The costly furore over amalgamating TVNZ and Radio NZ is specially amusing for me.

That’s because over 3 decades ago they were one entity, Broadcasting NZ and I was one of the government appointed small committee formed to consider their splitting into separate entities.

We were assailed by an English, allegedly specialist consultancy on this issue, brought out to persuade us to split. For the life of me I couldn’t see any merit in this, moreso as the guts of their argument from memory, seemed to be in that era of radical change, every other country was doing this. However, I was a sole objector and my committee colleagues ran with the consultants.

But here’s another perspective on the matter. The underlying proposition in that revolutionary era was that governments should not do what the private sector can. So the hotels, travel agencies, insurance companies, shipping, airlines, banks and so on were all rightly sold off. Why then was radio and television retained?

I suspect as with most western nations the sentiment was that a non-commercial radio network delivering a straight unbiased news service etc was a necessity. But television? Study TVNZ’s daily fare. It’s simply low level entertainment rather than supposedly uplifting material.

I suppose the argument for its retention is not everyone can afford Sky for example, offering a rich variety of major news channels. But surely most folk could manage its circa $25 weekly cost.

There’s no longer any supportable argument for the state running a television channel and it should be sold while it still has some value.


Plenty of excellent news channels without paying a red cent. e.g AlJazeera, GB news, Euronews etc.

Should have sold it years ago when it was worth something.
Now – bugger all – probably $2B down the toilet.
Could have funded our fiber roll out which is much more relevant.
Remember when the yellow pages got sold for $2.4B and then went down the plug hole ?
Wokesters love to hang onto assets regardless of the circumstances

Politicians require the oxygen of publicity to reach and convert voters to their camp, they will always prop up the existence of media, particularly if they have means of bending that media to sing their praises. Being paymaster to the press inevitably has benefits in ensuring their continued editorial sympathies.

The other note is anyone under 30 probably does not watch these television channels – Sky is a waste of time and money and hence there are plenty of alternatives – may TVNZ et al slide into oblivion – the sooner the better

I thought; $25 a week, that’s a lot! Then I thought again, that’s about what I pay for my internet…. sometimes thinking is painful 🙂

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