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POLL: Majority says ‘hands off RadioNZ

Feb 26th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


CAMPAIGN FACE: Neil Watts, leading the RNZ funding protest. PHOTO: Michelle Cooper,

A MAJORITY of Wellingtonians opposes Radio NZ having its funding frozen, according to a NewsWire street poll this week.

Poll graph

Poll result on RNZ funding freeze.

Of 80 people questioned, 44 (56%) were definitely against the proposed funding freeze. Of the rest, 13 (16%) were for and 23 (28%) did not care.

RNZ currently gets $38 million and is facing cost-cutting demands from the government. The issue was raised at a parliamentary commerce select committee meeting on February 18.

Money-saving suggestions already made include closing down from midnight to dawn, having paid advertising, closing the Auckland branch, and selling news services to competitors.

The vote of confidence in Radio New Zealand during Newswire’s poll even came from commercial radio listeners.

Of the 80 people questioned, 41% listened to commercial radio and 35% tuned into publicly funded radio. The remaining 24% preferred listening to uninterrupted music on their MP3 players.

vox pops RNZ, D WhiteTypical of the responses was Wellington secondhand dealer David White (left), who described the government approach as”remarkably stupid”.

“It has a fantastic coverage of everything. It’s a flagship that New Zealand deserves. It’s my kind of station ‘they should be spending more money, not less.”

Reuben McDougall, 24, a student from Roseneath said RNZ was the ” last intellectual medium” and his favourite show was nights with Brian Crump. He was, however, a pragmatists, and said he would accept hearing advertising if it meant all the programming was kept.vox rnz Sue Lee

But for most, like Aro Valley shopkeeper Sue Lee, 55, (right) it’s a straightforward choice:
“It’s a perfectly good use of government money.”

Retired funeral director Gerald Latimer, 75, Raumati, said: “It comes on at seven o’clock for morning report and it stays on all day.” Gerald said he would listen to other radio stations only occasionally for news if there was something specific on.’

Vox rnz Luke HarringtonA supporter at the other end of the age scale is Luke Harrington, 17, (left) a student who listens to concert programming and is concerned about the cuts because of the quality music broadcast.

vox rnz Reuben BradleyAds would switch off Reuben Bradley, 24, (right) who said he would not listen if there were commercials. The musician, who sometimes has his music played on RNZ, had not heard of the funding cuts, listed Music 101 on Saturday afternoon, Arts on Sunday and Concert as top programmes.

In that “don’t listen but don’t cut the budget” category was Nigel McNaughton, 32, of Aro Valley. The software tester said he hadn’t heard about the proposed funding cuts and, although he didn’t listen to RNZ, he hoped New Zealand could support a non-commercial station.

RNZvox Natalie FinniganLikewise Jess Flint, 21, a student, backed publicly funded radio despite listing
More FM, ZM and The Edge as her preferred listenings because of the greater music content.

Natalie Finnigan, 23, (left) is a non-listener and happy with cuts because the government “should spend the money in more needed areas such as hospitals. In the current economic environment, radio is low priority”.Vox rnz JBarnes

Jimmy Barnes, 44, (right) unemployed, Wadestown, said trimming the budget was a good idea because funding made the station complacent and “forget the people”.

Daniel Gonzalaez does not listen to Radio New Zealand or any other radio and is not in favour of relying on funding

vox pops RNZ, h parkynLou, 65, did not want to give his full name, but the music promoter from Newtown values RNZ as a cultural and educational resource: “It’s like the BBC, it’s good for the country”.

Haley Parkyn, 22, (left) of Wellington is a student who does not listen to RNZ but “mumr is pretty angry about it”. Haley thinks people are entitled to a government funded radio station. Internet is her source of news.

James, 36, Brooklyn, is a policy analyst who doesnt listen to RNZ, prefers Radio Active, ZM and the Rock and is not bothered about the funding being cut.vox pops RNZ, toni

Toni, (right) a student of Newtown, does not listen to RNZ and gets his news from TV3 news but thinks the public deserve the funding for public broadcasting.

John Hoskins, a book seller of Kelburn, was “not in favour of state funding anyway”.

Vox rnz DMerrittDavid Merritt, 50, (left) writer, Mangamatu described the news as “tragic”. He listened to RNZ most of the time for the news, the Morning Report in particular, and to hear New Zealand voices. “It’s the only independent media source not owned by foreign-owned multi-nationals.”

Laura Daly, 22, is a broadcaster from Brooklyn who listens to Access Radio, and other community access radio around NZ such as Radio Active.  She backs the cuts but wants the money taken from RNZ put into community broadcasting to provide a platform for diverse communities. She compares community access radio’s 11 stations which get only $4 m, compared to RNZ’s $38m: “Wellington Access Radio provides programmes in 25 languages, 100 programmes and 300 amateur broadcasters.”

Ben Wallens, 18, Student, Eastbourne, doesn’t listen to RNZ because “TV is better”. He believes the country should have funded radio, but could not be bothered if ads were on RNZ.

Dayle Lee Jones, 28, a programme manager, Mt Cook, backs the cuts. Dayle listens only to the kiwi show on RNZ but believes the government is wasting millions of dollars because it is only for a niche market of people in upper class areas.

vox rnz gaura

vox rnz Lucia AblettGaura, 44, (right) Brooklyn, is a teacher is against the funding and is not a listener. “I would like the money to be spent somewhere else. It’s kind of annoying.”

Lucia Ablett, 36, (left) Fringe Festival volunteer, Wellington would be “pissed off” if ads were included and wouldn’t continue to listen. Government should still fund RNZ as it is “interesting and educational”.Voix rnz Joan Farrow

RNZvox Ross JensenJoan Farrow, 60, (right) budget advisor, Blenheim, enjoys RNZ’s interviews and interesting topics but not the music.

Ross Jensen, 20, (left) Central Wellington, law student, occasionally listens to Radio New Zealand and thinks it would be a good idea to have ads. “RNZ should be funded by the government”.RNZvox Jeff Plester

RNZvox Jonny PottsJeff Plester, 28, (right) Hataitai, uni student, regularly listens to RNZ and has heard about the cuts to the funding. He believes, depending on the amount, that RNZ should be government funded. He wouldn’t mind if there were a minimal number of ads on RNZ but would prefer none

Jonny Potts, 30, (left) Brooklyn, Broadcast Monitor, listens to RNZ most days, especially media watch, arts on Sunday and morning reports. “It  is a real valid place in news, I hope it doesn’t turn ideological”. However he would still listen to RNZ if they had ads. Jonny disagrees with the idea of cutting midnight till 6am shows on RNZ. “I think it sucks”

The street poll was conducted, analysed and reported by 24 students on the Whitireia Certificate in Multimedia Journalism.

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