TVNZ to cut Fair Go, midday and late night news bulletins

5:35 pm on 9 April 2024
The Fair Go team were devastated to learn on 8 march 2024 of the plan to axe the show. 
"For 47 years we've been battling for New Zealanders, and we are not ready for that to end.  Our next challenge is working out how to keep going for you."

Photo: Supplied

TVNZ has confirmed consumer affairs programme Fair Go, along with the midday and late night news bulletins have been cut.

The programmes will end in mid-May.

The broadcaster began meeting with staff on Tuesday over its potential plans to cut costs.

At least 68 jobs were proposed to be cut when TVNZ announced the plans last month.

Staff from the youth-oriented programme Re News are due to have a meeting starting at midday.

TVNZ is to meet staff of current affairs programme Sunday on Wednesday to confirm its future.

An all-staff meeting is due to be held on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement, TVNZ said it was proposing a new team be established as part of its news and current affairs function, with a focus on long-form on its digital platforms.

"If confirmed, this would result in the creation of four new roles. There would be an opportunity for this team to continue reporting under the Fair Go brand and viewers would still be able to share their consumer concerns by writing to the Fair Go inbox."

Chief executive Jodi O'Donnell said the consultation process had been "robust" and all feedback it received had been taken into consideration.

"In response to current market conditions and business realities facing TVNZ, we do need to move forward with this difficult but necessary proposal.

"I want to acknowledge again the significant value and contribution that these shows have made over many years. While these decisions are incredibly difficult, we must bring our costs more in line with our revenue and get our business in shape for a digital-first world.

"However, we've listened to our people and we're pleased to propose a new team to take the lead on long-form consumer and current affairs reporting for TVNZ's current and future digital products."

Meanwhile, Fair Go says it plans to carry on - despite TVNZ cancelling production of the programme.

In a social media post on Tuesday afternoon the long-running consumer show urged viewers to keep submitting letters.

Broadcasting Minister Melissa Lee says the programmes being axed was upsetting and distressing for the staff involved.

Lee said she could not give a timeline of when she might have more to say about the government's plans to assist media.

"If only if I was a magician, if I could actually just snap up a solution that would be fantastic, but I'm not a magician and I am trying to find a solution to modernise the industry to make sure that it is actually efficient."

Lee said she was considering updating the Broadcasting Act and giving relief for Kordia fees.

Meanwhile, staff at Newshub are expecting to be told at 11am on Wednesday if the service will close in June with the possible loss of up to 300 jobs.

Warner Brothers Discovery proposed the closure in February as a cost-cutting measure and it has been consulting with staff on alternatives to the closure.

It has been reported other media companies are interested in acquiring Newshub and continuing a scaled-down news service but no details of any negotiations have been confirmed.