Media of New Zealand

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Media of New Zealand
Newsrooms ONE News
3 News
Fairfax New Zealand
Radio New Zealand News
Newstalk ZB News
Sky News New Zealand
Rhema News
Pacific Media News
Television Television New Zealand
MediaWorks New Zealand
Sky Network Television
Radio Radio New Zealand
New Zealand Media and Entertainment
MediaWorks New Zealand
Rhema Media
Community Access
Newspapers The New Zealand Herald
Waikato Times
The Dominion Post
The Press
Otago Daily Times
Magazines New Zealand Listener
North & South

The media of New Zealand include television stations, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and Web sites. Most outlets are foreign-owned, with media conglomerates like New Zealand Media and Entertainment, Fairfax New Zealand, MediaWorks New Zealand and Sky TV dominating the media landscape.[1] Most media organisations operate Auckland-based newsrooms with Parliamentary Press Gallery reporters and international media partners, but most broadcast programmes, music and syndicated columns are imported from the United States and United Kingdom.

The media of New Zealand predominantly use New Zealand English, but Community Access and several local other outlets provide news and entertainment for linguistic minorities. Following a Waitangi Tribunal decision in the 1990s, the Government has accepted a responsibility to promote the Māori language through Te Māngai Pāho funding of the Māori Television Service, the Te Whakaruruhau o Nga Reo Irirangi Māori and other outlets. NZ On Air funds public service programming on the publicly owned Television New Zealand and Radio New Zealand, and on community-owned and privately-owned broadcasters.


There is limited censorship in New Zealand of political expression, violence or sexual content. Reporters Without Borders ranks New Zealand highly on press freedom, ranking it seventh-best worldwide in 2008, and eighth in 2010. In the same 2010 study, for comparison, the UK placed 19th, and the US 20th).[2][3]

The country has strict libel laws that follow the English model and contempt of court is severely punished. The Office of Film and Literature Classification classifies and sometimes censors films, videos, publications and video games, the New Zealand Press Council deals with print media bias and inaccuracy and the Broadcasting Standards Authority and Advertising Standards Authority considers complaints.

The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for Internet censorship in New Zealand and runs a voluntary filtering system to prevent Internet users from accessing selected sites and material that contain sexual abuse or exploitation of children and young people.[4][5] [6] Internet censorship in Australia is more extensive, and New Zealand has refused to follow suit. [7]


Television in New Zealand was introduced in 1960. Provision was first made for the licensing of private radio and television stations in New Zealand by the Broadcasting Act 1976. In addition to a legacy analogue network, there are three forms of broadcast digital television: satellite services provided nationwide by Freeview and Sky, a terrestrial service provided in the main centres by Freeview, and a cable service provided in Wellington and Christchurch by TelstraClear. There are currently 11 national free-to-air channels, 22 regional free-to-air stations and several pay TV networks. Programming and scheduling is done in Auckland where all the major networks are now headquartered.

The first nationwide digital TV service was launched in December 1998 by SKY TV, who had a monopoly on digital satellite TV until the launch of Freeview's nationwide digital Satellite service in May 2007. The Freeview terrestrial service, named Freeview|HD is a high definition digital terrestrial television service launched on 14 April 2008. The service currently serves areas surrounding Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier-Hastings, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. Digital cable television currently operates in Wellington and Christchurch on TelstraClear's cable TV system. High Definition programming is available from Freeview on terrestrial broadcast only and on SKY TV through the MY SKY HDi decoder. Only a limited range of channels are available in High Definition.


Main article: Radio in New Zealand

New Zealand radio is dominated by twenty-seven networks and station-groups, but also includes several local and low-powered stations. Radio New Zealand operates four public service networks, Radio New Zealand National, Radio New Zealand Concert, Radio New Zealand International and the AM Network. Rhema Media operates four evangelical Christian networks, most student networks belong to bNet, most public access broadcasters belong to the Association of Community Access Broadcasters, and there are several Kiwi radio stations funded by Te Māngai Pāho.[8]

NZME Radio operates music station Coast, hip-hop station Flava, rock station Radio Hauraki, 80s and 90s station Mix 98.2, talk network Newstalk ZB, sports network Radio Sport, pop station The Hits and youth station ZM. MediaWorks New Zealand operates sport network LiveSport, dance station George FM, New Zealand music station Kiwi FM, Māori station Mai FM, pop station More FM, talk station Radio Live, oldies station The Sound, easy-listening station The Breeze, youth station The Edge and rock station The Rock.[9]


An early New Zealand printer used by CMS Paihia to publish Bibles during the 19th century.

