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NZ On Air celebrates 30 years of reflecting NZ’s identity and culture

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand’s public media funding agency NZ On Air is celebrating 30 years of supporting content that allows us to see and hear ourselves in media - New Zealand’s stories, in our voices.

Created by the Broadcasting Act 1989 the agency is funded by government to invest in authentic New Zealand stories and songs.

At a formal reception tonight at Government House, Auckland the Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Patsy Reddy and Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Hon. Kris Faafoi both congratulated NZ On Air on its achievements over three decades.

NZ On Air Chair Dr Ruth Harley, also the agency’s first Executive Director in 1989, reflected on why it matters to have local public media content that reflects New Zealanders.

"Diverse public media strengthens our identity, encourages civic engagement which supports democracy, and contributes to well-being. In short, when we are able to see and hear people like us we feel validated, when we see into the lives of people different to us we understand them better," said Ruth Harley.

In the past 30 years NZ On Air has funded:

More than 26,000 hours of screen content, and in doing so supported the independent production community to grow and now hold its own internationally;

4062 music singles and videos, and 222 albums, underpinning a thriving NZ music community and driving local music on commercial radio to around 18% currently

and supported community access radio to grow from five stations to 12, broadcasting and streaming content in more than 49 languages for our increasingly diverse communities.

Guests at the Government House function were treated to a performance of well-known NZ artists Che Fu, Julia Deans, Nathan King and Jason Kerrison. In a highlight of the evening, the band was joined on stage by Jason Faafoi, a good friend and bandmate of Jason Kerrison; and another well-known Faafoi to perform Op Shop’s hit One Day.

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