It’s hard to believe that more than six years have gone by since I was appointed chair of NZ On Air.
While I had heard of NZ On Air, watched some great local TV content, and listened to Radio New Zealand, I had not realised back then the breadth of the agency’s work – especially the many demands placed on it for local content for both screen and sound. Nor was I aware just how creative and committed the wider sector is in providing New Zealanders with great local content.
Leading NZ On Air has been a wonderful journey for me, as well as a tremendous learning experience. The scale and scope of the agency’s work is astonishing, and if the board has had one criticism of management in recent years, it is that NZ On Air doesn’t blow its own trumpet enough. After all, four out of five New Zealanders support and value what the agency does; virtually all of its funded content goes to air; and less than 3% of its revenue is spent on administration. These are impressive numbers.
During my six years I have been fortunate to meet producers, directors, writers, musicians, digital media entrepreneurs, broadcasters and platform executives. All such passionate people who are always amazingly supportive of the agency, even when you have disagreed with particular decisions or been disappointed when we have said no to a really good funding proposal. Above all, you get why local content is so important – it reflects and connects our nation.
I want to take this opportunity to thank you all:
• for welcoming me – as an outsider – to this sector when first appointed
• supporting me in my role the past six years
• working constructively with us during a time of constrained funding
• showing a willingness to change as we implemented our new funding strategy, and
• more recently, giving your huge support for our bid for more funding.
An enormous thank you to you all.
I am sad to be leaving NZ On Air, but I know it is in very good hands with Ruth Harley and I wish the board, agency and the sector all the very best in the future.
Miriam Dean, Chair