  • We need to ensure that benefits arising from these developments are shared by all and do not compromise the uniqueness of our culture and society.

We stand for the following policies:

  • Public ownership of significant broadcasting organisations in both radio and television.

  • Establishment of a fully funded public television channel free of both commercials and commercial influence.

  • Continued funding of Maori TV; the community focus of Maori TV is an example of what a non-commercial broadcaster could do.

  • Legislation which protects and restores live free-to-air broadcasting of significant national sporting events and series.

  • Shifting responsibility for broadcasting policy to a Ministry of Cultural Affairs rather than Commerce, where it sits now. This would emphasise the critical role of broadcasting in our democracy.

  • Minimum quotas for local content of 30% for television and music radio.

  • Adequate funding of NZ On Air to ensure more programming reflective of the diversity of our community – different ethnic and religious groups, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian and transgender people, older people.

  • Limits on commercial advertising in children’s programming.

  • More emphasis on locally produced children’s programmes which convey New Zealand cultural messages to growing New Zealanders.

  • Return of the “last mile” of the telephone network to public ownership. It is a natural monopoly and, as such, should be managed for the good of all New Zealanders, not for the profits of a few.

  • A guarantee of low cost and reliable internet access for all New Zealanders, regardless of where they live.