Labour has failed to deliver on yet another election promise, with Labour’s much-heralded RNZ+ and its $38 million a year public broadcasting policy now dead in the water, National’s Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media spokesperson Melissa Lee says.
“As well as total money for public broadcasting services dropping by $2 million this year, Associate Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Grant Robertson told a Select Committee today the Government will not proceed with a Public Media Funding Commission and that the secretive Public Media Ministerial Advisory Group will cease to exist at the end of this month.
“It’s sad to see confirmation that this Government chose to raise the hopes of Kiwi broadcasters and public media organisations but won’t deliver.
“We still have no idea what the Government’s plans are for the future of New Zealand’s public media needs, even after more than $1.5 million of taxpayers’ money has been spent towards the Commission and Advisory Group, both of which will soon be a distant memory.
“While the Local Democracy Reporter pilot announced last week is a positive step towards good practice public media funding, it was a last minute spend up of the NZ On Air-RNZ Joint Innovation Fund announced last year.
“There is no certainty it will last beyond 2020, especially as failure to deliver is the recurring theme of this Government. KiwiBuild has only just cracked 100 houses, fees-free has been a flop and there’s been a measly 1 per cent increase in funding for medicines.
“More questions remain about the ongoing serious issues public media is facing for the future, National looks forward to continuing to scrutinise the little action this Government takes.”
The Government has wasted a third of its term on the Chief Technology Officer shambles, stalling work on an effective Digital strategy, National’s Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media spokesperson Melissa Lee says.
“Once again the Labour Party has broken an election manifesto promise but of greater concern is that a year has been wasted that should have been spent developing an innovative Digital policy.
“The Government’s default position on any policy is to farm out the work to a working group, which is exactly what Megan Woods has done by re-allocating the $500,000 CTO budget to a new ‘Digital committee’. There’s no mention of the $100,000 compensation for Derek Handley or the costs to review the failed CTO plan.
“Industry groups will be wondering what happened to the existing working groups in this area like the Government’s Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Ministerial Advisory Group and the entire Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry Digital Economy team.
“This whole exercise has been ill-thought out, woefully executed and has been terrible for the digital technology stakeholders of New Zealand. How can they be confident that Minister Woods won’t embark on further blunders in a technology sector that needs true leadership?”
A National Party Members’ Bill drawn from the ballot late last week in the name of National list MP Melissa Lee would ensure that broadcasting content funding decisions by the Government are more transparent.
“It’s important that New Zealanders get value for money in the broadcasting sector, particularly when items funded are controversial or for a non-commercial purpose,’’ Ms Lee says.
“This Bill would require that content funded by NZ on Air and Te Māngai Pāho have their viewership, ratings and other performance tracking data disclosed quarterly.
“All funded content regardless of platform and non-music-based radio programming would be reported on and tracked by NZ on Air and Te Māngai Pāho, in order to better maintain and conserve public funding opportunities for the content that New Zealanders care about.
“It would also offer a chance to refresh the existing disclosures and funding analysis by the agencies before projects are confirmed or renewed.
“Whether radio, television, multimedia or innovative new content, it is important the public are able to know the full facts behind the funding decisions determined by Crown Agencies.
“With more content being funded that are digital only projects and with traditional viewership ratings not including online viewership, it is essential we improve the measurement systems so we can ensure the transparency of these funding decisions.
“I’ll be approaching Government Representatives and Members across the House who I am sure will support better openness and transparency in our broadcasting sector and hope to see this important matter pass into law.”
Associate State Services Minister Clare Curran talks a big game about her ‘open and transparent Government’, but she has come up short once again, National’s Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media spokesperson Melissa Lee says.
“The Ministerial Advisory Group that was created by Ms Curran in February to investigate establishing a Public Media Funding Commission has decided after its first meeting not to keep minutes after noting they were subject to the Official Information Act.
“Her claim in Parliament today that she ‘is unaware’ that her own Ministerial Advisory Group is not taking minutes is staggering.
“This working group for a working group will decide the future of public media funding in New Zealand, and is responsible for millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, and they’ve now made the call their dealings shouldn’t be subject to public scrutiny.
