Kris Faafoi’s Column

kris faafoiLabour’s new broadcasting guru gets the message across

Kris Faafoi writes…

The power of media is immense. It can influence, entertain, inform and educate.

The importance of public service media in a healthy democracy is also immense and that is why I am really excited by the new role I have as Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson to ensure that New Zealand have access to a strong, independent and free public broadcasting service.

A strong, independent, free public broadcasting media service not driven by commercial interests is essential to an informed democracy.

Deepening a sense of identity

It allows all New Zealanders to deepen their sense of identity, how we see our place in the World, see our own cultures, hear our many voices, it encourages creativity and innovation.

I am excited about the new role because of the ability of our fast changing media to educate and to inform our youngsters.

When I was growing up any family who had an Encyclopaedia Britannica had a distinct advantage as those bound volumes held were full of information on most subjects,.

The internet is now where we go but it is the further application of technology and faster internet is where opportunities lie to use what we have traditionally seen as broadcasting as way of better educating our next generation.

Lightning video downloads

Let’s face it – what we will be doing with Ultra-Fast Broadband? Yes some may use it for downloading large files for business.

But to you and me here, if we are hooked up to UFB, it’s the lightening speed video downloads we will be using it for.

Whether it be Skype, Youtube or some other service that is yet to take us by storm – we’ll be using our tablets and notebooks to watch more stuff.

And this is where we need to link into our kids with education and leave our ‘get off the computer’ attitudes at the door.

Sure, we will need to be more vigilant, make sure they can write comprehensibly (Disclaimer : A school report of mine once noted my handwriting was ‘erratic’) but the possibilities of video and education applications can link in with curriculum is enormous.

Back in the day Kiwi TV for kids did hold educative values, now the little kids TV that is made here is made more for their entertainment not to inform them. I think it needs to do both.

Investing in doing both can get more bang for buck these days.

In the old days once Playschool or Sesame Street (with the local inserts) had screened that was it.

If you missed it – you missed it, you didn’t get the chance to benefit from the education message or the health message it was sending (C’mon you remember the song about brushing your teeth!).

Nowadays though if we have content that is designed for our kids that goes out on TV and is available on line with other resources available – aren’t we all better off for being able to access it more than once?

Anyways, I’d like to know what you think about this and any other thoughts you have, be it broadcasting related or anything else.

Please keep in touch via any method below:

email on

or call my Porirua office on 0800 MANA MP (0800 62 62 67). @krisinmana