Ministry of Culture and Heritage

Proposals to change the unsatisfactory status of two vital heritage institutions are meeting strong resistance from their current host.

In 2010 the State Services Commission, in its bureaucratic arrogance, decided to merge Archives NZ and the National Library into the Department of Internal Affairs. National cabinet ministers, under the thumbs of their departments, agreed (such instances are more common than is usually admitted).

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.

The death of Stratos Television last week is a sad, bad story – and we have not seen the end of it.

At 11:00am on Friday, 23 December, Stratos Television vanished quietly from the programme menus offered by the Sky, Freeview, and Telstra Clear distribution networks.

Official papers show Television New Zealand won $79 million in government funding for its advertising-free channels TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7, by claiming they would be self-funding by 2012. Now they are closing the new channels down to enhance profits.

Television New Zealand told the last Labour government that two advertising-free channels it was launching to lure viewers onto the Freeview digital transmission platforms would be self-funding by 2012.

Ructions over free-to-air television coverage of the Rugby World Cup raise major questions about the sustainability of New Zealand’s approach to public broadcasting

It had to happen sooner or later – and rugby is just the issue to get New Zealanders exercised about the $230 million worth of taxpayers’ funds being spent annually to provide us with public broadcasting services.