New Zealand - Media

The government is in the process of privatizing and deregulating the telecommunications sector. In 1990, Telecom Corp., which runs the country's telephone services, was sold to a consortium led by American Information Technologies Corp. and Bell Atlantic. The number of mainline telephones as of 2000 was at1.92 million. The same year, there were 2.2 million cellular phones in use nationwide.

After undergoing decentralization in the early 1970s, the national broadcasting system was again reorganized in the latter half of the decade, and united under one central board, the Broadcasting Corp. of New Zealand. Under its authority are the Radio New Zealand network, a unified television service operating the two formerly competing national networks, TV1 and TV2, and one privately owned channel. As of 1998 there were 124 AM and 290 FM radio stations and 41 television broadcast stations. Color television was introduced in October 1973, and most households now have color sets. In 2000, there were 997 radios and 522 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were 360 personal computers for every 1,000 people and Internet access was available through 36 service providers. In 2001, there were 1.78 million Internet subscribers.

The largest daily newspapers and their estimated 2002 circulation figures are:

New Zealand

New Zealand Herald Auckland 240,000
The Press Christchurch 98,070
The Dominion Wellington 70,000
Evening Post Wellington 64,440
Otago Daily Times Dunedin 51,110

Major weeklies include:

New Zealand

Sunday Star Times Auckland 199,420
Sunday News Auckland 135,229
The New Zealand Listener Auckland 96,000
Dunedin Star Weekender Dunedin 43,000

The law provides for freedom of expression including free speech and a free press. Aside from the usual British legal limit for libel, the press enjoys complete editorial freedom.

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