BPM Voting Guide
This election, we’re excited by some excellent media and broadcasting policies to choose from.
There are many reasons for your voting preferences and we respect all our members' political views.
BPM is not affiliated with and does not endorse any particular political party. However, if you were to vote solely on the media and broadcasting policies/statements of the parties, here's how we'd rank them:
NZ First - 8 out of 10
Tracey Martin at NZ First has released an ambitious policy that proposes to merge TVNZ and RNZ while removing advertising from TVNZ1. Meanwhile TVNZ 2 is separated off but stays commercial and government owned. This arrangement offers significant, immediate benefits for New Zealanders and is very promising.
NZ First have budgeted $150 million to cover the revenue lost by removing adverts from TVNZ 1, but that is offset with a $50 million levy on ISPs by increasing the Telecommunications Development Levy. This would help get funding of public media away from annual government funding decisions, addressing the need for sustainable funding of our public media.
There are other good ideas too and more information here:
Labour - 7 out of 10
We’re very pleased to see a strong public media policy from one of the parties likely to be in government in a few weeks’ time. Labour proposes to invest $38 million into RNZ and public interest journalism.
RNZ would grow to take on a digital TV channel, perhaps similar to TVNZ 7, integrated into existing operations which are already quite focussed on video.
NZ on Air would continue to fund content on commercial media, and they’d be alloted more money for investigative journalism.
The exact amounts would be managed by a new government body, the Public Media Commission that would oversee NZ on Air and RNZ.
Green - 5 out of 10
Although the Greens traditionally support public media and broadcasting, this year their policy is rather limited in scope and was clearly written with ‘fiscal responsibility’ in mind. Unfortunately that’s left space for other parties to claim the space and inspire voters’ passion for public media.
The Greens haven’t released a new media policy for the election but in April, Broadcasting Spokesperson, Gareth Hughes proposed returning RNZ funding to 2008 levels and a new $3 million fund for investigative journalism.
Māori Party - 4 out of 10
Strong supporters of Māori Television, helping it receive an extra $10 million last year to fund its transition to HD, and Iwi radio stations.
But on the other side of the ledger, the Māori Party enabled the National government to remove the TVNZ Charter and close TVNZ 7 – both of which were beneficial to Māori and non-Māori alike.
TOP - 2 out 10
Gareth Morgan proposes selling TVNZ and using the money to fund journalism.
This may be well intentioned but the problem is that the money will run out very quickly. TVNZ is not worth much these days as commercial media struggles to make profits.
And losing TVNZ would mean the loss of great potential to easily create a large public media platform, around New Zealand’s largest screen platform.
National - 1 out of 10
Over nine years in government, the National party have waged a quiet war on public media.
National dumped the TVNZ Charter making our flagship TV network solely commercial, closed down TVNZ 7, and froze funding for RNZ and NZ On Air.
And while our commercial media suffer from significant market failure, National has done nothing.
The result is that New Zealanders are less informed about what’s going on in other parts of the country, we’re inundated by sensational news and current affairs, and there is no current affairs on nightly television and very few documentaries.
Asian, Pasifika, older people and other important sectors of New Zealand are not visible on our television screens, heard on radio or seen on our main online media sources. New Zealand’s creative industry is stagnant, and Kiwis consume less and less local content.
All of this is a result of the Government’s lack of interest and wilful neglect.
The only positive from nine years’ lack of management is the raise in funding for RNZ, bringing it in line with inflation to 2011.
ACT - 0 out of 10
No policy for media this year, though ACT is ideologically opposed to publicly owned media. Taking this as their guiding principle, ACT would sell TVNZ and RNZ if given the opportunity.
With Peter Dunne gone, there’s no indication whether they will support public media.
Last election Mana-Internet had strong policies around public media and broadcasting. Now separate from the Internet Party, they have no media policies.
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