New Zealand: might TVNZ7 go global?

The country should raise its profile and now it has a vehicle to do it.

Great concept, good graphics, intelligent programming and professionally executed, TVNZ7 is a godsend! A cumbersome and dreary name, though...

Yet, many are delighted the station exists, and congratulate the production teams and management behind it.

Since New Zealand has worked so hard over recent years to develop trade links, harness a higher proportion of international tourist traffic and play a more significant role in global affairs (often punching well abouve its weight), now could be the time to emulate Australia Network and take TVNZ7 to the world - hopefully with a catchier name.

The country now has Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in place with Australia, China, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Hong Kong.  FTAs are being negotiated with others like the US, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Brazil, India, Peru, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Tourism is now one of the country's biggest export earners, with around 2 million people visiting every year. 85,000 extra will arrive over six weeks during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Air New Zealand flies to 26 locations globally including cities in Australia, the United States, Japan, China, Canada and UK.  Hotels in all those cities could be enticed to adopt TVNZ7 as another viewing option.  And flights could broadcast replays.  The station might have to increase the proportion of local content a bit, but NZ On Air, a government agency, is on hand to provide extra funding if necessary.  The agency may need more resources, and might have to alter its remit slightly.  However, the benefits to New Zealand accrued from more trade, extra tourist receipts and better brand-awareness of the Kiwi proposition would undoubtedly outweigh the additional cost involved.

Worth John Key thinking about in an election year – he is, after all, both PM and Tourism Minister.

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