Union members start a 'Save Our Stories' campaign against TVNZ's proposed 68 job cuts

A public campaign to try and stop the proposed changes at TVNZ that would see 68 jobs cut and popular shows and news services axed is underway.

TVNZ staff members of the E tū union, which represents journalists in New Zealand, have today launched the 'Save Our Stories' campaign aimed at making the state-owned broadcaster reconsider its restructuring plans.

TVNZ proposed eight days ago to cut some 68 jobs across its business, with 35 of those believed to be within the News and Current Affairs department of the company. It's proposing to axe popular shows Fair Go and Sunday in their current formats as part of the sweeping changes aimed at cutting costs amid industry-wide drastically falling advertising revenue.

The company also proposed making changes at its youth digital news outlet Re: news and axing the One News Midday and One News Tonight bulletins entirely.

A video accompanying the launch included Sunday's lead presenter Miriama Kamo, who said: "It's not just about job losses for us, it's about losing the ability to tell your stories."

Fair Go's Garth Bray, Breakfast presenter Anna Burns-Francis and Jack Tame also appeared in the reel, advocating for the company's ability to hold the Government to account.

E tū Negotiation Specialist Michael Wood claimed "many people have reached out to our union to show their support for TVNZ workers and ask how they can help".

In a statement provided to Newshub, a TVNZ spokesperson said financial necessity was driving the cuts.

"TVNZ invests over $40 million annually in news. We tell New Zealand's stories every day and we'll keep doing that in the future.

"The revenues we're currently generating don't support us continuing on exactly as we are though, and that's why we've proposed these changes. Ultimately, we're a commercially funded business and like many businesses around Aotearoa right now we need to make tough calls to live within our means. 

"We'll consider all the feedback our people provide to us before making any decisions."

The company has yet to clarify how much the proposed changes would save the business.

The statement reiterated TVNZ Chief Executive Jodi O'Donnell's comments when the proposed cuts were announced. 

"TVNZ's executive team has focused on reducing operating costs over the last 12 months," she said.

Unfortunately, we're now at the point where we need to reduce the size of our team to bring our costs more in line with our revenue.

"Changes like the ones we're proposing are incredibly hard, but we need to ensure we're in a stronger position to transform the business to meet the needs of our viewers in a digital world.

"There are no easy answers, and media organisations locally and globally are grappling with the same issues."

The state broadcaster said if confirmed, the job cuts would happen by "early April".

TVNZ's proposed cuts came just over a week after Warner Bros. Discovery presented a proposal to cut around 300 jobs across its New Zealand operation, including Newshub being entirely shut down.