Melissa Lee defends work during time as Broadcasting Minister amid Newshub, TVNZ woes

Melissa Lee is defending her work and record as Broadcasting Minister following the confirmation of hundreds of job losses in the media industry. 

"I don't think I can actually save anything. I'm trying to be who I am," she told reporters on Wednesday. "I think everyone... will be feeling for the people involved and I think it is a very difficult time for the news industry, and the media particularly," Lee said.

It comes after Warner Bros Discovery confirmed to staff on Wednesday it would close Newshub's news operation by July 5, with about 250 roles set to go.

Also on Wednesday, TVNZ announced its flagship current affairs show Sunday will be axed - after confirming Fair Go and two of its news bulletins would be cut.

When asked about what work Lee had done to support the media industry, she said she'd been "working very hard" to ensure it was "sustainable and modernised and innovative going forward". 

"It might seem like it is very slow but there is actually a process, but what I can actually tell you is that there is no one real answer for the industry," Lee said.

She said she's been working on a solution with the sector since she became the Broadcasting Minister in November

One of her ideas included reviewing the Broadcasting Act, she said. 

But when pressed on the paper Lee had supposedly taken to Cabinet, she wouldn't elaborate. 

"I believe that the paper provides that solution," Lee said, but she admitted she didn't think the paper would help Newshub's situation. 

Lee could not give a timeline on when Cabinet would consider her paper. 

"I don't control the timing," she said. 

"It's not an error. There is actually a process and it will... happen." 

"What I can tell you is that there is a convention that we don't talk about what happens in Cabinet."

The media industry is not mentioned at all in the Government's 36-point plan announced last week

When asked about this, Lee said: "All I can talk about is my plan." 

Lee said Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is aware the media industry is "going through a difficult time". 

"I talk to the Prime Minister. I talk to my Cabinet colleagues all the time," she said. "I don't think anyone can actually say it's not a priority." 

Lee said it was a "terrible day" for the media but it's not something that appeared suddenly. 

"It's been coming for some time and it's not just in New Zealand. It is a global issue and the media needs to transition."