Email To NZ On Air CEO, Jane Wrightson

from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: “Jane Wrightson” <Jane@nzonair.govt.nz>
date: Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 10:40 PM
subject: Radio NZ funding

 

Kia ora Ms Wrightson,

I am aware that Radio NZ’s funding has been frozen at $31,816,000 since 2009.

In effect, once inflation and increased wages are taken into effect, Radio NZ has suffered a decrease in funding for the past six years.

Can you please supply answers to the following questions regarding this matter;

1. Can you explain why Radio NZ’s funding has not been increased annually, at least to keep pace with inflation?

In your Annual reports, NZ on Air’s income from Crown revenue went from $109,813,000 (for the year ended 30 June 2008 ) to $128,726,000 (for the year ended 30 June 2015) – an increase of nearly $19 million.

2. Can you explain why none of that increase, according to your Annual Reports, was directed at Radio NZ?

NZ on Air states “We are an independent government funding agency”.

However, there is a perception that Radio NZ’s funding has been frozen (effectively reduced, after inflation is factored in) because it is considered to be politically “inconvenient” or “embarrassing” to the government. By constraining it’s budget, it is a slow strangulation of the broadcaster.

3. Can you shed light on that assertion?

4. What in-put has Board Member, Stephen McElrea, had in determining Radio NZ’s allocation of funding?

5. Has Mr McElrea ever opposed increasing funding to Radio NZ?

6. If the answer to the above question is yes, what reason(s) did he offer?

7. In the light of Mr McElrea’s close affiliation to the Prime Minister and to the National Party hierarchy, does he excuse himself from any discussion relating to Radio NZ and it’s funding?

8. Is there any other reason why Radio NZ’s funding has been frozen since 2009?

Lastly, what steps will NZ on Air be taking to increase funding for Radio NZ? If not, why not?

In the interests of fairness, I should disclose that any answers you make may be used in a media story I am preparing on the issue of funding for Radio NZ.

If necessary, please consider this email to be a request under the Official Information Act.

I look forward to your timely response to these questions, and any other information that might shed light on this issue.

Thank you for your time,

Regards,
Frank Macskasy

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