Winston Peters is prepared to draw a line in the sand to get New Zealand free to air sport on TV as part of his coalition talks. I’m hoping that he will also do this for Radio New Zealand’s funding.
New Zealand First’s policy for RNZ is similar to Labour’s, except that New Zealand First expand RNZ into TV through making TVNZ1 a public service television channel. If they go with Labour, then RNZ will get both a funding increase and it will also expand into television. I’m not sure which way New Zealand First will go, if they do go with the National Party, then I would like to see a decent funding boost for RNZ be part of the coalition deal. New Zealand First is the only party that can guarantee funding for RNZ at this point in time.
If no funding increase is given to RNZ after the new government is formed, then Fund RNZ will pursue a nationwide referendum into increasing RNZ’s funding.
This increase has to be in proportion to the size of the organisation. RNZ already has a funding shortfall of at least $12 million as it stands. There has been concern expressed over whether Labour’s $20-30 million funding increase, to expand it into television, will be enough for the organisation.