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New Zealanders Watching New Zealand Stories On Screen

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Zealanders Watching New Zealand Stories On Screen

The Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) welcomes the latest findings of the Local Content Report issued by NZ On Air today.

"Measuring performance of local content solely by hours broadcast is very limiting in an environment in which production costs have increased and new platforms are proliferating, however, SPADA is heartened to see the ongoing support and audience numbers for local content," says SPADA CEO Penelope Borland.

The global recession was a major factor in a slight decrease to overall local content figures to the tune of 1.6% - first drop in local content figures since 2004 - however, New Zealand programmes consistently rate in the Top 20 and include Fair Go, Dancing with the Stars, What's Really In Our Food?, Country Calendar, now in its 45th year; new series including South with Marcus Lush and The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show; and dramas including Outrageous Fortune and Go Girls.

First run local content, which indicates levels of commissioning of new local programming, was down by 5%. "Facts and figures aside; New Zealanders love seeing their stories on screen - whether it's at the movies or on the television," said SPADA CEO Penelope Borland. "Last week Taika Waititi's feature film Boy achieved a phenomenal opening day result. New Zealanders and media alike are talking about Boy as 'our' movie; they want to own it; belong to it; and support it. It's that same appetite for our local content on television."

SPADA believes that the TVNZ Amendment Bill currently before the House ought to reflect such audience support for local content. As now worded the Bill's intention removes TVNZ's Charter commitment to quality New Zealand programming and to "support and promote the talents and creative resources of New Zealanders and of the independent New Zealand film and television industry" in order to give TVNZ the ability to take a more commercial approach with the removal of any commitment to local programming.

"The one thing that the Charter achieved - with some funding attached - was the commissioning and screening of more New Zealand content and the screen production industry is confident that New Zealanders want to see more of it, not less," said Ms Borland.

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