NZ Government - Radio NZ - memorandum of understanding February 2021

Robin Benson made this Official Information request to Radio New Zealand Limited

The request was successful.

From: Robin Benson

Dear Radio New Zealand Limited,

Official Information Act 1982 (Act)

This is an official request for information pursuant to the Act.

On 17 February 2021 the following statement was published by Radio New Zealand:

"RNZ is the statutory Lifeline Utility responsible for radio broadcasting under the Emergency Management Act 2002 and it has a memorandum of understanding with Government which has been activated to help deal with potential health issues related to the pandemic. RNZ's Lifeline Utility obligations do not affect our editorial independence as a public media organisation or the rigour of our news gathering and reporting operations."

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/4365...

Please provide a copy of the "memorandum of understanding" and all relevant material pursuant to and in the context of the mentioned activation.

I hereby confirm that I meet the requirements of the Act in making this request.

Should you require any evidence concerning meeting requirements pursuant to section 12 of the Act please respond without delay outlining:

(a) the forms of evidence you deem acceptable and an email address to which such information can be sent, and

(b) the genuine and reasonable grounds for requiring such evidence.

Yours faithfully,

Robin Benson

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From: Maggie Hedge

Good morning Robin

RNZ acknowledges receipt of your OIA request. Under the Official Information Act 1982 we have 20 working days to respond, and will contact you via email /post. If for any reason our response is delayed due to illness, or pandemic we will advise immediately.

Kind regards
Maggie Hedge| OIA Administrator RNZ
[email address]

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From: Robin Benson

Dear Maggie Hedge,

Thank you for your swift response.

Robin Benson

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From: George Bignell


Attachment Signed MOU 13 March 2017 with redactions Redacted.pdf
4.0M Download View as HTML


Dear Mr Benson

Please find a copy of the MoU attached as requested.

Kind regards

George Bignell| OIA Inquiries Coordinator
RADIO NEW ZEALAND | LEVEL 2 | 155 THE TERRACE
PO BOX 123 | WELLINGTON | NEW ZEALAND 6140 | www.rnz.co.nz
DDI +64 4 474 1424 | [mobile number]

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From: Robin Benson

Dear George Bignell,

My OIA asked:

"Please provide a copy of the "memorandum of understanding" and all relevant material pursuant to and in the context of the mentioned activation."

You have provided the MOU.

Please provide all relevant material pursuant to and in the context of the mentioned activation.

To be clear this part of my request relates to the "activation" as mentioned on 17 February 2021 at:
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/4365...

Yours sincerely,

Robin Benson

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From: George Bignell

Dear Mr Benson

Thank you for your further email.

Can you please provide more detail as to the "activation" you refer to as there is no reference to it in the story you quoted.

Once we have received any further information from you, we will assess your request again.

Kind regards

George Bignell| OIA Inquiries Coordinator
RADIO NEW ZEALAND | LEVEL 2 | 155 THE TERRACE
PO BOX 123 | WELLINGTON | NEW ZEALAND 6140 | www.rnz.co.nz
DDI +64 4 474 1424 | [mobile number]

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From: Robin Benson

Dear George Bignell,

Thank you for your response.

At the end of the RNZ item referenced (https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/4365...) are the paragraphs below. The last paragraph relates to an "activation".

I trust you find this clarification helpful.

"This is an official government Covid-19 announcement:

Auckland is now at alert level 3, the rest of the country is now at alert level 2. Cases of Covid-19 have been identified in the Auckland community. Restrictions will remain until Wednesday at midnight. A further announcement on next steps will be made at 4.30pm this afternoon. Travelling in or out of Auckland is restricted. Stay home, stop the spread. For more information on the alert levels go to covid19.govt.nz

RNZ is the statutory Lifeline Utility responsible for radio broadcasting under the Emergency Management Act 2002 and it has a memorandum of understanding with Government which has been activated to help deal with potential health issues related to the pandemic. RNZ's Lifeline Utility obligations do not affect our editorial independence as a public media organisation or the rigour of our news gathering and reporting operations."

Yours sincerely,

Robin Benson

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From: George Bignell

Dear Mr Benson

Thank you for your further email. To clarify, the memorandum of understanding was activated on February 14 when the Prime Minister had announced that the Auckland area would go on to Level 3 restrictions from 6.00am that morning. The paragraph above the one which you refer to is what was sent to RNZ for publication and that is what we published. As that information is in the public arena, there is no further information which we hold to be released.

The Level 3 restrictions were eased later in the afternoon of February 17 after Cabinet met and the Prime Minister made her further announcement. The article you refer to was published just after midday on the 17th.

I trust the above is of assistance to you.

Kind regards

George Bignell| OIA Inquiries Coordinator
RADIO NEW ZEALAND | LEVEL 2 | 155 THE TERRACE
PO BOX 123 | WELLINGTON | NEW ZEALAND 6140 | www.rnz.co.nz
DDI +64 4 474 1424 | [mobile number]

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From: Robin Benson

Dear George Bignell,

Thank you for the additional information. I feel we are almost there.

"which has been activated to help deal with potential health issues related to the pandemic."

Could you please outline what RNZ helping "deal with potential health issues related to the pandemic." actually means?

Yours sincerely,

Robin Benson

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From: George Bignell

Dear Mr Benson

The phrase you highlighted, i.e. "deal with potential health issues related to the pandemic." means there was an identified risk of the virus spreading i.e. a potential health issue. RNZ broadcasting and publishing the government's official statements was part of dealing with the health issue of preventing the virus spreading.

I trust this is assistance to you and this now brings this correspondence to a close.

Kind regards

George Bignell| OIA Inquiries Coordinator
RADIO NEW ZEALAND | LEVEL 2 | 155 THE TERRACE
PO BOX 123 | WELLINGTON | NEW ZEALAND 6140 | www.rnz.co.nz
DDI +64 4 474 1424 | [mobile number]

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From: Robin Benson

Dear George Bignell,

Just to be clear, the "activation" referred to relates specifically and only to "RNZ broadcasting and publishing the government's official statements was part of dealing with the health issue of preventing the virus spreading."

Please confirm this is correct and that will conclude this OIA.

Alternatively I refer you to the original request in particular "all relevant material pursuant to and in the context of the mentioned activation."

Yours sincerely,

Robin Benson

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From: George Bignell

Greetings, I am on leave at the moment.  I will respond to you after I
return on Monday April 6, 2020.

 

If it can't wait and it's a:

 

Facilities issue please talk to Stewart Robinson at
[email address].

 

Complaints/standards/copyright issue please talk to Maggie Hedge at
[email address]

 

Business/legal issue please talk to Karen Larsen at
[email address].

 

rgds

George

 

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in any non-business email are not necessarily the views of RNZ.
www.rnz.co.nz

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From: George Bignell

.....that is correct....

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