TVNZ today announced it intends to get independent producers to make almost all of its Maori and Pacific programmes from next year.
TVNZ Chief Executive Kevin Kenrick says the move would bring programmes including Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika in line with other TVNZ commissioned local productions.
The only exception will be daily news programme Te Karere, which will continue to be made in-house.
Mr Kenrick says: "We remain fully committed to reflecting New Zealand's unique cultural identity and diversity on screen and we respect our special role under legislation to do so.
"The obligation is set, our commitment remains - what we want to do is to step aside from the in-house production of these programmes.
"What we're proposing is something we're already doing widely across our local commissions. For some years now we've been moving away from internal production of non-news programming and partnering with external programme producers.
"Daily newsgathering is a centre of excellence for TVNZ and has a unique production process, which is why we intend to keep the production of Te Karere in-house."
He said experience with other independently produced programmes is that a competitive environment stimulates freshness and a new creative edge without losing quality.
It also "streamlines our business", Mr Kenrick says.
NZ On Air and Te Mangai Paho funding for these programmes is usually allocated annually. TVNZ says starting discussions now would give it time to work with funders and potential production partners to gear up for next year.
Mr Kenrick says the aim is to encourage external production companies to take on people who currently work for TVNZ.
Discussion about the likely changes begins today with staff, funders and production partners.