Research Ngā Rangahau

Issues Facing Broadcast Content Regulation, 2006


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Issues Facing Broadcast Content Regulation, Report PDF497.36 KB
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Date published: November 2006

Researchers: Andrea Millwood Hargrave, Geoff Lealand, Paul Norris, Andrew Stirling


  • Considers assumptions and definitions that underpin content regulation, and the policy implications for content regulation in New Zealand
  • Examines the drivers for regulatory change including the advance of technology and the content regulatory structure in New Zealand


  • Content regulation has been based upon a model of content transmission (linear and broadcast) that is becoming outmoded in many countries with the rapid advances in communication technology
  • Significant changes – radical increase in choice and affordability of content; and substantial increases in viewer control over the time and place in which they enjoy their choice of content
  • Many governments review the role and implementation of content regulation, often against a backdrop of overall regulatory reform in all aspects of public services
  • Content regulation – methods by which intervention into access or supply of certain forms of broadcast and electronic content, either for protective reasons such as the protection of children, or proactive reasons such as requiring quotas for local content or providing for public service broadcasting
  • Statutory regulation – predominant content regulation model for broadcasting internationally
  • Different approaches in regulating content delivery over newer platforms such as mobile delivery
  • Increasing responsibility placed on the audience or user to negotiate content delivered via the new technologies
  • Different territories have chosen different approaches to suit their own cultural specificities
  • Content regulatory systems continue to support and maintain key principles such as those that preserve national identity or those that encourage domestically-produced content
  • Many territories have required their regulators to develop or encourage media literacy initiatives or awareness raising programmes to ensure that people are prepared for this role
  • New Zealand needs to create a framework which uses evidence-based approaches that enable it to recognise and react to changes in the broadcasting and electronic content environment