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28 March 2013


The television captioning and audio description service currently operated by TVNZ is to be transferred to an independent entity before the end of the year.


TVNZ and New Zealand on Air, which funds the service, are working together to ensure a seamless transition to a newly-created entity, which will ensure that the current quality and quantity of the service is maintained or increased.


At the moment, TVNZ handles captioning for other broadcasters as well as its own programmes.  The move to an independent third party is the result of a business decision by TVNZ to cease a non-core activity.


Existing staff will transfer to the new provider once the administrative and technical details are in place.


The main users of the service – the hearing impaired and visually impaired communities – will not notice any changes as a result of the move.


NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson says TVNZ’s decision to exit has opened an opportunity for a new structure that will be independent of all broadcasters.


“Work is underway on setting up the new organisation and we expect a smooth transition later in the year. We also expect to have representatives from the deaf and visually impaired community on the Board of the new entity – something that I’m sure will be welcomed.”


TVNZ’s Chief Executive, Kevin Kenrick, says TVNZ is happy to support NZ On Air with the transition to a new provider.


“This is a really sensible outcome that protects the users of this service and will allow TVNZ to focus our resources on our core business.”


The move has been warmly welcomed by representatives of the deaf community.


Louise Carroll, chair of the Captioning Working Group, says the community has been calling for an independent provider for some years and is delighted to see the transition underway.




Megan Richards

TVNZ Corporate Affairs

021 804 123