Media Releases

Kōkiri whakamua – moving forward

Released at 1:03 pm on 24 November 2023

A fond farewell 

As 2023 draws to a close, it’s time to say haere rā to a national icon - broadcasting great Kim Hill. 

This weekend she will sign off from hosting RNZ’s Saturday Morning with Kim Hill programme. She joined us in 1985 and has delighted audiences with her rapier intelligence and wit ever since. 

Hill’s final show runs from 8am until Midday on Saturday, and the following day she will appear on Sunday Morning with Jim Mora to discuss her remarkable career. But this isn’t the last audiences will hear from Kim Hill, while no longer hosting a regular programme,  she is expected to return to RNZ for a series of in-depth interviews next year. More details on that will be announced soon. 

Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Paul Thompson describes Hill as an unparalleled public broadcaster in New Zealand.

"She has set the bar. Everyone at RNZ, as well as our audiences, are grateful for her remarkable contribution and we wish her all the best for the future."

Key appointments 

The search for a new Saturday Morning host is underway, as are a number of key projects across RNZ. 

Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Paul Thompson said it had been an extraordinary year and the focus was now on delivering RNZ’s new vision: “Outstanding public media that matters”. 

This means a number of strategic initiatives have started to help modernise and transform RNZ, so it can deliver to a range of audiences.  

Recent key appointments in content and editorial areas include, new Māori News Editor Taiha Molyneaux, Climate Change Correspondent Eloise Gibson, Sports Correspondent Dana Johannsen, Māori Commissioner Jana Te Nahu-Owen and RNZ Concert Morning Presenter Andrew Clark. 

Elsewhere, Mark Stevens has joined as Chief News Officer, RNZ’s Political Editor Jane Patterson is starting a new role as Director of Editorial Quality and Training, Glen Scanlon as Chief Performance Officer and Laura Franklin as Head of Transformation. 

Key results
Election 2023 

For the five weeks leading up to the election and on the night itself, our dedicated unit focused on providing clear, current and comprehensive coverage across platforms. 

- RNZ’s digital audience on election weekend (14-15 October) was double that of the previous election with more than 1.6 million pageviews. 

- RNZ’s election podcast Caucus returned, with Māori political podcast MATA with Mihingarangi Forbes running weekly in the buildup to the election. Grilled with Charlotte Cook took party leaders through favourite recipes and their ingredients for political success.

- RNZ Asia (Indo NZ and RNZ Chinese) strengthened and broadened RNZ election coverage as well as providing valuable contributions and context to coverage of several high-profile criminal cases. 

Latest numbers

- Website traffic hit a 12-month high in October with 973,000 unique users, according to Nielsen.  

- The RNZ app remains popular. There were more than 470,000 users of the RNZ mobile app between August and October 2023 (source: GA4). There was also an increase in the number of users per month from August (158,000) to October (161,000).

- RNZ audio content was streamed approximately 426,000 times on between August and October 2023 (source: GA4). 

- RNZ Podcasts were downloaded on third-party apps 4.5 million times in the August to October period.

Conviction, a podcast on the Christchurch Civic Creche case reached 100,000 downloads on external podcast platforms in its first month of release and was the number one podcast series on Apple Podcasts for several weeks. 

- In a typical week 634,800 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ National, and RNZ Concert (648,700 in the last GfK survey) 

- RNZ National’s audience 10+ is 532,200 in a typical week (532,400 in the last survey) 

- In a typical week 174,800 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ Concert (192,000 in the last survey) 

- The total share across RNZ National and Concert is 12.6% 

- The number of listeners to all radio across Aotearoa is 3,642,600. 

Collaboration is vital 

From our radical sharing strategy to new collaborations, RNZ is committed to maintaining partnerships to produce and share diverse content and play a part in supporting the media landscape.  

Thompson has labelled collaboration RNZ’s “super-power”.  

“Our strategy to share our content with other media organisations has allowed RNZ to reach more New Zealanders, and also helped other outlets cover news they might not otherwise be able to." 

In the past month RNZ has signed new agreements with the Community Access Media Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand) and Kete Books. In September, RNZ and CBC/Radio-Canada announced a new partnership between the two national public broadcasters. Read more here

RNZ’s content sharing partners now number 63. This week one of those platforms, the Westport News, celebrates 150 years. It comes six years into a content-sharing agreement with RNZ – our first with an independent daily newspaper in the South Island.  

As well as sharing RNZ content, RNZ is also working with partners to deliver an increasingly diverse range of programming. TAHI has published three regional series by Māori producers that have been among the top content from the rangatahi platform, contributing to the growth of fresh Māori voices from around the motu. These series were funded by Te Māngai Pāho. 


Webfest Awards 

Congratulations to the Tinderbox Productions, the makers of self-funded dramedy series Blind Bitter Happiness for winning Best Writing and Best Narrative webseries at the Webfest Awards on 12 November. The series has also been awarded direct selection into the Japan Web Fest Awards. 

NZGAJC Agricultural Photography and Journalism Awards 

Sally Round and Sally Murphy were acknowledged at the NZGAJC (New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators) Agricultural Photography and Journalism Awards. 

Sally Murphy won for her coverage of Fieldays for Midday Report, Cyclone Gabrielle for Morning Report, and m-bovis eradication efforts for Nine to Noon

Sally Round was recognised for Voices from Tai Rāwhiti, an episode for Country Life that captured how rural people were faring three months after Cyclone Gabrielle ravaged the region. 

NZ TV Awards 2023 

The NZ TV Awards recognizes excellence in a variety of categories across television in Aotearoa. RNZ has NZ Wars: Stories of Wairau as a finalist this year, produced by Aotearoa Media Collective & Great Southern Television. The winner will be announced on 5 December. NZ Wars is made with the support of NZ on Air.

Milestones and events 

RNZ celebrated 75 years of broadcasting on shortwave frequencies into the Pacific this month. A new transmitter is due to arrive in early 2024, securing coverage for the region. 

RNZ Music’s September 2022 concert recording of Dimmer’s Live at the Hollywood has now been released by the band on vinyl, reaching #1 on the Independent Music New Zealand album charts.  

RNZ Concert’s recording of the NZSO and the Signature Choir performing orchestral settings of 10 much loved Pasifika songs in six languages is set to be released on streaming platforms. After the sell-out concert at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre last year, the orchestra and choir will stage a second concert at Auckland’s Spark Arena this evening, with the recording release to follow.