Mediaweek’s John Drinnan rounds up the last fortnight in NZ media news.
The new New Zealand Labour government will be amending the controversial Hobbit law, instead of repealing it as it promised. The change announced this week will be a relief to filmmakers who feared that a full repeal would revive the bitter row between Sir Peter Jackson and the Hollywood studios against the union movement and that this would disrupt US film production in New Zealand. Back in 2010 the National Party-led government changed New Zealand labour laws after Warner Bros threatened to shift production of the Hobbit movies out of New Zealand.
Fairfax Media-owned Stuff has partnered with job search company Adzuna New Zealand. Adzuna advertises more than 15,000 jobs in New Zealand and has more than 10 million monthly visitors across 16 countries. Adzuna has been in partnership with Fairfax Media in Australia since 2014. Meanwhile, NZME has entered the recruitment market with a digital platform called YUDU that connects industries with both active and passive candidates. Job advertising in New Zealand is dominated by Seek.
NBC Universal Australasian boss Chris Taylor will take a bigger role in the management of Bravo New Zealand, the free-to-air operation co-owned by Bravo! and MediaWorks. Bravo New Zealand general manager Maria Mahoney has left the company after just 15 months. She will not be replaced. So far there is only one local show on Bravo – Real Housewives of Auckland. However, Bravo has been looking for a local front person for the channel.
Newstalk ZB will have a husband and wife on its early morning broadcasts. Next year, Kate Hawkesby will host the early morning show Early Edition. She replaces Rachel Smalley who has stepped down from the show “to pursue a corporate career”. Hawkesby is the wife of Newstalk ZB breakfast host Mike Hosking, The two met as popular co-hosts of the then-popular TVNZ Breakfast show in the 90s. While early morning and breakfast shows are currently separate, there has speculation that Newstalk ZB is looking at ways to lighten-up the Hosking breakfast show.
Newshub legal action
Deputy prime minister Winston Peters has named two journalists in a writ aimed at uncovering a leak against him during the election campaign. Newshub political reporter Lloyd Burr and Newsroom co-editor Tim Murphy are both named in the action along with seven others including four National Party politicians. Peters has long had a pugilistic warring approach to the media. But there was still surprise in his naming of journalists. Peters is seeking to uncover the source of a story leaked to media before the election that Peters had been overpaid superannuation. The overpayment was an error by a government department and was settled. However, Peters has claimed that it was leaked to media to undermine his electoral success.
Lippy Pictures dominated the craft section of the New Zealand Awards announced this week. Lippy-produced Jean, the biopic of aviator Jean Batten, won eight of the 10 awards. The awards won included Best Editing, Drama, Cinematography and Best Original score.
Meanwhile, Born This Way: Awa’s Story by Ruckus won Best Editing Documentary or Factual and Best Camerawork: Documentary or Factual. The documentary tells the story of Te Awarangi ‘Awa’ Puna, an 18-year-old openly transgender teen who is transitioning from male to female.