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Outstanding public media that matters

Released at 1:00 pm on 25 August 2023

RNZ has been busy planning for the future in the wake of its funding increase and decision to keep it as the standalone independent, non-commercial public media organisation for Aotearoa.

In recent weeks the RNZ Board has approved the organisation’s new Statement of Intent for the next four years, formalising our vision, purpose, attitudes and strategic objectives. We have also seen the release of the independent report into RNZ’s editorial procedures, and work has already begun on the implementation of the report’s recommendations. *

RNZ’s Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Paul Thompson says while there is a large programme of work to be delivered, RNZ is in a strong position for the future.

“The increased funding is already making a difference to our day-to-day operations as we have projects underway to improve areas of our organisation that had been under-resourced, such as technology,” he said.

“We know that with more funding, comes increased expectations and our new vision and strategy documents mirror that. We’ll be working to better understand the diverse audiences of Aotearoa and how to serve them.”

Earlier this month it was announced that NZ On Air and RNZ would fund the Local Democracy Reporting programme (LDR) through until the end of 2024, following the conclusion of the Public Interest Journalism Fund, which ended on 30 June 2023.

At the time, Thompson said collaboration with the broader sector to achieve better outcomes for audiences was part of RNZ’s mission and it was delighted to increase its support of the LDR scheme. The 16 LDR reporters write around 3,000 local stories each year, published by 30 media partners.

Other highlights in the last quarter include the launch of RNZ Chinese and IndoNZ – new sections of the RNZ website with news for and about the Chinese and Indian communities in New Zealand, written by journalists from those communities. The RNZ Asia Unit is funded in the first year by NZ On Air, and RNZ in the second year.

“We’re really proud of the contribution the Indo NZ and RNZ Chinese teams are already making as part of the RNZ News team. It’s exciting to successfully have stories on our website in Simplified Chinese and having team members available to bring cultural knowledge to stories such has the disappearance of Yanfei Bao in Christchurch and exploitation of migrant workers.”

Last Sunday saw the launch of RNZ National’s new arts programme Culture 101, with co-hosts and producers Perlina Lau (Creamerie) and Mark Amery (formerly The Post and Senior Producer for Saturday Morning with Kim Hill) bringing fresh energy and focus to the Sunday afternoon arts programming. The show launch coincided with the release of three new scripted programmes – feature film Kāinga (funded by NZ On Air), comedy shorts A Place Called Te Awamutu (funded by Te Māngai Pāho), and dark family comedy Blind Bitter Happiness.

The RNZ In Depth team has released a series of high quality, long form investigative projects in recent weeks. These are multimedia projects with stories online, in podcasts, on air and social media including Crown vs Cow, on agricultural emissions, Anusha Bradley’s comprehensive investigation into the Jehovah’s Witness church Something Evil, and Undercurrent, Susie Ferguson’s series on mis- and disinformation, that topped both the Apple and Spotify podcast charts on the weekend of release.
With just 50 days until the General Election, RNZ’s clear, current and comprehensive election coverage is underway across radio and digital news, programmes, podcasts and social media. Listeners, readers and social media scrollers can skim the highlights or listen to news agenda setting interviews on Morning Report and Checkpoint, or go into detailed analysis every Thursday with Lisa Owen, Guyon Espiner, Tim Watkin and Julian Wilcox on Caucus. For focused coverage of Māori issues catch Mihingārangi Forbes on Mata on RNZ National and online every Tuesday from 5 September. For a weekly update on election polling, Facebook advertising, hot topics and more, visit or go to for all RNZ's coverage of Election 2023.

* These documents, as well as the Statement of Performance Expectations and other corporate publications are available on our website.

Key results

Digital results

  • Website traffic grows in July 2023 - added 78,000 unique audience members (15+) in July 2023 to reach a unique audience of 880,000 according to the latest Nielsen figures, a 10% increase from June 2023, and up 7.5% increase from July 2022.

  • Usage of RNZ app remains popular - In July 2023 the RNZ app had 147,100 users, an increase of 5,600 (+3.8%) on June 2023.

  • Audio streams - RNZ audio content was streamed on 322,000 times in July 2013 a 3% increase from June 2023.  

  • Podcast downloads - In July 2023 more than 2,965,000 podcasts were downloaded, an increase of 92,000 (+3%) from June 2023.


Radio results
RNZ's radio results from GfK Survey 2:

  • In a typical week, 648,700 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ National and RNZ Concert, down from 678,200 from the previous survey.

  • RNZ National’s audience 10+ is 532,400 in a typical week, down from 557,300 in the previous survey.

  • In a typical week, 192,000 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ Concert, a decrease of 18,000 from the last survey.

  • RNZ's share of all radio audiences in New Zealand has decreased slightly, with both RNZ National and RNZ Concert down by 1.1 percentage points. The total share across RNZ National and RNZ Concert is 12.8%.

  • The number of listeners to all radio across Aotearoa increased slightly to 3,661,800 from 3,651,200 listeners, up 0.3% on the previous survey.


2023 PANZ Book Design Awards

  • The RNZ Cookbook was released in November 2022 and has been named a finalist in two categories - Best Cookbook and Best Typography. The winners will be announced in a ceremony on 21 September.

Voyager Media Awards

  • Best original podcast – ongoing/episodic - The Detail (Joint winner with Between Two Beers) Newsroom and RNZ.

  • Le Mana Pacific Award - Lydia Lewis

  • Best reporting – environment - Farah Hancock

  • Feature Writer of the Year (short-form) - Guyon Espiner