The move by Television New Zealand to outsource the production of its Maori and Pacific programmes has sparked community concern.
TVNZ announced last month that it intends to get independent producers to make almost all of its Maori and Pacific programmes from next year.
At a meeting last night organised by the Pacific Island Media Association (PIMA), and attended by TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick, Pasifika broadcasters and community leaders asked for their plans to outsource Tagata Pasifika and Fresh be delayed until March 2015 – to allow more time for everyone to consider the process.
Since TVNZ’s charter was canned in 2011, the broadcaster is no longer bound by legislation to meet the needs of its Pasifika audiences. PIMA fears outsourcing production could be catastrophic for the communities it serves.
Facilitator Iulia Leilua said: “Last night’s feedback was that TVNZ doesn’t value Pasifika audiences because we don’t make them money and our cultural contributions to public television aren’t important either.”
Kenrick compared Tangata Pasifika‘s ratings to some of the more popular TVNZ shows, but many felt that was unfair due to the scheduling of programmes either at graveyard or early morning hours which do not cater to Pasifika communities.
Kenrick re-assured the Pasifika community that their concerns, including the need for more broadcasting and funding commitments for Tagata Pasifika and Fresh beyond 2015, will now be part of a conversation with TVNZ.
Photo by Matt Biddulph