Māori in New Zealand had non-literate culture before contact with the Europeans in the early 19th century, but oratory recitation of quasi-historical and hagiographical ancestral blood lines was central to the culture; oral traditions were first published when early 19th century Christian missionaries developed a written form of the Maori language to publish Bibles. The literature of New Zealand includes many works written in English and Maori by New Zealanders and migrants during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Novelists include Patricia Grace, Albert Wendt and Maurice Gee; children's authors include Margaret Mahy.[10] Keri Hulme won the Booker Prize for The Bone People; Witi Ihimaera's novel Whale Rider, which dealt with Maori life in the modern world, ' became a Nikki Caro film. Migrant writers include South African-born Robin Hyde; expatriate writers like Dan Davin and Katherine Mansfield often wrote about the country. Samuel Butler stayed in New Zealand and set his novel Erewhon in the country. Karl Wolfskehl prepared works of German literature during a sojourn in Auckland. New Zealand's lively community of playwrights, supported by Playmarket, include Roger Hall.

Print media[edit]

The number of newspapers in New Zealand has dramatically reduced since the early 20th century as a consequence of radio, television and new media being introduced to the country. Auckland's New Zealand Herald serves the upper North Island, Wellington's The Dominion Post serves the lower North Island and Canterbury's The Press and Otago Daily Times serve the South Island.

Provincial and community newspapers, such as the Waikato Times daily, serve particular regions, cities and suburbs. Ownership of New Zealand newspapers is dominated by Fairfax New Zealand and APN News & Media with Fairfax having 48.6% of the daily newspaper circulation.[1] Local and overseas tabloids and magazines cover food, current affairs, personal affairs, gardening and home decor, personal affairs and business or appeal to gay, lesbian, ethnic and rural communities.


Main article: Cinema of New Zealand

The New Zealand film industry is small but successful, boasting directors such as Peter Jackson and Jane Campion. The cinema of New Zealand includes many films made in New Zealand, made about New Zealand or made by New Zealand-based production companies. Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy was produced and filmed in New Zealand, and animation and photography for James Cameron's Avatar was primarily done in New Zealand; both films are among the highest grossing movies of all time. The New Zealand Film Commission funds films with New Zealand content.

Mainstream American, British and Australian films screen in theatres in most cities and towns. Some arthouse films and foreign language films reach cinemas, including weekly Bollywood screenings in many city cinemas. Asian films, particularly from India, China, Hong Kong and Japan, are widely available for rental on videocassette, DVD and similar media, especially in Auckland.

New media[edit]

Internet portals and news websites[edit]


New Zealand's blogosphere is a small community of around 600 blogs that comment on New Zealand politics, society and occurrences.[11] One list of over 200 "author-operated, public discourse" blogs in New Zealand (ranked according to traffic, links incoming, posting frequency and comments) suggests New Zealand blogs cover a wide range of ideological positions but a lack female contributors.[12] Some personal blogs have been around since the mid 1990s,[13][14][15][16] but there are now blogs about cities,[17][18] science,[19][20] law[21] and fashion magazines.[22][23][24] Political bloggers include current and former party apparatchiks such as David Farrar (Kiwiblog), Jordan Carter,[25] Peter Cresswell[26] and Trevor Loudon,[27] and journalists and commentators such as Russell Brown.[28]

