National will reverse the Government's proposed TVNZ and RNZ mega-merger into a new public media outlet because it doesn't have widespread support and could create trust issues.
That's according to the Opposition's Broadcasting spokeswoman Melissa Lee, who said she would pull the media entities apart if National was voted into power.
The Government has proposed an ambitious timeline for merging TVNZ and RNZ into Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media (ANZPM) by the middle of next year.
But media industry submissions about the merger have raised numerous concerns, including from executives at TVNZ and RNZ.
Shayne Currie - managing editor at NZME, the Herald's owner - said the size and public funding of the new entity would have "distortionary effects".
TVNZ chief executive Simon Power warned plans for the entity would grant the Government greater influence over public media than at any point since the 1970s.
National's Lee told Newshub Nation there had been too many submissions against the merger.
"Close to 1000 people submitted - the majority of them are actually against the merger and I think they need to stop this," she said.
If the Government managed to complete the merger before the next election, National would step in to stop the process if it regained power.
"My solution? One, to stop it - to actually reverse it and let TVNZ and RNZ do what they do best, and let New Zealand On Air be champions of local content," she said.
With traditional media facing more competition from newer media forms, Lee said she would direct some government funding in these areas to help generate more New Zealand content for viewers.
"If I was the minister, currently, instead of actually creating a giant monolith ... I'll be talking to the entities - whether it's actually Amazon, Disney - all kinds of platforms where people are actually watching the content that they actually want."
Lee also pointed to recent comments by Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson that there is a lack of trust in national media as something that had others worried that the new outlet was being set up so the Government could have influence over the outlets.
She said that would create a lack of trust rather than fixing any perceived lack of trust.
The Herald called Jackson's comments "extraordinary" at the time, with managing editor Currie saying the organisation didn't agree with them at all.
The Act Party has also called the proposed merger a waste of time.
"At a time when Kiwis are grappling with a cost of living crisis fuelled by domestic inflation, can we afford for the Government to be spending up on a poorly defined merger," Act associate finance spokesman Damien Smith said earlier this year.