S.O.RNZ (Save our Radio New Zealand)

One of the younger Radio NZ fans who turned up to the parliamentary protest to defend our under siege public broadcaster


It was great to see several hundred people at Parliament yesterday, protesting the government’s freezing of funding for Radio New Zealand.

I hope this is just the first protest of many around the country. Already there are signs that the government under-estimated the level of support for Radio New Zealand, and if we keep up the pressure it may be forced to abandon its plans to destroy New Zealand’s last remaining public service broadcaster.


Make no mistake about it, the government’s decision to freeze Radio New Zealand’s funding indefinitely will be devastating for Radio New Zealand. There will be staff lay-offs, and more and more pre packed overseas programmes in place of New Zealand made ones.

And its clear that the government is deliberately freezing the funding to try to force it to become more commercial. Having stripped TVNZ of it Charter and all its public service functions, it is trying to do the same to Radio New Zealand.

But the whole point of public service broadcasting is to have a broadcaster which is free from commercial pressures – free from the pressures of advertisers and sponsors – so that it can be fiercely independent and impartial. It should also be free from political pressures – but the Minister’s heavy handed and threatening letters are coming dangerously close to political interference.

John Howard targeted Australian public broadcasting for years. The only way it survived was because there was a huge public outcry – and that’s whats needed here in New Zealand too.

Help out RNZ and join the Save Radio New Zealand Facebookpage here.

11 Comments Posted

  1. Blue Peter

    Wikipedia is not the sort of resource you want to get too excited about. Uni students aren’t allowed to use it other than as a starter kit.

    It has also jumped the gun on Franklin being dragged into the supercity when the 3rd bill hasn’t even gone through select committee process. So what’s new with this government.

  2. Blue Peter
    I’d pay $100 in fake $1 bills with fake John Key and Rodney Hide faces on them to get shot of Radio Live with the sexist, redneck Michael Laws, and the Leighton Smith woman hating rednecks of Newstalk ZB. If this is what New Zealanders think is good radio, maybe it’s already too late for New Zealand.

    Radio New Zealand’s Mary Wilson is one of our best interviewers, showing neither fear nor favour to any party. She is the essence of free broadcasting. We cannot afford to let the National/Act goons get their diseased appendages into our broadcasting service so that we lose people of her calibre.

    Monday’s political struggle with Andrew and Matthew is great. The difference between the jerkoff redneck radio and Radio New Zealand is that the host doesn’t just cut someone off because they disagree with her/him, or make nasty remarks to them or about them. Which naturally brings me on to Paul Henry TVNZ – another National/Act party stalwart who is undermining all that is good about public television broadcasting – dead from the neck up New Zealanders who like watching other people being bad mouthed are keeping this creep in work.

    The rightwing leaning afternoon show host on Radio New Zealand who clogs up the 4pm political airwaves with all the National supporters like Michelle Boag, Jane Clifton and Listener’s Joanne Black (the female Michael Laws) is just the opposite. He is just the start of the slippery slope of privatisation, where the show becomes just as bland and the same as every other bland radio Station so that people begin to wonder if Radio New Zealand is worth paying for.

    Trust me, it is. It is the difference between America and New Zealand, China and New Zealand, Australia and New Zealand, Canada and New Zealand, Radio Key/Hide/Douglas propaganda and New Zealand, and best of all the difference between privatisation and a free New Zealand.

    University students doing music degrees use the concert programme for their homework assignments. They’re already being ripped off thousands of dollars through the National-started student loan farce. I hope they protest at the attempted removal of one of the few remaining stalwarts of a decent society, not like the moneytraders and flim flam men that Blue Peter wants to inhabit our beloved country.

    Trying to force everything on to user pay, then, Blue Peter so only the rich, who hide their money in trusts and write off their wealth through tax havens such as Key is trying to start here or through creative accounting (that I call fraud), can afford to live rather than just survive.

  3. BP
    I already pay for Radio NZ’s services (which I use every day) through my taxes, just like I do for the nation’s roads or police or politicians(!!). That’s the way a democracy works. Or are you saying that I should personally contribute toward my MP’s income?

  4. Wasn’t it just a couple of years ago that the number of staff at RNZ from 200 to 280….

    Worst case scenario, radio NZ will be what it was a couple of years ago.

  5. Ah, downvoters use Wikipedia, but don’t actually pay for it, huh.
    Do you help edit it on a regular basis?

    Much like RNZ. You want the benefit without the work/cost.

    What an irresponsible ideology.

  6. Even with inflation adjustemnt, I doubt that any of the rural under-18’s who rely on Radio NZ for news and information would be able to shake $100 each out of their piggy banks.

    So you’re telling me you won’t subsidise the children/poor by paying a little extra yourself?

    Rural communities have seen a huge reduction in services over the past ten years, this is probably the only real thing of value that most families have access to & use daily.

    You’re telling me it is valuable to them, but they don’t want to donate any money. It simply can’t be that valuable to them, as we’re only talking a few cents a day.

    A model for this already exists. In the US, you have listener-sponsored radio with no advertising.

    National aren’t getting rid of RnZ, they are simply telling them to live within their means. If you want no advertising – simple – donate a few cents a day. You can have this problem solved by next week.


    But your *real* problem, the problem you actually protest against but won’t state, is that you want people who *don’t* listen to RNZ to pay for it.

    Be honest.

  7. BP –

    as I recall my childhood, I got something like 20c – 50c pocket money all the time I was an avid Radio NZ listener (as a rural child).

    Even with inflation adjustemnt, I doubt that any of the rural under-18’s who rely on Radio NZ for news and information would be able to shake $100 each out of their piggy banks.

    Do you have no understanding whatsoever about the way public service broadcasting is used, outside of the cosy womb of suburbia that you inhabit? Rural communities have seen a huge reduction in services over the past ten years, this is probably the only real thing of value that most families have access to & use daily.
    Some areas still only have patchy access to TVNZ, btw. Radio is their only link to national news and current affairs.

    Then there’s the minor consideration that our Civil Defence and Disaster Response network use Radio NZ as their national network for passing on info about earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and any other disaster situation.

    [Hmm, frog – would this include, for our case, that while the revolution may not be televised, it most certainly would be broadcast on radio? 😉 ]

  8. If all supporters donate $100 p/y , then you will have the problem solved by tomorrow.

    I guess supporters don’t think RNZ is worth anywhere near $100 to them.

    Which speaks volumes….

    What they’re really saying is this: “we demand others pay for our entertainment”.

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