Demise of TVNZ 7: End of an era

(From a Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand press release)

Following the confirmation by Government that TVNZ 7 will close down in June 2012 the Screen Directors Guild of New Zealand is greatly alarmed about the impact that this will have on New Zealanders.

“This undermines the Government’s stated commitment to public broadcasting,” says Screen Directors Guild President Peter Bell, “New Zealand will be the only country in the OECD without a channel committed to public broadcasting”.

Within the New Zealand broadcast environment TVNZ 7 is uniquely dedicated to providing content that informs and educates. Viewers are assembling content in an increasingly diverse platform environment, but without a local channel with a loyalty to public broadcasting aims there is a huge risk that we may not see this kind of programming commissioned at all. 

A sophisticated democratic society ensures that it fulfills an obligation to its citizens to provide a channel for the public. This loss means that New Zealanders will be deprived of the kind of quality local content that Kiwis have a right to see.

“This decision, combined with what can only be a policy of disinterest in public broadcasting by Government, indicates the mortification of public service broadcasting. It will have a withering effect on television content,” says SDGNZ Executive Director Anna Cahill.

“There is little courage in this decision and a very limited vision of our television future,” says President Peter Bell.

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About the author

Brad
  • TG

    The dumping of TVNZ7 is incredible, particularly given that other developed countries are increasing the scale of their public broadcasting.

    In Australia, the ABC now has four TV channels, all advertising-free, and SBS has two, both with strictly limited advertising. How can it be that NZ cannot have even one?

  • Rusty Viewer

    We’re a much smaller nation with a smaller population base and a not all that great economy. We simply can’t afford a lot of commercial-free channels.

  • 94james94

    I think people are forgetting that no one watches TVNZ 7, and that compared to Australia we are tiny so obviously we have less channels. You can only make money if people watch it. If you guys want to get the same stuff as Australia, we have to become another state of Australia and we will get their channels. But the labor party would never let that happen.