National | Parliament

Te Māngai Pāho and NZ on Air to report all ratings

A National Party members' bill has been drawn from the ballot that will require New Zealand On Air and Te Māngai Pāho to publish quarterly reports that show the viewership figures of every project they fund.

Former television producer and National MP Melissa Lee hopes her member’s bill will provide more transparency around broadcaster funding decisions.

"This is purely about getting a better picture about how many people are watching certain programmes that have been funded by NZ On Air and Te Māngai Pāho, because it is very important to see where audiences are to provide better support."

The Broadcasting Amendment Bill will require a three month report back on all ratings for television, radio and online content funded by NZ on Air and Te Māngai Pāho.

Lee says, "Having numbers would actually mean that programs like my old program, Asia Downunder, may get a better look in in terms of time slot or more support to suggest 'hey, you've got so many people watching this we need to give a bit better support'."

Lee says the bill would not jeopardise language programmes which are often low-rating.

"There is no way I would actually jeopardise these very important programmes.

“What I'm actually saying is that often these programmes are marginalised.  They say nobody watches, well why aren't they watching it?  Well maybe it's because they say broadcasts are putting it in a wrong time slot."

Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta would not say if she would be supporting the bill.

However, in a statement to Te Kāea, she said:

"Te Mangai Paaho is mandated to fund and promote te reo Māori language revitalisation.  The strategic approach to support strategic alignment with the media sector will be led by He Mahere Whakapuaki Reo which was launched by the Minister earlier this year."

Te Kāea contacted Te Māngai Pāho however they were not willing to comment at this stage.