INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ On Air - Point Of Clarification

Published: Thu 9 Mar 2000 11:27 AM
MEDIACOM-RELEASE-NZ-ON-AIR
POINT OF CLARIFICATION
This memo seeks to clarify any possible confusion regarding the 6pm news item on TV ONE, 8 March 2000 about NZ On Air and the Public Broadcasting Fee.
The item implies that since the announcement of the abolishment of the Public Broadcasting Fee, the majority of people have decided not to pay their Fees, and that as a result the Government has incurred a debt of $28 million. This is incorrect, please note the following:
The $28 million shortfall refers to funding liabilities outstanding at 30 June 1999. These liabilities would have been met out of future income once Fees had been paid.
The National Government's decision to phase out the Fee impacted on NZ On Air's ability to realise total debts - both current and aged. All fees owed to NZ On Air, regardless of age, remain on our books.
Historically, NZ On Air has successfully collected 95% of all fees owing, but this takes time. The termination of the Broadcasting Fee has effectively left NZ On Air with little more than a year to collect all debt remaining on our books, leaving the prospect of a significant shortfall (ie up to $28 million) in our ability to meet those earlier funding commitments.
Fee payments for 1999/2000 are in fact running ahead of our forecasts, with virtually no change in compliance levels compared to the year earlier.
Further information:
Jo Tyndall
Chief Executive
NZ On Air

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