MPs have accused Radio New Zealand of “taking up the begging bowl” after it registered as a charity.
The state-owned broadcaster set up a charitable trust for the Concert Programme last month, registering with the Charities Commission under the name Radio New Zealand Charitable Trust. [The RNZ charity's registration number is CC 46801].
The Green Party broadcasting spokesperson, Sue Kedgley, said the move “shows the dire state of public broadcasting’.
“At first I thought this was a joke. I am appalled to discover that it is a serious proposition and that the board of Radio New Zealand has been forced by the Government ‘s funding freeze … to set up a trust so that it can go out with a begging bowl to the public.”
She questioned if there was a long-term plan to enable RNZ to solicit donations for their programmes at the network.
“This suggests to me that it could be intended to have a wider pupose in the long term – namely to enable Radio New Zealand to solicit donations for its wider radio network.” Labour’s Clare Curren said it was “a ridiculous turn of events”.
“The minister has already stripped TVNZ of its charter forcing it to become a commercial entity. What’s next? Morning Report brought to us by Fonterra?
Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman said the issue was an operational matter for RNZ.
Source: The Dominion Post Friday, August 12, 2011. P. A2.