PSA supports call for restored RNZ funding


The Public Service Association supports the Green Party’s call to restore Radio New Zealand’s (RNZ) frozen funding to a serviceable level, which was announced today by MP Gareth Hughes alongside a contestable Public Interest Journalism Fund.

"A strong fourth estate is essential for a well-informed and healthy democracy, and public broadcasting plays a key role in examining our national identity and giving New Zealanders’ issues the attention they deserve," says Erin Polazcuk, PSA national secretary.

"RNZ has operated on a slim, fixed budget since National came to power in 2008, and although they continue to do incredible work on a shoe-string, it’s time funding caught up with the effort put in by their extraordinary journalists and wider workforce."

The Green Party’s proposal would restore RNZ’s funding to a 2008 baseline level (adjusted for inflation), which would require an additional $3.2m in its first year to bring funding from $33.916 million to $37.142 million.

"RNZ play a crucial role during national emergencies - exemplified in their coverage of the Kaikōura earthquake late last year - and day-to-day, they have modernised to tackle the numerous financial and technological shifts occurring in journalism as a whole," says Ms Polazcuk.

"We would be heartened to see other parties joining the call for stronger public broadcasting in New Zealand. No organisation of RNZ’s calibre should ever have to face almost nine years of frozen Government funding."