Radio NZ staff robbed of chance at Radio Award

by Jake Quinn

On the Save Radio New Zealand Facebook page I asked: “Any Radio NZ staff please correct me if I’m wrong, but did you guys lose the right to submit your work to the Radio Awards last year because of budget cut backs, thus being robbed of an opportunity to be acknowledged for your work and progress your careers?”

Some helpful little broadcasting beaver sent through the info:

Radio New Zealand announced last year that it would withdraw from the New Zealand Radio Awards.  Radio New Zealand will not be making an entry in any categories of the awards in 2010, nor will it be paying a contribution towards the administration or sponsorship of the awards.

This decision was announced as one of several measures to reduce costs in a year when funding constraints will put severe pressure on Radio New Zealand’s operating budget. Money saved as a result of our withdrawal from the awards will be used to support core Charter requirements.

Radio New Zealand staff may choose to submit an independent entry to the awards, however, anyone considering an entry on their own behalf should first discuss those intentions with their manager.

So the answer was yes.  And this decision was made last year.  Professional development is clearly OK for Minister’s office staff, those working in core government departments, but sheesh, if you work at Radio NZ, not only do you have to settle for about two-thirds the salary of the average advisor level public servant, but you have to put on bloody sausage sizzles to raise enough money to submit your work (that’s if your manager allows it) to the annual awards ceremony.

The Radio Awards are there to recognize that work publicly – remember, not everyone that works at Radio NZ is a prime-time broadcaster with name recognition like Sean Plunket or Jim Mora.  There are many workers behind the scenes who miss out even more from the lack of funding to take part in their industry’s annual awards; the production engineers, writers and producers whose names you’ve never heard.