RNZ eyes exit door


Radio New Zealand is considering shutting its Queenstown office.

Comms man John Barr confirms from Wellington that reporter Peter Newport has resigned and it’s considering options for the office it opened in 2005.

“No final plans have been made at this stage.”

But a former veteran reporter says it would be a mistake to close Queenstown.

Steve Wilde, who quit last year after a decade at RNZ’s Queenstown office, says the resort’s nationally significant.

“This region should be represented on public radio.”

The national broadcaster is feeling the pain of eight years without a budget increase.

While it’s absorbed its rising costs for years, they’re now being felt on the frontlines.

In recent years it has closed its Tauranga and Palmerston North offices.

Wilde, now the boss of lobby group DowntownQT, says he can appreciate the pressure RNZ’s under.

But it has an obligation, under its charter, to reflect all NZ.

“Radio NZ needs to be expanding its regional network, not contracting it.”

South of Christchurch, RNZ is covered by a single reporter in Dunedin and, at this stage, another in Queenstown.