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The New Zealand Government Convergence Programme

Defining digital convergence graphic

Convergence describes the reduction in barriers between sectors, so that businesses have new opportunities and consumers benefit from greater choice and accessibility.

On 27 August 2015, Hon Amy Adams, Minister for Communications and Minister of Broadcasting, launched a green paper to consider the impact of convergence between the telecommunications, information technology, media and entertainment sectors in New Zealand.

“While these exciting changes are simplifying our lives and creating new opportunities, our laws haven’t kept pace. They treat different technologies separately, rather than as a whole. For example, a show broadcast on TV can fall under different laws than when it’s streamed on demand via the web. This is confusing, restrictive and dampens innovation.

“We need to consider the implications of convergence across the regulatory framework and ask whether our systems are calibrated for this converged world that we live in.”

Hon Amy Adams

The green paper highlights the government’s cross departmental convergence work programme which aims to create a level playing field for content and information, regardless of what type of technology delivers it. An overview of this work can be found on the Work Programme page and the full green paper is available in the Exploring Digital Convergence section of this website. Download links to the paper and a factsheet about the programme appear at the bottom of this page.

Read the paper

The consultation period for the green paper has now closed. Submissions are available to view.

Ministerial responsibility for the cross departmental convergence work programme does not sit solely with any one Minister. Various Ministers are responsible for updates to policy and legislation arising from convergence that relate to their portfolios.

Following the disestablishment of the Broadcasting Portfolio in December 2016, the Minister for Communications is responsible for policy relating to overarching convergence issues and trends, including the impact on New Zealand businesses and consumers. Responsibility for the Digital Convergence Bill and its updates to the Broadcasting Act 1989 sits with the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.