12 Feb 2020

RNZ Concert fans deliver petition as cut-back plans shelved

From Checkpoint, 5:14 pm on 12 February 2020

Plans to scale-back RNZ Concert appear to have been completely scrapped, with management telling staff that they're going back to the drawing board.

Chief executive Paul Thompson told affected staff on Wednesday that plans to axe their jobs and automate the station had been shelved, following a public outcry and government intervention.

The chair of RNZ's board Jim Mather has declined Checkpoint's requests saying he will be in meetings over the next two days.

Earlier on Wednesday a 26,000-signature petition was delivered calling for a halt to the proposed staff redundancies. Music teacher Margaret Guldborg and music writer Elizabeth Kerr delivered the petition.

They told Checkpoint reporter Logan Church they had planned to meet with RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson, but that was cancelled at the last minute.

He could not meet with them as he was in a briefing meeting with RNZ Music staff.

Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi and Associate Minister of the Arts Grant Robertson were invited to talk to Checkpoint but both declined.