New Zealand’s switch to digital TV is running smoothly on the home-front – but TV broadcasters are having a rough ride through a jungle of bungles by state agencies.

More than 90 per cent of home viewers are now ready for the final switch to all-digital TV at the end of this year – but many of the country’s free-to-air broadcasters are having a tough time shifting to the new digital world.

New Zealand is heading for a digital divide that will see a substantial portion of the population disadvantaged by the change. The rot starts with our free-to-air television broadcasting system and expands with the introduction of the ultrafast broadband internet.

Last week, I was one of the usual suspects rounded up for a talk-fest on the Future of Public Television in New Zealand at Victoria University. Working up my own presentation on “Sustaining Local Content”, I became more and more depressed. I might as well share my misery.