March 09, 2023
Broadcast merger consultants money well spent says Jackson
Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson says he has no regrets about the amount spent on consultants on the abandoned Radio New Zealand-TVNZ merger.
The Ministry of Culture and Heritage says more than $16 million was spent on the proposed merger over the past four years, before it was scrapped last month.
Mr Jackson says it’s a project he inherited from previous minister Kris Faafoi, and it’s a shame it could not have gone ahead a year ago.
He says the reasons for considering the merger have not changed, and the work done will put the state broadcasting entities including Maori Television in a stronger position to face the challenges ahead.
“You’ve got audiences dwindling, resources and funding of TVNZ going backwards, you’ve got a landscape where people are disappearing down rabbit holes so we had to do the work and it means so much to do that sort of work and now TVNZ know about the challenges, now Radio NZ know about the challenges, they know there are these audiences they have to serve and we’ve got ready-made legislation that’s all set up to get into in a better time,” Mr Jackson says.
He says consultants are part of doing such work, as the staff at Culture and Heritage don’t have expertise in areas like business mergers.