The RNZ/TVNZ merger will have major implications for both these basic rights, and the freedoms they preserve. Kiwis have a right to know that the creation of a new publicly funded media-behemoth will have their basic rights in mind. From the outset, Willie Jackson must include safeguards to ensure this new venture will resolutely stand for free speech. Without assurances that this entity will defend Kiwis' right to have their say, it's liable to being co-opted by those who will control speech and Kiwis' right to hear differing views.
By dominating competition and excluding countering perspectives, this entity threatens to further erode free speech in New Zealand.
RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson has claimed that this merger is driven “in part by . . . the spread of disinformation”. No organisation or society has ever been well-served by a sector claiming to have a monopoly on truth, be that the church, science, and certainly not the media.
Without greater safeguards for free speech in the merger, it will place our speech rights under siege.
"I call on Parliament to ensure that the RNZ/TVNZ merger will advance Kiwis' freedom of speech and will protect their right to express and receive diverse opinions and perspectives."