Minister launches new captioning service

Press Release – New Zealand Government

Craig Foss
Minister of Broadcasting

29 November, 2013

Minister launches new captioning service

Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss has acknowledged the work of NZ On Air and the Media Access Charitable Trust as New Zealand’s captioning service moves out of TVNZ after 25 years.

New Zealand’s captioning service, previously part of TVNZ, is now a stand-alone service known as Able, run by the Media Access Trust and funded by NZ On Air.

“I would like to congratulate all involved in a smooth transition and continued commitment to make Kiwi content accessible to as many New Zealanders as possible,” says Mr Foss.

The taxpayer invests $2.4 million in captioning and audio description services each year. An additional $250,000 was provided through NZ On Air to assist the transition to a new captioning service.

“NZ On Air and the Able team do a great job improving accessibility to content for all New Zealanders. The average number of hours of captioned content has jumped from 70 hours to 250 hours over the last decade,” says Mr Foss.

The digital switchover will also benefit New Zealanders who are assisted by captioning. Captions on digital television are clearer and the reception is less subject to interference than on analogue. Digital television also allows for new services such as audio description for people who are blind or visually impaired. Auckland will be the final region to have its analogue signal switched off on 1 December.

Mr Foss opened the new Able premises in Auckland today.

For more information about Able visit


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