Report by Alistar Kata
Eight hours a day of free-to-air New Zealand content is on offer to Pacific countries in a new broadcasting initiative backed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
Prime Minister John Key announced the plan at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Summit in September.
But just how this plan will roll out was the focus of a seminar at AUT University last week.
“New Zealand has a proud image to protect in the Pacific, but the Pacific now is crowded space. For example, over the last 10 to 15 years the Chinese presence is a lot more pervasive in the Pacific,” says New Zealand Economic Ambassador in the Pacific, Matua Shane Jones.
“Broadcasting is a great way for the interests and values that New Zealanders hold dear to be projected into the Pacific, after all there is an enormous Pasifika community now living in Aotearoa.”
Consultant working on the project Tony O’ Brien says the project is more than just providing content.
“Of course we want to help them and encourage them to produce more local content, and how we’re doing that is we’re giving them camera equipment, camera kits to encourage them to do more local content in their territories,” he says.
The Pacific Cooperation Foundation will run the initiative, with content being available as early as next year.
Reporter/Editor: Alistar Kata, contributing editor of the Pacific Media Centre’s Pacific Media Watch project.
Matua Shane Jones
Video clip sources:
Pacific Cooperation Foundation
Television New Zealand
(CC) Pacific Media Centre, School of Communication Studies, AUT University, Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. www.pmc.aut.ac.nz