Research Ngā Rangahau

The Future of Media Regulation in New Zealand: Is There One? 2006


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The Future of Media Regulation in New Zealand: Is There One? PDF (423.74 KB)

Date published: May 2006

Researchers/Authors: Russell Brown and Steven Price


  • Examines what the new information technologies are, and what they mean for the future of media regulation particularly, broadcasting regulation in New Zealand


  • New technologies allow audio-visual content to be quickly and efficiently distributed around the globe
  • Media industry – particularly the broadcast sector is in a period of accelerated innovation in response to consumer pressure
  • Audio-visual content plays key role in these communities; within which individuals increasingly "quote" media to each other
  • Dichotomy exists between single sources of authority and the mass of individual voices
  • New Zealand making belated move towards free-to-air digital broadcasting based on the Freeview model pioneered in Britain
  • Technical means to filter internet content exist but are not perfect and filtering creates its own problems
  • The advent of new technologies creates problems for regulators trying to control fraudulent material, harmful to children, criminal, offensive, invasive of privacy, anti-competitive or unethical
  • New Zealand’s system of media regulation a patch work of private and public regulatory bodies
  • The regulatory emphasis moves from dictating standards to informing audiences about the nature of the content available and empowering them to make judgements, participate in emerging community standards processes
  • Attempt to extend the BSA’s jurisdiction to cover other broadcast-like platforms will encounter difficult practical and policy problems
  • Case for expanding the BSA’s jurisdiction is arguably greatest with respect to audiovisual content, publicly owned or funded content sources, transmissions to large audiences, and broadcasts of local news and current affairs
  • An international consensus on regulating internet content looks very unlikely