N.Z. in lock down: DAY 8


Yesterday was DAY 8 of New Zealand in lock down as we try to fight the COVID19 pandemic.

The biggest story in the last 24 hours has been the decision by Bauer Media Group New Zealand to close shop completely. Bauer Media Group – who I have to confess I had never heard of prior to today – had a near monopoly on the New Zealand magazine industry. The following are a list of the magazines that have been made to wind up:

  • New Zealand Women’s Weekly
  • New Zealand Women’s Day
  • Australian Women’s Weekly (N.Z. ed.)
  • North and South
  • The Listener
  • Next
  • Air New Zealand Kia Ora
  • Your Home and Garden
  • Home New Zealand

I have to admit that I never seriously read any of these magazines on a regular basis, but I know many who did. I also know that many of today’s crop of print journalists were inspired by the content and the people who put that content together for these magazines. The list above is not all the magazines that are going to stop, but are the major ones and it is also important to acknowledge that some websites are going to be seriously affected as a result of content change/loss.

Bauer said initially that they had sought Government assistance to help them see out the COVID19 lock down, which only permits essential businesses to operate. However Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi came out yesterday and said that no such approach had been made. Further more Mr Faafoi is aware that prior to yesterday’s announcement, Bauer had been intoning that they were looking to exit the New Zealand market.

So, in effect a German owned media group has elected to destroy the entire magazine industry of New Zealand on their way out the door. Coming on the back of the very sudden shuttering of Radio Sport, which carried commentary for major sports fixtures in New Zealand, this has made for an exceptionally grim week for New Zealand media. And in a time when New Zealand needs media at the top of their game.

And to cap off a grim week – although it has since been rescinded – a decision not to permit weekly newspapers, serving small communities was made. A public outcry from rural, isolated communities, seems to have been heard.

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/open-government-and-official-information/coronavirus-covid-19/essential-business/ – See bullet point 4 of “Utilities and communications, including supply chains”