Broadcasting to hard-to-reach communities in New Zealand

Nenad - demographic consultant

Nenad’s background is in geosciences and geographic information systems. At .id, Nenad has experience as both as a demographer and population forecaster. His areas of expertise are place-based analysis, identifying spatial patterns in demographic trends, community profiling, catchment analysis and an understanding of role and function of different communities.

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3 Responses

  1. A fascinating article, Nenad, and one which reinforces the feeling of operators of community radio stations in NZ have been trying to tell central and local government for years. Unlike Australia, the sector here has been left to wither by successive governments who have no idea of its importance and no inclination to understand. It’s research like this that will help us make a case for proper recognition and funding, so I’ll be sharing it to various community radio Facebook groups and email lists. Thank you!

  2. Ian Bowie says:

    [from NSW] the challenge of getting official information to people not living in sheltered communities came up over the summer with our bushfires and it continues to be a challenge. One mode of communication simply doesn’t suit all. It simply isn’t valid to assume that everyone has a smartphone, knows how to use it, can cope with its acoustic and other inadequacies and is not handicapped by mental or physical limitations. Cost (data and handpiece), age, education, disabilities all conspire against the smartphone; no wonder there’s been a ‘poor’ take-up of CovidSafe and CovidTracer. Nor is it valid to assume that information retailers – broadcast radio, websites, television, real newspapers, Facebook and other social media – can fill the information gap adequately. There are some for whom regular mail, letter-boxing, email, texts, website posts may be necessary. Indeed, mass communication may simply not be enough. Interestingly, during the 2019/2020 bush-fire emergency, ACT authorities (but not NSW authorities in identical circumstances) resorted to door-knocking. A thought-provoking article, Nenad, and I hope authorities get to think about it

  3. Thanks for your comments Rex and Ian. I agree that relying on one communication method is never a good or full solution. At times of natural disaster, as you mentioned, cellphone comms become unstable and in remote areas coverage can be patchy or limited at best of times. I think for any government agency at any level, whether it be local, State or central/federal – needs to be familiar and experienced with using multiple and sometimes unconventional broadcasting technologies or methods and knowing which population these methods will help them reach.

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