Ministry of Culture and Heritage helps media stay on top of its game

posted: 3:00 pm - 21st May 2020
eight col Kris Faafoi 001

(Picture caption: Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Hon Kris Faafoi announces the first stage of support initiatives for the media sector. Photo: RNZ.) 

The media fills multiple roles in society, including providing information from various news sources and organisations, as an entertainment source and a way to educate individuals. 

COVID-19 has impacted most sectors and industries, including media and last month, the New Zealand Government announced a $50 million support package to help the sector get through the pandemic. 

A breakdown of the $50m package:

  • $20.5m to completely cut TV and Radio transmission fees for six months
  • $16.5m to reduce media organisation's contribution fees to NZ On Air for the 2020/21 financial year
  • $11.1 million for specific targeted assistance to companies
  • $1.3 million to purchase central government news media subscriptions
  • $600,000 to completely cut RNZ AM transmission fees for six months
  • A commitment to further develop the Local Democracy Reporting pilot. 

The media sector is only the third, behind primary health care and aviation, to receive a specific pool of funding on top of the wage subsidy scheme. 

With a burgeoning Pacific population in New Zealand, the importance of Pacific specific media and news is vital and Pacific media has been included in the $11.1 million for “targeted assistance to companies”. 

A key focus of the first media support package is to provide near term cashflow relief, and ensuring it reaches a wide range of local media organisations and channels, so media plurality is achieved. 

Under this initiative Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH), on behalf of 32 government departments, four departmental agencies and three non-public service departments, will purchase government advertising in advance from local media businesses. 

This will bring forward up to $9 million worth of payments to local media businesses to provide cashflow relief for those businesses experiencing a revenue loss due to the COVID-19 outbreak and response. 

The Ministry will purchase advertising in advance from local media businesses that Government has advertised with over the last two financial years, based on the average spend in that period. 

The participating government organisations will then place advertising with organisations against this credit in the 2020-2021 government financial year. 

Applications from local media businesses are now being sought for this initiative until May 29, 2020. 

To learn more about eligibility and the application process, visit HERE.