Media Support Package Delivers Industry Request For Assistance
Hon Kris FaafoiMinister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media$21.1 million to completely cut transmission fees for 6 months$16.5 million to cut by 80% contribution for NZ On Air screen content in 2020/21$1.3 million for government departments to purchase organisation wide news service subscriptionsThe Government has announced a suite of initiatives valued at $50 million that have been developed with the media industry to help them get through the COVID 19 pandemic.
“This package is about freeing up cash in the short term to assist the industry get through the immediate crisis and dramatic drop in advertising revenue experienced since the start of COVID Alert Level 4,” Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.
“The proposals in this package were generated by the industry themselves in a recent series of workshops to identify means of delivering immediate support to the sector. We have chosen the proposals that have a relatively quick impact to get support out the door as fast as possible.
“By cancelling transmission fees we are freeing up cash the media companies can use to help them in the short term. This is in addition to the wage subsidy and other tax measures.
“Initiatives in this first stage aim to provide some immediate relief and allow time for work to be done on longer term strategies to ensure future sustainability in New Zealand’s news media
“The media sector is only the third sector, after primary health care and aviation, to receive a specific pool of funding over and above the wage subsidy to help it get through the COVID 19 crisis.
“This support reflects the essential role media play at this time in delivering access to reliable and up to date news coverage and keeping New Zealanders connected while in lockdown.
“There is evidence New Zealanders are turning to trusted news sources in record numbers at this time so it is critical the media is supported to keep doing the great job they have been doing.
“We will continue to work with media organisations to make sure assistance is targeted and appropriate.
“However, I want to be very clear that this first phase of support alone will not be sufficient to see the sector through a prolonged period of restrictions and reduced advertising. A second package of support is being developed and will be submitted for the COVID 19 budget discussions in May,” Minister Faafoi said.
Full details of the package are:
## ## $20.5 million to cut 100% of Kordia TV/FM transmission fees for 6 months
$600,000 to cut 100% of RNZ AM transmission fees for 6 months
$16.5 million to reduce, by 80%, media organisations’ NZ On Air content contribution fees for the 2020/21 financial year.
$1.3 million to purchase central government news media subscriptions in advance for the 2020/21 financial year and encouraging Crown entities to increase their uptake of news media subscriptions.
$11.1 million for specific targeted assistance to companies as and when needed. Officials are working quickly to refine the details and will continue to update information on the website as it is finalised. Any media organisations paying for transmission costs through other providers should contact the Ministry for further information.
Who should media outlets contact about getting the support?Officials are working quickly to refine details of the support and how to access it. As soon as the process is finalised, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage will advise the sector.
What is the process to access support?The Ministry for Culture and Heritage is working closely with NZ On Air and other government agencies to refine and finalise the process for accessing support.
As soon as we have all aspects of this process finalised, we will advise the sector. Organisations paying transmissions fees to other entities should contact the Ministry to determine if they are eligible.
There are eligibility criteria for government support toward NZ on Air content contribution fees and subscription spend. Applicants will be required to provide evidence of the following to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage for assessment, alongside Treasury:
the impact of COVID 19 on their business
the steps they have taken as a business to ensure their viability through the COVID 19 response period
The process for supply of this information and the detail required within it, are still being finalised. It will be made available as soon as possible via the Ministry of Culture and Heritage website.
When will support be available?Funding costs for RNZ and Kordia will be implemented immediately and will apply from 1 May for six months.