What is it with our inbred desire, as kiwis, to want to find fault with everything? Particularly when it comes to local versions of highly successful and incredibly expensive TV shows.
With New Zealand’s Got Talent returning to our screens, it appears as though there are a lot of people who were simply desperate for it to be bad. While one New Zealand Herald reviewer desperately wanted it to be bad, and Stuff desperately wanted the ratings provided by TVNZ to be “massaged” and inflated, people like Martyn Bradbury continue to suggest NZ On Air should only fund non-popular programming.
When #NZGT became a top trending topic on twitter, despite the blur of tweets whizzing past in the scrolling mess, numerous comments were along similar lines that the show wasn’t nearly as cringeworthy as they’d expected. Many, in fact, were quite pleasantly surprised.
It is important to note that NZ On Air is:
an independent government funding agency. We invest in a colourful range of cost-effective local content, to extend choices for different New Zealand audiences.
Forget what you’d like NZ On Air to be, this is what it is. It funds a broad range of shows for a broad range of audiences. Thankfully its funding model isn’t restricted to niche, low rating shows but also shows with mass appeal that require a significant amount of finance in order to go to air.
NZ On Air’s mission is simple to:
champion local content through skillful investment in quality New Zealand broadcasting.
Their values are:
Innovation - Encouraging new ideas and quality production standards.
Diversity - Promoting difference and competition to support the best ideas for the widest range of New Zealanders.
Value for money - Making sure cost-effective projects are enjoyed by significant numbers of relevant people.
While NZ’s Got Talent may arguably not be innovative, it provides diversity and, more certainly, value for money.
New Zealand’s Got Talent is great for those watercooler moments. People are talking about it. People are watching it. More importantly, people are actually not hating it. If that’s not enough reason to celebrate local content then I don’t know what is.