The devil's in the detail when it comes to the new international convention centre deal with SkyCity.
The government and SkyCity have signed a Heads of Agreement to build the centre in Auckland, which will cost $402 million. SkyCity will foot the bill and in return, it's to be allowed to 230 new pokie machines and 40 new gaming tables.
But there are fears the extension of SkyCity's licence until 2048 may mean it's not subject to certain checks.
Problem Gambling Foundation's Graeme Ramsey says this means there may not be an assessment of the casino's economic and social impact, that usually happens when a licence is renewed. He says there are also other concessions that will have significant impacts on problem gambling.
But, Auckland's mayor Len Brown says that while he'll be looking at SkyCity's proposed measures to address problem gambling, the benefits of the deal are obvious.
And now the path's been cleared now for SkyCity and TVNZ to start talking real estate.
Of the $402 million, $87 million will be used to buy land from TVNZ which is across the road from the current casino. The international convention centre includes a link-way bridge over Hobson Street, onto bits of land currently occupied by TVNZ.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says talks around the sale of that land can now move forward.
Construction will begin next year, and should open in 2017.
- RBG NEWS/Newstalk ZB
The controversial broadcaster with the cheeky grin and quick wit has died.
Sir Paul Holmes has died peacefully, surrounded by family, in the Hawke's Bay.
The 62 year old broadcaster had been in poor health since having heart surgery in June last year, and just a few months ago, Sir Paul's old foe, prostate cancer, forced him to draw the curtains on a forty year career.
Sir Paul first hit the airwaves with the NZBC in Christchurch way back in 1970 – then worked overseas before returning to Auckland to launch the then unheard of Newstalk format in in March 1987.
A woeful start quickly became stunning success - much of that due to Sir Paul's obvious empathy with all his interviewees.
Former TVNZ head of News and Current Affairs, Paul Norris, who helped launch the Holmes show in the late 80's, said through the show Sir Paul gave New Zealand audiences something they had never had before.
He said the programme broke new ground and made current affairs accessible and interesting to the general public.
A parallel TV show in 1989 saw him become a cause celeb - with his personal life and ‘off-the-cuff’ comments often becoming news themselves.
Sir Paul was knighted in the 2012 New Year's Honours list for his services to broadcasting and the community.
However the knighthood was not just for services to broadcasting, but for public causes he championed - including the Paralympics. While competing on “Dancing with the Stars” he nominated Paralympics New Zealand as his charity of choice.
Mark Copeland (Chairman, Paralympics New Zealand) said Sir Paul has been quoted as saying that seeing Paralympic Sport for the first time in the summer of 1980 in Holland changed his life. He subsequently became the face of TVNZ's coverage of the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney.
But to the Holmes family he was more than just a broadcaster, he was also a loving husband and father, as well as a generous friend.
In a statement the family said he loved people and people loved him.
Lady Holmes, Millie, Reuben and Sir Paul’s brother, Ken Holmes, have thanked the public for their incredible support. They have also requested privacy from the media.
As his family grieves, Sir Paul’s colleagues reminisce...
Producer of Shine TV’s current affairs programme, “Nzone Focus”, Pene Ashby, had worked with Sir Paul Holmes at TVNZ as one of his news directors. His way of working, she said, was full-on – he was full of passion for whatever he was working on. She said she had a lot of respect for him and the way he treated people.
Because he lived his life so passionately, said Pene Ashby, he took that into whatever he was doing – including the challenges he had to face in his life, “Everybody related to some of the struggles he had, and he showed people how to embrace those without going under. He held his head up and said “I have to deal with this” and people respected that.”
News Director for the Rhema Broadcasting Group, Allan Lee, and his wife, Annette, worked with Sir Paul in Newstalk ZB’s newsroom for more than a decade. “He was one of a kind. He would walk into the newsroom and you could tell what kind of a day it would be…the energy level would triple. There were days when he was nothing short of brilliant. He had a real sense of what ordinary people wanted to think and talk about - that connection made him stand out in a crowd.”
“But on the very few occasions where he put a foot wrong – and everyone remembers the ‘cheeky darkie’ incident - he was terribly upset because he felt he’d misjudged it. We were getting bomb threats because of that, but he apologised personally to every single member of staff, because he felt it was his fault.”
Allan Lee said he genuinely cared for the issues he was involved in.
Newstalk ZB host, Kerre Woodham, said Sir Paul Holmes had always been generous and supportive. She first met Sir Paul and Richard Griffin in Wellington when she was in her early 20s. They were her first teachers, she said, and they opened up a whole world of literature, current affairs, politics and history.
TVNZ weatherman, Jim Hickey, worked with Sir Paul from his beginning in TV, often standing in the cross-fire between the six o'clock news and the Holmes show.