“Ms Curran declared last year that this Government would be the most open and transparent government that New Zealand had ever seen. But after eight months in power, it’s anything but.
“She has already tried to cover up the now-notorious breakfast meeting which cost Carol Hirschfeld her job, she left hundreds of Parliamentary questions unanswered till after their due dates and has given no guidance to Government agencies on best practices for open government.
“The only open and transparent approach has been from other Ministers’ offices who have failed to correctly redact OIA documents, leaving the public with the simple task of copying and pasting the document into a Word document to reveal all.
“Ms Curran’s claim that this Government is the most open and transparent is now proven to be nothing but hot air.”
Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran refused to answer crucial questions about her portfolio at select committee today leaving the committee at a loss to know what is happening in the area, National’s Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media spokesperson Melissa Lee says.
“The Minister’s plans for Radio New Zealand and RNZ+ have been the primary issue that she has focused on since her appointment in October.
“However, she refused not just once but multiple times throughout today’s hearings to answer straightforward questions about her plans for the sector following Budget 2018.
“It is hypocrisy of the highest order for the Minister to refuse to answer basic questions about her intentions and the spending of millions of taxpayer dollars while at the same time claiming to be a ‘champion’ of open government.
“Radio New Zealand and other broadcasting agencies come before the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee for almost all other matters but she feebly argued she held no responsibility.
“Well that’s typical of Ms Curran and her Government. Say one thing and do another and break promise after promise to New Zealanders.
“This is more dodging from a Minister who has been consistently exposed as being out of her depth.
“She has a history of leaving questions unanswered, misleading New Zealanders and breaking promises and this needs to stop.”
Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran must be much more transparent about her relationship with public broadcaster Radio New Zealand, National Party Broadcasting Spokesperson Melissa Lee says.
“Twice now we have the Government being less than open about their dealings with the company,” Ms Lee says.
“First last week, Clare Curran was caught red-faced attempting to hide a one-on-one meeting with RNZ Head of Content Carol Hirschfield by claiming it was a casual breakfast.
“And today we’ve learnt an employee of the Prime Minister’s Office promoted Government policy while participating in an opinion segment on National Radio but only described herself as a public relations consultant from a private company she no longer works at.
“The political independence of Radio New Zealand is paramount to its role as a public broadcaster. These events call into question the Minister’s ability to perform her Ministerial duties effectively.
“These events are another two strikes against both the Prime Minister’s and Clare Curran’s commitment to open and transparent Government in her Associate State Services (Open Government) delegations.
“Radio New Zealand operates in a competitive media environment. Both the company and its competitors must be confident there is nothing going on with the Minister in charge of the sector that could screw the scrum in a particular direction.
“Belatedly Clare Curran has now corrected the record about her meetings with Radio New Zealand. The Prime Minister needs to follow suit and apologise for the way her staffer represented herself.
“The Government is in danger of having its highly vocal commitment to open and transparent Government being seen for what it actually is – just another bunch of platitudes and hot air.”
This afternoon I had the privilege of being re-appointed to the position of Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities.
Having served as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) since 2011 it is a continued pleasure to ensure that the voices of all New Zealanders can be heard in Parliament.
It is a great honour to continue to work for the ethnic communities of New Zealand and share their amazing stories of culture and diversity with my Parliamentary colleagues.
I look forward to continuing the excellent work our Government and National have achieved in getting more New Zealanders from all backgrounds engaged and aware in our communities.
오늘 오후 저는 다민족부 정무차관으로 재임명되었습니다.
2011년도부터 다민족부 정무차관으로서 모든 뉴질랜드 국민들의 목소리가 정부에 전달 되는 것에 일조할 수 있어서 기쁘게 생각합니다.
뉴질랜드의 다민족을 위해 지속적으로 일하며, 국회 동료들과 함께 여러 문화와 다양성을 나눌 수 있어서 영광스럽게 생각합니다.
저는 뉴질랜드 정부와 국민당이 여러 배경을 가진 더 많은 뉴질랜드 국민들과 소통하며, 그들이 지역사회에서 잘 속해 있을 수 있도록, 앞으로도 좋은 일들을 이어나갈 것을 기대하고 있습니다.