TVNZ boss Kevin Kenrick earned $120,000 more this year than he did in 2018.

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TVNZ's annual report for 2019, released today, reveals the state broadcaster's chief executive earned $1.55 million in the 2019 financial year.

This was up from $1.43m in 2018.


Kenrick's total remuneration package is now in danger of being more than the state broadcaster's entire profit for the year.

While his fixed remuneration dropped from $901,000 to $890,000, his short-term performance incentive rose from $460,000 to $585,000 year on year.

According to the TVNZ annual report, the company has a total of 250 staff earning over $100,000 per annum. Kenrick is, however, the highest earner by some stretch.

It employs 670 full-time equivalent staff in total, up from 641 in 2018.

For the 2019 financial year, TVNZ posted a net profit after tax of $2.9m, above the $2.5m target which had been set for Kenrick and the team.

Board chairwoman Dame Therese Walsh, who is stepping down from the role after three years, was paid $89,350, while director Andrew Coupe received $51,190 and Abigail Foote was paid $49,329. The other four directors were all paid $44,675 each.

Walsh said in her chair statement the board had agreed with the government to stop dividend payments in order to accelerate reinvestment in the business.

"TVNZ plans to use its cash reserves over the next few years to future proof organisational capabilities and enable the business to compete more effectively with global competitors."


Chief executive Kenrick said in his statement that TVNZ's increased focus on live and local programming during the year had enabled it to maintain its market-leading audience reach and share of TV advertising.

During 2019 it invested more in its OnDemand service and had seen improved performance delivery as a result.

"Spectacular growth in video streaming, audience reach and advertising revenue were a direct result of our investment to enhance user experiences and device availability and to strengthen our breadth and depth of 'must watch' content for online viewers."

Online video streaming consumption via internet-connected TVs had doubled during the financial year and now represented a bigger share of TVNZ's OnDemand viewing than mobile and desktop, he said.

Kenrick said its point of difference to global competitors was local content and it planned to materially shift its content investment in favour of local production.

He warned this would result in "content cost inflation" but said it was critical to the long-term sustainability of the business.

Kenrick said over the next few years TVNZ needed to transform its operating model to maintain its financial viability.

"The initial focus will be on simplifying core business systems and processes, and adopting contemporary ways of working to maximise productivity."

More complaints
TVNZ saw a greater number of Broadcasting Standards Authority complaints with an increase from 1249 in 2018 to 1665 in 2019.

But the number upheld fell from 44 to 25.

The number of complaints which went to the Media Council rose from 12 to 33 but none were upheld.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority handled 30 referrals about TVNZ programming in 2019, down from 37 the year before but none were upheld in 2019 down from four in 2018.