Fifty more RNZ jobs to be shifted to Auck­land

The Dominion Post - - News - GLENN MCCON­NELL

Ra­dio New Zealand has in­di­cated there’s still a long way to go in its plan to down­size its Welling­ton head­quar­ters.

In its brief­ing to Broad­cast­ing Min­is­ter Clare Cur­ran, the ra­dio net­work said it planned to shift up to a fur­ther 50 jobs from Welling­ton to Auck­land

It also sig­nalled a scal­ing back of the nation’s AM ra­dio op­er­a­tions. RNZ owned a large amount of broad­cast­ing tech­nol­ogy but said it wanted to even­tu­ally sell and de­com­mis­sion a lot of its in­fra­struc­ture and land.

RNZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Thomp­son said about 80 staff were in Auck­land, com­pared with about 160 in Welling­ton. He wanted each of­fice to be the same size, with both sites be­ing big enough to op­er­ate on their own in an emer­gency.

The Auck­land ex­pan­sion was also to strengthen the sta­tion’s reach in the re­gion, Thomp­son said. It had a rel­a­tively small Auck­land au­di­ence.

RNZ had been mov­ing jobs to Auck­land for some time, and he said it would prob­a­bly take an­other five years for Auck­land to be equal in size with Welling­ton.

In the longer term, the re­port raised RNZ’s wish to divest from broad­cast­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

‘‘RNZ owns a sig­nif­i­cant prop­erty port­fo­lio and other re­lated equip­ment re­quired to sup­port its AM ra­dio ser­vices. While the AM au­di­ence is de­clin­ing, the cost of main­te­nance and up­keep of the prop­erty, build­ings and AM equip­ment is in­creas­ing.’’

The re­port went on to say RNZ was sit­ting on po­ten­tially lu­cra­tive land, that could be used for hous­ing.

‘‘We think we’re an au­di­ence and con­tent or­gan­i­sa­tion, not an in­fra­struc­ture or­gan­i­sa­tion.’’

Ra­dio New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Thomp­son wants the net­work’s Auck­land and Welling­ton sites to be of equal size.

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