National Broadcasting spokesperson Melissa Lee promises reversal of TVNZ/RNZ merger

  • 22/10/2022

National says it will reverse the Government's proposed TVNZ/RNZ media reforms if voted into power next year, believing the majority of people are against it.

The promise from National Broadcasting spokesperson Melissa Lee came after former NZ First MP Tracey Martin, who's leading the reforms, last week defended the Government not doing a cost-benefit analysis on the mega-merger.

Media bosses have spoken out against the reforms

Lee said the reforms needed to stop before they went any further.

"My solution? One, to stop it - to actually reverse it and let TVNZ and RNZ do what they do best, and let New Zealand On Air be champions of local content," she told Newshub Nation's Finn Hogan.

She said the Government needed to listen to what media bosses were saying about the proposed entity.

"Close to 1000 people submitted - the majority of them are actually against the merger and I think they need to stop this."

Lee said she was convinced the reforms were a bad idea.

"If I was the minister, currently, instead of actually creating a giant monolith... I'll be talking to the entities - whether it's actually Amazon, Disney - all kinds of platforms where people are actually watching the content that they actually want."

National's opposition to the reforms has been echoed by the ACT Party, which said the merger is "irresponsible to be wasting time on... while New Zealanders are going through a cost of living crisis".

"The Government has failed to provide a coherent reason to be mucking around in the media with its costly merger," ACT associate finance spokesperson Damien Smith said earlier this year.

"At a time when Kiwis are grappling with a cost of living crisis fuelled by domestic inflation, can we afford for the Government to be spending up on a poorly defined merger?"

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