The broadcasting environment continues to be one of dynamic change, with the media environment evolving rapidly. At the time of preparing this SOI, the government has announced plans to update the Broadcasting Act 1989 (the Act), to better reflect the converged media environment. The proposed changes include extending the Act, and the BSA’s functions, to capture certain on-demand content (excluding news and current affairs programmes and user-generated content) to ensure it meets classification and content standards. While the reform process is underway, and we are contributing to it, the reforms are not yet in force and we continue to operate under the regulatory structures set up in 1989. Accordingly, we are charged with working with the current structures to be as effective as we can.
Our focus therefore over the next four years is to ensure that the current system works well – both at BSA level and at broadcaster level – with a view to improvements underpinning any future regulatory system. We will also be ready to adapt to the reforms once these are in place. Central to this, our decisions must continue to be robust and clear and we must work well with co-regulators of content in New Zealand. A key focus is to work with broadcasters and the public to ensure they are aware of and understand how the standards apply and how the complaints process works.