Media Releases

RNZ focusses on the future

Released at 3:18 pm on 5 May 2022

RNZ started 2022 with clear priorities and objectives – continuing to deliver the high-quality news, current affairs and entertainment that the public expect from our radio and digital platforms, along with a focus on preparing for an exciting future as part of a new public media entity for Aotearoa.
RNZ’s chair Dr Jim Mather and Board member Peter Parussini have been announced as part of the nine-member Establishment Board tasked with the design of the new media entity which will be   built on the skills and expertise of both RNZ and TVNZ.
Most importantly, the new entity will have a charter, embedded in legislation, that sets out its purpose, objectives, operating principles, and outcomes. The charter will also describe its role in working with and supporting New Zealand’s broader media sector. The new entity will provide a range of content that all New Zealanders can enjoy, and it will also better serve specific, often under-served audiences, including Māori.

Legislation will soon be introduced to Parliament and will then go through a select committee process, giving the public an opportunity to have their say, provide submissions, and give their views, on the charter which sets out what the people of Aotearoa New Zealand can expect from their public media organisation.

Meanwhile, it’s business as usual, RNZ has been named the most trusted media organisation in New Zealand in the annual report Trust in news in Aotearoa New Zealand 2022 by the AUT research centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD). Traffic to RNZ’s website continues to build with an increase of 32% year on year for March 2022, and radio audiences have also increased to 745,600 in the latest GfK survey numbers.

Key results

The audience for RNZ’s digital platforms continue to grow with audiences finding content when, where and how they want it. Latest Nielsen figures show a 32% audience increase (15+) in March 2022 compared to the same month last year, this ranked the third most visited news website in New Zealand.
Audience figures via the RNZ app, third party platforms, podcast and audio streaming and voice activated platforms all continue to grow. [See details results below]
RNZ’s radio stations have built on the strong numbers ending 2021, with the latest GfK survey results showing a combined audience across RNZ National and RNZ Concert of 745,600, and increase of 14,400 (10+)

The biggest growth by show in this survey was shown by Sunday Morning with Jim Mora (up 16,700 or 5.3% in this survey compared to the last survey) and Saturday Morning with Kim Hill up 15,700 or 5.3%

Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Paul Thompson says trusted news and current affairs remains at the heart of RNZ and will be the cornerstone of the new public media entity.
“I’m proud of the work our team has achieved under challenging circumstances and despite significant disruption since August last year. The majority of our staff continue to work from home most days, and there was a time where most of our shows were broadcast from at-home set ups,” Thompson said.
“I’m grateful for the commitment and flexibility shown by the team across the whole organisation. Everyone has continued to deliver outstanding work whether it’s news, radio programmes, or the huge array of content available on our website and via social media platforms.”
Alongside our regular news and programming, RNZ is focusing on initiatives that support underserved audiences. This includes TAHI, the fledgling platform for rangatahi, and new commissioning will continue to focus on rangatahi, Māori, and Pacific audiences. A second series of The Aotearoa History Show has just been launched. Independently created by RNZ and funded by the Ministry of Education, the new video series aligns with the launch of the New Zealand history curriculum.
High quality RNZ content is available through many other media outlets, with key news stories and In Depth investigations available via RNZ’s radical sharing strategy, making it available on third party platforms. The reach of RNZ content via iHeart Radio has continued to grow and, in a new initiative, RNZ National, RNZ Concert and TAHI were added to MediaWorks’ rova app in mid-February.
RNZ continues to receive industry accolades in top local and international awards, including three awards at the NZ Television Awards for series funded by the RNZ/NZ On Air Joint Innovation Fund. RNZ also received three medals at last week’s New York Festivals Radio Awards and Chatham Islanders (for Māori Television) won Bronze in the documentary/community portraits category of the New York Festivals TV and Film Awards.

Recent Awards

New York Festival Radio Awards
Narrative/Documentary Podcast - Black Sheep - Bronze
Personal Lives Podcast - Let's Be Transparent - Bronze
Craft - Ngā Hihi o Matariki – Silver
New Zealand Television Awards 
NZ On Air Best Pasifika Programme - Tikilounge Productions for Untold Pacific History - Winner
Best Factual - Fisheye Films for Fight for the Wild - Winner
Images & Sound Best Original Score 2021 - Tom McLeod, Fight for the Wild - produced by Fisheye Films for RNZ - Winner

Detailed audience results

RNZ’s website traffic continues to grow

  • Latest results from Nielsen show 1,138,000 New Zealanders aged 15+ visited the RNZ website In March this year up from 861,000 in the same month last year, an increase of 32% 

This ranks the RNZ website third behind leading Stuff (2,336,000) and NZ Herald (1,901,000) sites, and ahead of TVNZ News (1,019,000) and Newshub (998,000).
Usage of RNZ app remains popular  

  • In a typical week in 2022 the RNZ app was used 121,155 times, up from 103,242 in the same period last year, an increase of 17.4%

Engagement with RNZ content on third party platforms remains steady  

  • In the first three months of 2022 RNZ content was accessed and streamed 745,813 times on the iHeart Radio platform, up from 722,629 in the same period last year and 448,578 in the first quarter of 2020

Downloads and streams of RNZ’s audio content and podcasts boosts engagement

  • In January to March this year podcast and online audio content downloads from the RNZ website and third-party platforms amassed 11.6 million downloads, up from 9.59 million or 21% compared to the same period in 2021
  • During the same period RNZ content was streamed 907,925 times in the first three months of this year, up 15.2% year on year

RNZ’s voice activated services experience solid growth

  • RNZ’s voice activated news briefings were used 151,529 times in the first quarter of 2022, up from 28,692 or 428% compared to the same period last year

Audience levels for RNZ radio stations combined show solid growth

  • In a typical week 745,600 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ radio stations, up from 731,200 in the last survey (+14,400 or 2%) and up from 721,800 (+23,700 or 3.3%) compared to the same time last year

More New Zealanders turn to RNZ National  

  • Typically 633,700 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ National, up from 626,700 in the last survey (+7,000 or 1.1%) and up from 609,800 (+23,900 or 3.9%) compared to the same time last year
  • The biggest growth by show in this survey was shown by Sunday Morning with Jim Mora (up 16,700 or 5.3% in this survey compared to the last survey) and Saturday Morning with Kim Hill up 15,700 or 5.3%

RNZ Concert also experiences audience growth

  • In a typical week 236,600 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ Concert, up from 235,100 in the last survey (+1,100 or 0.5%) and up from 229,500 (+6,100 or 2.6%) compared to the same time last year