The government has introduced a public broadcasting charter that will require state-owned Television New Zealand "to set and maintain the highest standards of programme quality and editorial integrity."

The charter, introduced by Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs, will take effect on 1 July next year.

Under it, TVNZ must ensure the participation of Maori within programmes and in programme planning.

Programmes must serve "the varied interests and informational needs and age groups within New Zealand society, including tastes and interests not generally catered for my other national television broadcasters.

TVNZ will also be directed to offer programmes of interest to smaller audiences, and to support and promote the talents and resources of the New Zealand film and television industry.

Ms Hobbs says the charter establishes the standard required in public broadcasting.

"Decisions on how the charter goals will be reached, including the structure of TVNZ, cost and method of funding, will be made soon."

The minister said she expected the implementation of the charter to be gradual.