New Zealand politicians and political groups operate blogs which, unlike overseas counterparts, allow comments. The former ACT party leader Rodney Hide often comments from within the House of Representatives[29] and Craig Foss operates a personal blog.[30] The Green Party expands on party press releases,[31] and Labour MPs discuss policy and Parliamentary business.[32] Blogging is a central campaigning tool for many political lobbying groups.[33][34][35][36] A 2007 New Zealand Herald article by Bill Ralston described political bloggers as being potentially the most powerful "opinion makers" in New Zealand politics.[37] A few weeks earlier the National Business Review had stated that, "Any realistic 'power list' produced in this country would include either [David] Farrar or his fellow blogger and opinion leader Russell Brown."[38] And in 2008 The Press said that year's election "could be the time when New Zealand's burgeoning political bloggers finally make their presence felt".[39] The article saw the increasing influence of the Internet (as opposed to television and radio) on people's lives and the number of professional journalists now maintaining blogs as the reason for the blogosphere's increased significance, alongside the fact that unlike newspapers blogs can link directly to facts and sources. The blogosphere has also make an impart on parliament – Russell Brown is quoted as saying, "Every now and then you see a line from the blog turn up in a parliamentary speech" and in December 2007 then prime minister Helen Clark accused political journalists of "rushing to judgment" on their blogs.[39]


Blogging in New Zealand has not been without controversy. Tim Selwyn, an Auckland man convicted of sedition in 2006, is also a prominent blogger, often bringing up controversial points. The pamphlet for which he was convicted and imprisoned on a charge of sedition was published on his website. Selwyn was also criticised in parliament for sending letters about his prison experiences to his co-blogger Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury, who posted them on the blog. In August 2006, Sunday News revealed a blog site set up by Wellington-based national socialist Nic Miller after personal details of four Jewish families living in the city were posted on it. The details were later removed from the site. On 23 December 2009, Cameron Slater was charged with five counts of breaching name suppression orders;[40] the charges relate to two blog posts that contained pictures which reveal the identities of two New Zealanders. On 11 January 2010, Slater published a blog post that used binary and hexadecimal code to reveal the identity of a person charged with indecent assault on a 13-year-old girl; the Nelson Bays police announced that they would investigate this further breach of New Zealand's name suppression laws.[41] On 1 June 2010, Dannevirke blogger Henk van Helmond was convicted of breaching a name suppression order and given a suspended sentence. The judge suppressed the publication of any details which might identify van Helmond's blog.[42]

In January 2007 another controversial blog, CYFS Watch, appeared. The blog's stated aim was unveiling examples of alleged incompetence by the Child Youth and Family Service (known by its acronym CYFS) of the Ministry of Social Development. The Ministry responded to the publication of the blog, which published the details of several social workers, by complaining to internet company Google. The blog remained online until 22 February 2007 when Google deleted the site, due to the blog's anonymous author making death threats towards Green MP Sue Bradford because of her Crimes (Abolition of Force as a Justification for Child Discipline) Amendment Bill 2005.[43]

Relationship with other media[edit]

The majority of bloggers still rely upon the media for the provision of news stories to comment upon. However, they do not repeat the news, instead putting forward their viewpoint on it. The mainstream media at first was highly critical of bloggers. In January 2007 The New Zealand Herald printed an editorial that stated "[M]ost bloggers – and we're talking 95 per cent – are fly-by-night, gutless wonders who prefer to spit inarticulate venom under inarticulate pseudonyms."[44] Since then though the newspaper has picked up multiple stories first broken on blogs (see below). Some current and former bloggers have worked in or for the media industry, such as Russell Brown, Keith Ng, Tze Ming Mok and Dave Crampton. Political scientist Bryce Edwards (liberation) and Geoffrey Miller (Douglas to Dancing) have both written op-eds for The New Zealand Herald.[45][46]

There have been many notable examples of bloggers breaking news stories and then having the media pick it up. Idiot/Savant revealed that neither Rodney Hide nor Heather Roy had been showing up to Parliament and that the ACT party had therefore not voted in the 2006 budget debate, and The Dominion Post and The New Zealand Herald picked up the story.[47][48][49] In February 2008 a blog post by Russell Brown about the Wikipedia article on Bill English being edited from a computer at Parliament, based on a previous post at Labour Party-leaning blog The Standard, received coverage in The New Zealand Herald.[50][51][52] The NZBC blog reported a similar story of a computer at Air New Zealand being used to edit the Wikipedia article on Air New Zealand Flight 901 and it was picked up by The Press.[53][54] In April 2008, blogger David Farrar revealed the Green Party's preliminary party list, and the story was subsequently picked up by NZPA and published on[55][56] In June blogger 'Skinny' revealed that a photo used in promotional material about the 2008 budget was of an American family, not a New Zealand one and the story was then published in The New Zealand Herald.[57][58]


