New Zealand’s state broadcaster plans to dismiss 160 workers


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The state broadcaster of New Zealand, Television New Zealand (TVNZ), has announced its plans to fire at least 160 people because they have falling revenue, mainly from their NZ$9.3 million advertising loss.

A memorandum, or “memo”, was circulating the 1,100 employer, TVNZ yesterday from CEO, Rick Ellis, which stated that their “guesstimate” of job losses was around 130-160. 50 of the job losses will be from the news and current affairs department, where a total of 350 people currently work. The numbers are not set in stone, according to a spokesperson for TVNZ.

The lay-offs have been expected since late last year where he announced it to a parliamentary select committee.

The union which represents some of the staff working at TVNZ, Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union, said that some of the staff are asking themselves how TVNZ will be able to start and manage the new digital 24 hour news channel with fewer staff. They are seeking to talk to TVNZ.

In two weeks time, staff will be asked what they think of the proposed changes, which also includes a top level management restructuring.

Steve Mahery, broadcasting minister, said, “The restructuring of TVNZ is an operational issue, and I expect they’ll meet their charter requirements. How they structure the company to achieve this is entirely up to them.”