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Thursday, February 18

Cuts demanded of Radio New Zealand could impact on writers’ earning ability

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) is concerned about the recent attacks made on Radio New Zealand and says that further cuts in their budget could well impact on New Zealand writers’ ability to make an income.

“Radio New Zealand is already under-funded” says Tony Simpson, President, “For years the Society has been working towards gaining better rates of pay for writers and the additional cuts to Radio New Zealand’s budget demanded by the Minister will almost certainly impact not only on the writers’ rates of pay but the terms and conditions of their contracts. These cuts will also undoubtedly further limit the opportunities of New Zealanders to hear their own voices on air. This is most certainly not something we can support.”

In 2007 the Society commissioned a Research Report on the incomes, needs and issues for mid-established authors. The data was alarming! The average income from writing was approximately $15,000 and only 17% of writers were able to survive solely on their income from writing. There is no doubt that, as the major radio network producing New Zealand content, Radio New Zealand contributed considerably to these statistics.

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) urges the Government to maintain its level of support to Radio New Zealand for the benefit of New Zealand literature.