NZ takes another step towards switch-off

Rose Major

New Zealandís government has established a joint government/industry steering group to manage the countryís move towards analogue switch-off and advise the government on the process.

Comprising state-backed transmission company Kordia, Sky TV, Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and three government ministries (Culture & Heritage, Consumer Affairs, and Economic Development), the group will be responsible for a comprehensive public information programme. That programme is aimed at keeping the public fully informed throughout the transition process and ensuring all New Zealanders know exactly what they need to do to switch to digital.

The group will also be responsible for monitoring take-up of digital TV (currently in around 60% of NZ homes), ensuring technical coordination of the process and recommending a date for switchover. A final date will be set by the government when uptake has reached 75%, or in 2012, whichever occurs first.

Anna Verboeket, the Executive Director of the steering group, has pledged that the group will talk with all stakeholders to get their input into switchover plans.