“He developed this rare capacity to connect with the both the haughty and the humble - he was kind-of an ‘every man's’ broadcaster, but he set his own agendas as well.”
Sir Paul's boss of 20 years, Bill Francis, says after Paul retired they always talked about how much fun they had. “He would walk through the newsroom and drop a comment and have the room in an uproar, mostly with hysterical laughter."
Bill Francis said being around Paul was always exciting, interesting. One day, he said, was never like the next. And in spite of all the controversies - particularly the ‘cheeky darkie’ moment, he was never on the verge of being sacked, he said.
The Prime Minister said Sir Paul Holmes was a gentleman broadcaster and his passing marks the end of a broadcasting era.
He said he conducted his interviews with intelligence and insightfulness, and while he never suffered fools, his interviews were never without kindness and empathy.
Mr Key says he was a trailblazer in New Zealand journalism with a style that was all his own.
Information on how the public can pay tribute to Sir Paul will be announced in due course.
But for now, to quote Sir Paul’s famous sign-off…”…those were our people today - that's Holmes tonight.”
- RBG News/Newstalkzb
TVNZ has announced major cuts to its 'Good Morning' show.
The show's being shortened from three hours to just one - that will air between 9am and 10am.
It's not revealing yet what will fill the remaining two hours, only that it will be programmes with wider appeal.
TVNZ says the detail of who and what will feature on the reformatted show has not yet been finalised and will be made public as soon as it is confirmed.
Jeff Latch, Head of TV ONE and TV2, said: "Good Morning has many committed viewers and we intend to build on that support and introduce extra content to the morning schedule.
"For the balance of the morning we're planning a new programme schedule designed to appeal to the people who are likely to be watching television at that time.
"We've been listening to what viewers most want to see from us and this is one place where we feel we can provide something more that will be attractive to this particular audience."
The changes kick in next year.
Newstalk ZB/RBG News
Paul Stenhouse, former TVNZ reporter and New York resident, talks about Hurricane Sandy and the effect the evacuation is having so far.
Listen below for the interview.
Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges discuss the privacy breach in WINZ, Kohanga Reo and Petra Bagust leaving TVNZ.
Listen below for the segment.
TVNZ's weeknight current affairs show 'Close Up' looks set to fade to black as this year winds down.
If the proposal to end the show is confirmed, a new daily current affairs show with a distinctively different format would launch in the 7pm slot in the new year.
TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Ross Dagan, says the proposed closure of the show is a pro-active response to feedback that television viewers are looking for something fresh and quite different in early evening current affairs.
"Close Up remains the number one daily current affairs show by a substantial margin, but ratings for us and for our competitors in this important time slot have diminished over time," he says. "We're committed to staying at the forefront of what New Zealanders want to see and we owe it to them and to ourselves to continually evolve and enhance television current affairs."
"We want to reinvent the early evening slot, to present the stories of the day in a way that is very different to what has gone before."
TVNZ will not be releasing details of the proposed new show at this stage.
Close Up has been running for nearly eight years, and the current host, Mark Sainsbury has held the job since 2006.
Ross Dagan offered praise and thanks to the 16 members of the Close Up team:
"Everyone on the show is aware that traditional current affairs formats are losing favour with audiences, and this team has set the bar for what's possible. However despite the efforts of a group of very talented people, and a degree of success, the company's view is that this format has simply run its course.
"As presenter Mark Sainsbury has done a fine job and has earned a deserved place in television history through his coverage of some of the most significant issues in New Zealand's recent past."
A period of consultation with affected staff begins today and an outcome is expected by mid-October.
RBG News / Media release
The political polls always make the news, but how reliable are they?
On Sunday the latest Colmar Brunton Poll used by TVNZ had the centre left edging out the centre right National led government by a couple of seats.
However the Herald Digi-poll as of two weeks ago shows a dead heat, with the maori party potentially holding the balance of power.
We talk now to David Farrar about the certainty of these polls, and whether they can change so much in two weeks, and whether they are even useful this far out from an election.
Listen below for the story.
It’s been a funny old weekend for the broadcasting industry.
First of all, one of New Zealand’s most successful digital channels – TVNZ7, with an audience of 1.7 million – was shut down.
Then… one of New Zealand’s least successful radio channels – Kiwi FM, with just one tenth of one percent of the listening audience – gets its contract allowing it to broadcast on a publicly owned frequency renewed for another six months.
Listen below for the story.
For the Panel today is Steve Tollestrup from the Green Party and he and Pat discuss a number of topics including Peter Dunn and TVNZ 7.
Listen below for the Panel.
Revenue Minister Peter Dunn joins Pat to talk about the cancellation of TVNZ 7 that curiously coincides with the additional funding of Kiwi FM, which has a far lesser audience.
Listen below for the story.