Wednesday, May 24, 2006

NZ Govt's Expansive TV Budget

Wellington: The New Zealand Labour-led government labels its just announced budget as "Enhancing New Zealand broadcasting". The Government continues its strong investment in public broadcasting with funding of NZ$24.9 million over the next four years, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said.

The funding will go towards the production of high quality local television through NZ On Air, as well as measures to strengthen the Pacific elements of **New Zealand's broadcasting sector.

"Public broadcasting plays an important role in defining our cultural identity and giving us a sense of our place in the world," Steve Maharey said. "This funding is part of the Labour-led government's ongoing work to enhance New Zealand's broadcasting sector by supporting more locally made content, and ensuring that what we see and hear reflects our diverse nation.

"NZ On Air will receive an additional $20 million for local programming. This will allow it to maintain the high quality and quantity of programmes it currently funds in the face of recent worldwide increases to production costs.

"The budget also provides funding of $2.4 million to enable TVNZ to supply New Zealand programming by satellite to the Pacific nations, and $2.4 million to Radio New Zealand to implement a remuneration strategy.

The funding brings the total government investment in public broadcasting in 2006/07 to $129.4 million, an increase of $45 million since 2001/02.

Steve Maharey said this underlined the government's commitment to broadcasting that reaches people across the variety of geographical, cultural and interest-based communities of New Zealand.

[**The funding also ensures that TVNZ news and program support via satellite to the Pacific nations is to continue. Editor NZ1.00=US0.61]

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