TVNZ7, in its current form, will stop broadcasting on the 30th of June and will be changed to a plus one channel along the same lines as TV3 Plus One. Now I don’t know about you, but I could live without seeing another repeat of Come Dine with Me.
I believe that TVNZ7 offers high quality, educational programmes and documentaries that benefit those who watch them and it even has an online learning hub. Not everyone can afford to pay for their television viewing and being free makes these educational benefits accessible to everyone.
Not enough people know that TVNZ7 exists. One of the problems is that in promoting TVNZ7, TVNZ would risk taking viewers away from its commercial stations. Despite the lack of promotion, TVNZ7 has 1.4 million viewers that is approximately a third of the population of New Zealand. The amount of viewers for Freeview will increase when New Zealand television goes digital in 2013 and it stands to reason that the increase would also be for TVNZ7.
Clare Curran has written a private member’s bill which addresses the conflict between TVNZ running channels on a commercial basis with running TVNZ7 as a public service channel by having TVNZ7 run by an independent Public Broadcasting Foundation. One of the jobs of this foundation will be to provide “a diverse range of programmes that reflects and develops New Zealand’s culture and identity on a broad basis and recognises the diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, and interests within New Zealand society.” Curran’s bill also ensures that TVNZ7 will receive government funding and continued access to TVNZ facilities. We need as much public support as we can if this bill is to succeed in passing.
You can help to save TVNZ7 by writing to the Minister of Broadcasting, Craig Foss, your local MP, signing the online petition: http://issues.co.nz/savetvnz7/Sign+The+Petition , and attending one of the nationwide Save TVNZ7 public meetings:
• Auckland Tuesday the 15th of May 7-9pm, at Freemans Bay Community Centre.
• Wellington Monday the 21st of May 7pm, Welesley Church Hall, Taranaki St.
• Nelson Friday the 25th of May 6pm, Trafalgar Pavillion Hall.
• Christchurch Monday the 28th of May 7pm, TBC.
• Palmeston North Wednesday the 6th of June 7pm, All Saints Church Hall, Corner The Square and Church Street.
• Dunedin Thursday the 7th of June 6:00-8:00pm, Barnett Theatre, Great King Street.
Watch TVNZ7 while you still can on Freeview 7 or Sky 77 before it’s too late and spread the word!