Media Releases

RNZ is the most trusted media organisation in New Zealand

Released at 5:41 pm on 22 September 2022

RNZ is proud to be the most trusted media organisation in New Zealand. Two independent reports* highlight the value of RNZ as an independent, non-commercial media organisation. In a time when trust in media is trending down, these results are a reminder of the importance of strong, independent public media.

The quality, dedication and professionalism of our journalists has been acknowledged at both the NZ Radio Awards and Voyager Media Awards. Notably, In Depth journalist Anusha Bradley took out awards at both events for her investigative journalism into the health system.

It has just been announced that RNZ has been shortlisted three times in this year’s AIBs – the international media awards run by the Association of International Broadcasters. The categories are: The Aotearoa History Show - Best Historical Video, Let’s be TRANSparent - Best Human Interest Audio and Red Line: A United Front - Investigative Audio Documentary.

RNZ continues to focus on two priorities as we head toward the conclusion of 2022 and what promises to be a watershed year in 2023. Our focus is on delivering our audiences the benefit of current RNZ charter and strategic priorities and preparing for the beginning of a new era with the establishment of the new public media entity on 1 March.

In the day-to-day operations of RNZ, the conclusion of the Covid Protection Framework brings with it a shift in daily news and the opportunity to focus on more predictable news patterns, including planning for major events such as next year’s general election and the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Key updates

RNZ has operated in ‘resilience mode’ throughout the winter months, with radio and news teams showcasing their outstanding agility by ensuring on-air and support shifts were covered through a challenging period of staff absences due to COVID-19 and other winter illnesses. In addition to moving back to normal programming with full strength teams, new faces and refreshed programmes are on the way for RNZ National, RNZ Concert and RNZ Pacific.

A new co-host to join Corin Dann on Morning Report will be announced in the coming weeks and Karyn Hay has been confirmed as new Nights host weeknights on RNZ National. The RNZ Concert schedule is strengthened with three key host appointments – new breakfast hosts Sani Muliaumaseali'i (Monday-Thursday), and Carey McDonald (Friday - Sunday) and Bryan Crump (Afternoon Drive) will be on air next month. In addition, RNZ Pacific is planning a new live daily news show to be transmitted across the Pacific via short wave radio that will launch in the new year.

RNZ’s rangatahi platform TAHI celebrates its first birthday in December and plans are underway for additional programming to add to the music stream and audio and video content currently on offer.

Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media

RNZ has made a submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill. The submission broadly supports the bill and has suggested amendments, primarily focusing on ensuring editorial independence, giving more clarity to the public good outcomes, the appropriate crown entity model, the funding period, and cultural expression. RNZ's submission has now been published on the Parliamentary website.

RNZ’s Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Paul Thompson is wrapping up a trip to England and Canada, researching how BBC and CBC run as public media organisations, and connecting with the Public Media Alliance (PMA), the world’s largest association of public media organisations. Thompson became president of the PMA in 2016 and was recently elected for a third term.

Thompson says it is clear from his talks with the PMA that there are lots of challenges across public media worldwide.

“New Zealand is one of the few countries going against that trend with the prospect of more funding and a stronger public media mandate in train. The select committee process that is under way is an enormously important opportunity to strengthen the Bill, particularly in the areas of the public media focus and independence.”

* Myllylahti, M. & Treadwell, G. (2022). Trust in news in Aotearoa New Zealand 2022. AUT research centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD).
Value Indices (2022) Kantar Public commissioned by RNZ.

Key results

 Digital results
Website traffic grows in August

  • added 101,000 unique audience members (15+) in August 2022 to reach a unique audience of 919,000 according to the latest Neilsen figures, a 12% increase from July.

Usage of RNZ app remains popular  

  • On average, the RNZ app had 150,000 users each month between June and August.

Audio streams

  • RNZ audio content was streamed on 985,981 times from June to August. This is 16% lower than the same period in 2021 (which included the Delta lockdown).
  • In August there were 255,000 streams of RNZ content on the iHeart radio platform, an increase of 11,000 from July (+4.7%).

Podcast downloads

  • From June to August downloads of audio content from (including podcasts) reached 4.4 million, with an additional 5.07 million downloads from third-party platforms (including Spotify, Apple podcasts and other podcast platforms). This is a combined 25% increase year on year. 

Radio results
RNZ grows market share in tough radio market

  • RNZ radio stations have had an increase in audience share of listening compared to the last survey growing to 14.5%, from 14.1%. RNZ National’s market share is up to 11.5% from 11.2% and RNZ Concert has increased to 3% from 2.8%.
  • In a typical week, 675,000 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ National and RNZ Concert, down from 696,300 (–3.1% percent from the previous survey and -2.7% compared to the same time last year).
  • Typically, 562,600 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ National, down from 579,300. (-2.9% compared with the last survey and -4.6% compared with the same time last year).
  • In a typical week, 210,700 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ Concert, down from 222,500 (-5.3%) in the last survey and up slightly from 210,300 compared with the same time last year.
  • The number of listeners to all radio across Aotearoa declined from 3,683,200 to 3,663,500 listeners, -0.5% per cent compared with the last survey.

In case you missed it

In Depth: Guyon Espiner’s investigative series on Lotto

Podcast: Comedians Tim Batt and Carlo Ritchie consider a controversial question no-one needed to ask; Did Titanic Sink?

Podcast: Join Justine Murray as she takes us on a haerenga around Aotearoa to learn about place names and their origins in Nau Mai Town

Video: Exploring the enriching ways in which migrant generations are making the most out of life in Aotearoa while navigating their own family histories in GIANTS

Massey University Press to publish The RNZ Cookbook in November

A fourth series of the NZ TV Award-winning documentary series NZ Wars is due for release in November, this time focusing on the Wairau affray