10 Apr 2024

TVNZ's Sunday cancelled, broadcaster confirms

4:48 pm on 10 April 2024
'Sunday' presenter Miriama Kamo speaks at a rally outside TVNZ headquarters in Auckland on 28 March, 2024 as part of a campaign protesting the broadcaster's planned job cuts.

Miriama Kamo hosts Sunday. Photo: RNZ / MARIKA KHABAZI

TVNZ's current affairs programme Sunday has been cancelled.

The confirmation comes one day after TVNZ confirmed plans to axe consumer affairs programme Fair Go, along with its midday and late night news bulletins.

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

TVNZ has also confirmed the Re: News team will be reduced from 10 staff to six.

"Despite being reduced in number, our team will do our best to continue to provide you the quality news and current affairs content you know and love," Re: News said on social media.

In an email to staff, chief executive Jodi O'Donnell said cancelling Sunday was not an easy decision.

"I want to acknowledge the excellent journalism that Sunday has delivered to New Zealand audiences over many years."

O'Donnell reiterated the news from Tuesday of proposing to establish a team with a focus on long-form current and consumer affairs for TVNZ's digital platforms - that could create four new roles.

"We remain committed to delivering the most watched and trusted news and current affairs for New Zealand audiences, and what that looks like will change as we evolve to a digital-first model.

"Importantly, this proposed new team would help to reimagine the future of our long-form journalism as we make this shift."

O'Donnell said a sustainable future for TVNZ needed to be secured.

"I am confident in our future, and in our ability to continue to deliver on our purpose of inspiring the conversations of Aotearoa."

At the time the job cuts were first announced, Sunday presenter Miriama Kamo said the news of jobs possibly being axed was awful.

"It's devastating not just for our business, it's devastating for what it means for our wider society."

She said with the likely demise of Newshub it has "dire implications for our democracy".

When cuts were being made in news programmes at the state broadcaster that indicated how dire things had become.

"I'm very very concerned about what the landscape looks like going forward."

Meanwhile, Newshub has had confirmation that its newsroom will close - with its last 6pm show on 5 July.

Warner Bros Discovery said talks were ongoing with third parties to provide a pared-back news service - such as a 6pm bulletin for the Three channel. However, no deals have been reached yet.

Well-known presenters were emotional about the news, with Mike McRoberts paying tribute both to staff and viewers.

"We work with some incredible people, amazing teams. I really feel for everyone, past and present, who have given so much for 35 years to the news service."

E tū legally challenging TVNZ's consultation process.

The union E tū has filed a claim with the Employment Relations Authority against TVNZ saying it did not follow the consultation requirements guaranteed for workers in its collective agreement.

E tū negotiation specialist Michael Wood said it was vital TVNZ followed the correct processes through such significant changes.

"The requirement is that union members must be involved in the developmental stages of decision-making processes and in the business planning of the organisation. The fact is, members simply weren't given the opportunity to engage with the design of TVNZ's plan until the proposal was presented.

"It is vital that workers are involved all the way through - not just because it's their right, but because they have valuable insights that would have helped TVNZ to develop a better proposal."

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