  1. ^ a b Rosenberg, Bill (13 September 2008). "News media ownership in New Zealand". Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  2. ^ "Only peace protects freedoms in post-9/11 world". Reporters Without Borders. 22 October 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2008. 
  3. ^ "2010 World Press Freedom Index". Reporters Without Borders. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Beagle, Thomas (10 May 2009). "The Response from Internal Affairs". Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  5. ^ Freitas, Mauricio Freitas (11 July 2009). "Government plans to filter New Zealand Internet". Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  6. ^ "NZ government now filtering internet". Tech Liberty NZ. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Keall, Chris (20 March 2009). "Joyce: Internet filtering off the agenda in NZ". NBR. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  8. ^ "About Us". Te Māonga Paho. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Radio Brands". Radio Bureau. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Swarbrick, Nancy (13 January 2009). "Creative life". Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "The New Zealand Blogosphere". Kiwiology. 
  12. ^ "nz blogosphere". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  13. ^ "Joanna McLeod (1998)". Hubris. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "(1996)". Robyn Gallagher. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  15. ^ Aardvark Bruce Simpson (1995)
  16. ^ " search for 'personal blog'". 
  17. ^ "The Wellingtonista". The Wellingtonista. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "The Aucklandista". The Aucklandista. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  19. ^ "Science media centre". Science media centre. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  20. ^ "Sciblogs". Sciblogs. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Stephen Marshall
  22. ^ "Thread". Thread. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "NZ Girl". NZ Girl. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "Fashion NZ". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "Just Left". 18 July 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  26. ^ "Not PC". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  27. ^ "New Zeal". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  28. ^ Cactuslab. "Public Address". Public Address. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
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  30. ^ 16 hours ago. "personal blog". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  31. ^ frogblog. "Frogblog". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  32. ^ "Red Alert". 15 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  33. ^ "Climaction". 10 December 2007. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  34. ^ COG
  35. ^ "Social Aotearoa". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  36. ^ Tariq Ali. "". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  37. ^ "Bill Ralston: Public opinion on Key turns rabid". The New Zealand Herald. 7 October 2007. 
  38. ^ Ben Thomas and David W Young (20 September 2007). "Politicians will be haunted by their past on internet". National Business Review. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  39. ^ a b "Bloggers left and right". The Press. 16 February 2008.  (archive copy)
  40. ^ "Blogger to Defend Suppression Breach Charges". The New Zealand Herald. 26 December 2009. 
  41. ^ Adams, Christopher (12 January 2010). "Blogger in trouble again for naming ex-MP in teen sex case". The New Zealand Herald. 
  42. ^ Michelle Duff (1 June 2010). "Blogger guilty of breach". Manawatu Standard. p. 1. 
  43. ^ Collins, Simon (22 February 2007). "Google shuts down Cyfswatch website". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  44. ^ "Big Blogger Is Watching" The New Zealand Herald (27 January 2007)
  45. ^ "Bryce Edwards: Backdoor funding affects democracy". The New Zealand Herald. 14 September 2006. 
  46. ^ "Geoffrey Miller: Act's dilemma – what's in a name?". The New Zealand Herald. 12 March 2008. 
  47. ^ "No Right Turn". 15 August 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  48. ^ "No Right Turn: Where's Rodney?". 22 May 2006. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  49. ^ "Hide defends dance defection – National – NZ Herald News". The New Zealand Herald. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  50. ^ Cactuslab (28 February 2008). " • Hard News • Public Address". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  51. ^ "Blogger targets 'political' editing of Wikipedia in Beehive". The New Zealand Herald. 28 February 2008. 
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  57. ^ Labour and the ‘typical’ New Zealand family
  58. ^ Gay, Edward (11 June 2008). "US photographer surprised at Labour using his happy family picture". The New Zealand Herald. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]