News 2 Nov 2018
New Zealand's Foreign Ministry will use a new dedicated TV channel for the Pacific to promote its investment in the region.
In September, New Zealand's government announced it would spend $US6.6million over the next three years to expand the Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting service.
Documents released to RNZ Pacific show the channel will include short form stories produced under the Foreign Ministry's guidance.
It said the content will act as reminders to help embed New Zealand's connection with the Pacific and improve soft power benefits.
Natasha Meleisea, the broadcaster's chief executive, said it would improve transparency around aid projects.
"It is good for New Zealand to talk about and openly talk about these types of projects that are being delivered in the Pacific and from that I suppose from an educational purpose is when it is being rebroadcasted across the region, that people can take some of the learnings from that if there are learnings to take, they can enquire more about the actual projects."
Around 8 - 10 stories would be produced under New Zealand government guidance each year, but PCBL would retain editorial control, Ms Meleisea said.
The planned service is still in its planning stages and would be finalised in the next six months or so, she said.
Any content which is produced or provided by the New Zealand government would be clearly identified as such, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said.
"The Pacific Reset does provide an opportunity to better tell the story of the collective ambition of development work in the Pacific," they said.
The expanded service will improve access for Pacific free-to-air broadcasters to New Zealand television content and increase the quality and quantity of Pacific-produced content through training and resourcing, the spokesperson said.
In August, the Foreign Ministry also announced the a new journalism travel grant, with stories produced to "be informed by the Pacific Reset and include initiatives supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme".