TVNZ staff today learned of a new proposal that would mean job losses at the national television broadcaster.

TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick would not reveal how many jobs were in the firing line, but said staff should have a clearer idea of whether their jobs were safe or not in a couple of weeks.

"We will have conversations with teams and have consultations on what's proposed but if we were to go forward with what's proposed today we would disestablish a number of roles. We would create some new ones but in absolute terms the net effect would be less," he told the Herald.

He said the job cuts would come from "the area of how we get the content back to TVNZ and then get it out to viewers".


"If you look at the processes, the systems, the roles around the editing, the production, we think that there's duplication in what we're doing right now and we think we could create a centre of excellence in one place and do that more efficiently."

He would not be drawn on whether staff would have to reapply for their jobs.

The company had a plan to centralise its "behind the scenes" processes while decentralising its news gathering resources, Kenrick said.

"What we're looking at is trying to leverage the emerging technology tools that we have available to centralise the technical side of things and free-up so that we can decentralise more of our news gathering."

The company wanted to be represented in more regions across the country, something that was made easier by new technology, he said.

"At the same time we need to find more cost effective ways of doing that and the technology has advanced to such an extent that it is available and we've got confidence that it will deliver for us.

"The goal for us is to achieve more with less. Success for us would be to get more local stories and to get those out to viewers in a more timely fashion."

He said the changes were occurring as a result of an increasingly competitive market where broadcasters no longer competed only with local players but with global giants like Netflix.


The company would now undergo a consultation process and seek feedback from throughout the business, Kenrick said.

In December the Herald reported that the state broadcaster TVNZ spent more than $2 million in the past two financial years on "early termination" payments to top presenters and other newsroom staff. At the time, the business warned staff it needed to make radical changes to remain profitable.

Over the last 18 months several high-profile presenters have departed, including weather presenter Karen Olsen, weekend newsreader Bernadine Oliver-Kerby, Fair Go's Gordon Harcourt and Breakfast hosts Rawdon Christie and Nadine Chalmers-Ross.

In August, TVNZ reported a net profit after tax of $12.7m for the financial year ending June 2016, down from $28.1m the previous year.

TVNZ net profit after tax:

2016: $12.7m
2015: $28.1m
2014: $14.2m
2013: $14.4m
2012: $14.2m