|Launched||March 30, 2008|
|Owned by||Television New Zealand|
|Picture format||576i 16:9 (SDTV)|
|Headquarters||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Formerly called||TVNZ News 24 (working title)|
|SKY Television Digital||Channel 097 (July 1 2009)|
TVNZ 7 is a commercial-free New Zealand 24-hour news and information channel on Freeview digital television platform and on SKY Television Digital from 1 July 2009. It is produced by Television New Zealand, which received Government funding to launch two additional channels. The channel went to air just after 10am on March 25, 2008 with a looped preview reel. After a countdown which lasted at least an hour, the channel was officially launched at 12 noon on March 30, 2008 with a special "kingmaker" political debate held within the Parliament building and featuring most of the elected minor party leaders.
It features TVNZ News Now updates at the top of the hour from 6am-11pm, with a specialised rolling 10 minute bulletin 'zone' between 6am and 9am, where 18 bulletins will show in that zone. TVNZ 7 also features an hour long bulletin, TVNZ News At 8 at 8pm each night, hosted on weeknights by ONE News Tonight presenter Greg Boyed, and formerly also by Geraline Knox, a lawyer and broadcaster who presented news bulletins on NTV-7.
While it was originally reported to be a 'rolling news channel', similar to Sky News and CNN Headline News, Eric Kearley, head of TVNZ's Digital Launch team, has stated about 70% of the schedule will be "factual variety" programming - a mix of local and overseas documentaries, and programmes that discuss current events and sport, with the remaining 30% being the news updates. A full schedule was released on 28 February 2008.
TVNZ 7 operates as a rolling news channel between 06:00 and 24:00, with ten minute bulletins on the hour. This includes hourly bulletins from 06:00 to 23:10 every day, except for at 20:00, and rolling bulletins every ten minutes between 06:00 and 09:00 weekdays.
Every TVNZ NewsNow bulletin is researched, written, produced and presented by a single journalist. These include Fiona Anderson, Ben Christie, Jenny-May Coffin, Rochelle Gillespie, Tiffany Hardy, Sandra Kailahi, Miriama Kamo, Glen Larmer, Phil McGrath, Sonia Voigt and Renee Wright.
Because of this limited staffing scheme, the bulletins are scripted from news gathered from wire sources. These include One News and TVNZ affiliates Newstalk ZB, ABC America, ABC Australia, the BBC and CNN.
TVNZ News at 8 is an hour-long commercial-free news and current affairs programme based on the One News at 6 bulletin of the same evening. It airs seven days a week at 20:00 on TVNZ 7. Because the programme is commercial-free and has less sports coverage and simpler weather forecasts than One News, it is able to include the extended interviews that were the basis for the shorter One News reports, as well as more world news reports from international affiliates such as ABC America, ABC Australia, the BBC and CNN.
The programme is presented by Tonight host Greg Boyed on weekdays and One News at 6 Weekends host Miriamo Kamo on weekends, as part of their shifts for One News. The programme originally had a two presenter format, with Geraldine Knox on weekdays and Sonia Voigt on weekends.
TVNZ7 includes two year-round, weekly flagship current affairs programmes:
On 23 September 2008, starting from 9pm, TVNZ 7 hosted a one-off live debate on Internet-related issues from Avalon Studios in Wellington. The debate, co-sponsored by InternetNZ, was hosted by Damian Christie, and moderated by the NZ Herald's Fran O'Sullivan and Russell Brown. The debating panel included ICT Minister David Cunliffe, Opposition ICT spokesman Maurice Williamson, ACT leader Rodney Hide, and Green Party ICT spokeswoman Metiria Turei. In a first for TVNZ, the debate was also broadcast over a live stream on the web site Debate.net.nz, complete with a live IRC chat feed.
Starting in October TVNZ 7 ran a promo for a new series of shows under the title "Spotlight on the Economy". The promo in question was publicizing a new show featuring finance minister Bill English. Critics pointed out that the promo voiced by Bill English was done in the style of a political advertisement and promised to explain the recession in "Plain English" - the name of Bill English's weekly email newsletter. It later emerged in papers released under the Official Information Act that Bill English had re-written the majority of the script to replace lines written by TVNZ with rhetoric that might be considered more conducive towards National Party policies . TVNZ claimed that because they were not in an election year and that the promo in question was promoting another programme that they did not have to present a balanced view and that many of their viewers did not care about giving other voices equal time . In November 2009, TVNZ admitted using Bill English in the channel's promos was a mistake.