TVNZ cuts travel costs by a third

The TVNZ building. Photo / Doug Sherring
The TVNZ building. Photo / Doug Sherring

Television New Zealand says it no longer has a number of reporters from different programmes chasing the same story and the cost of air travel across the whole company has been cut by 32 per cent to $4.6 million.

The state-owned broadcaster said in its annual report that its news and current affairs operations had been successfully restructured to develop multi-skilled staff.

"Instead of a number of different programmes chasing after the same story and duplicating resources, a reporter and a producer are assigned to see a story through the whole day across a number of programmes and platforms,'' chief executive Rick Ellis said.

The reorganisation of the news gathering process was part of a restructuring to fit the company's multi-media strategy. The programme involved the introduction of new technology.

The annual report refers to TVNZ as the nation's content leader.

An in-house creative hub had also brought digital, commissioning, news, sales and production facility teams into closer alignment, allowing the organisation to respond to market demands.

In the period under review TVNZ answered 2757 complaints, which was 1957 more than last year. A total of 1,839 complaints were upheld by the TVNZ complaints committee and 1752 of these related to three programmes.

A viewer survey in the annual report found that many charter programmes were considered more important than interesting.

"The survey highlighted the divide between what viewers want to watch personally, as opposed to what they think should be made available free-to-air for the greater good,'' TVNZ said.

The company has been on a cost-cutting drive.

It has put internal travel restrictions in place that helped it reduce air travel costs to $4.6 million from $6.7 million. This was regarded as an achievement considering the logistics involved in covering the Christchurch earthquakes and Pike River mine disasters.

- BusinessDesk

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