MBIE radio campaign’s positive response to NZ-Tokelau community feedback
On Monday this week, a six-week ‘Tenancy’ radio campaign was launched by the government targeting Pacific island communities.
The campaign which is managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has three broad aims according to pre-campaign information circulated through various networks:
- to promote and raise awareness of tenancy rights and responsibilities,
- how people can access information and guidance from Tenancy Services, and
- raise awareness on changes made to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), particularly with regards to rights and responsibilities relating to insulation and smoke alarms.
However, there were two areas that needed clarification. Areas significant enough to influence potential impacts of the campaign; as well as begging the question of how serious the New Zealand government takes its obligations to its northernmost territory, Tokelau.
Query 1: The question of Tokelau
The radio campaign is being delivered to Pacific communities through an English version that is translated into four Pacific languages: Gagana Samoa, Tongan, Cook Islands Maori, and Vagahau Niue.
One can establish the equation for selection as based on demographics from the 2013 Census. These countries were the four most populous Pacific communities in New Zealand: Samoa (3.4% of population), Cook Islands (1.4%), Tonga (1.4%) and Niue (0.6%). Tokelau ranked sixth.
However, there was also another selection factor at play according to Afemaletā Mene Setefano, MBIE’s Senior Advisor Pacific, Information and Education.
That Tokelau was included in past MBIE campaigns, but unfortunately “there hasn’t been a high representation of calls to our contact centre from Tokelau listeners/callers as a result of our campaigns.
“Whereas it was a different story for Samoan, Tongan, Cook Islands and Niuean. Hence, whether or not this is the case, one could interpret that the Tokelau community are sorted in regards to tenancy and employment matters.”
But the feedback from Tokelauan members in the community say this assumption is not correct. Tokelauan elder from Porirua, Makalio Ioane said, “Most of our people are renting and living in state housing. This information would definitely be of great assistance to them heading into winter.”
As a result of this feedback loop, MBIE has quickly responded to now insert Tokelauan content into the campaign.
“It is good to hear from the community that the Tokelau community would benefit from focused ads and a targeted campaign,” Afemaletā told Pacific Guardians last week.
“And just to update you, I have made arrangements for the production of four Tokelauan ads (3x tenancy and 1x employment) to be played on the Tokelau Community Programme held on NIU fm/Radio 531pi starting from this Sunday [28 May] for the next six weeks.”
The quick response is an indication that MBIE’s Pacific division takes its obligations to Tokelau and Pacific communities proactively and seriously.
However, for the government in general, there is room for improvement in distinguishing between its responsibility to the Pacific collective; and its obligations to the Realm of New Zealand countries, and separately, to Tokelau as a colony of New Zealand.
Query 2: Role of Media
There is an assumption that the Fourth Estate or press (Pacific and mainstream) function in European New Zealand is the same in Pacific communities.
This is not the case and is reflected in the low Tokelau response experienced by MBIE in previous radio campaigns [it would be interesting to see the actual response percentage rate from the other Pacific communities on past campaigns].
From the Tokelau community canvassed on this topic, their response is they don’t really tune into radio. The main reason is lack of relevancy of content and of personnel.
“If they want to talk to us, all they need to do is come to our community meetings – that is our media. We’re not large in terms of numbers and we prefer to see people face to face – that’s our way,” concluded Makalio.
The nationwide Tenancy Pacific radio campaign will run for 6 weeks starting Monday 22 May to Sunday 2 July 2017.
It will be broadcasted on 8 Pacific radio stations: Radio Samoa (1593AM), Samoa Capital Radio (783AM), Radio Tonga (1593AM) Radio 531pi (531AM), NIU FM (103.8FM), Planet FM (104.6FM), Wellington Access Radio (783AM) and Plains FM (96.9FM).
In addition to the adverts, Afemaletā Mene Setefano will participate in:
- 4 live radio interview and talkback sessions on Radio Samoa (held on the following Tuesdays: 23rd, 30thof May and 6th and 13th of June 2017 from 10am-11am), and
- 4 live radio interviews on Samoa Capital Radio (held on the following Thursdays: 25thMay and 1st, 8th and 15th June from 10am – 11am)
For more information contact: Afemaletā Mene Setefano
firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone: +64 (0)9 967 7054 | Mobile: +64 (0) 27 420 4078
Level 8, 280 Queen Street, PO Box 90172, Auckland 1010