1 Nov 2018

NZ to use TV channel to promote its investment in Pacific

2:07 pm on 1 November 2018

New Zealand's Foreign Ministry will use a new dedicated TV channel for the Pacific to promote its investment in the region.

Natasha Meleisea, chief executive of Pacific Co-operation Broadcasting Ltd.

Natasha Meleisea Photo: supplied

In September, New Zealand's government announced it would spend $US6.6 million over the next three years to expand the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting service.

Documents released to RNZ Pacific show the channel will include short form stories produced under the Foreign Ministry's guidance.

It said the content will act as reminders to help embed New Zealand's connection with the Pacific and improve soft power benefits.

Natasha Meleisea, the broadcaster's chief executive, said it would improve transparency around aid projects.

"It is good for New Zealand to talk about and openly talk about these types of projects that are being delivered in the Pacific and from that I suppose from an educational purpose is when it is rebroadcasted across the region, that people can take some of the learnings from that if there are learnings to take, they can enquire more about the actual projects."

Around 8-10 stories would be produced under New Zealand government guidance each year, but PCBL would retain editorial control, Ms Meleisea said.

The planned service is still in its planning stages and would be finalised in the next six months or so, she said.

Any content which is produced or provided by the New Zealand government would be clearly identified as such, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said.

"The Pacific Reset does provide an opportunity to better tell the story of the collective ambition of development work in the Pacific," they said.

The expanded service will improve access for Pacific free-to-air broadcasters to New Zealand television content and increase the quality and quantity of Pacific-produced content through training and resourcing, the spokesperson said.

In August, the Foreign Ministry also announced a new journalism travel grant, with stories produced to "be informed by the Pacific Reset and include initiatives supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme".

Hopes Māori and Pasifika will have better public media representation

It's hoped that the latest appointments to a Ministerial Advisory Group in New Zealand will help public media better represent Māori and Pasifika in the country.

No caption

Kris Faafoi Photo: Sarah Robson RNZ

The Minister of Broadcasting Kris Faafoi has announced that Māori broadcaster Stacey Morrison and Samoan consultant Saraona Ai'ono-Iosefa have been added to the Public Media Advisory Group.

Mr Faafoi said he wanted to strengthen the group to provide advice on how Māori and Pacific language, culture and perspectives can be better represented across public media and on funding for the next budget.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said the appointment of Ms Ai'ono-Iosefa will provide a valuable voice that reflects the aspirations of Pasifika and the small but diverse Pacific media industry.