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New Zealand Broadcasting School (NZBS) investigation – July 2022 update

On May 5th, 2022, the independent investigation and review of the NZBS report was publicly released. Following the release of the report Ara announced it would implement the 61 recommendations in the report.

Ara gave an undertaking to provide an update on progress in July 2022.

You can find more detail on implementation of recommendations below.

The work completed to date has established strong foundations for ongoing change however, we acknowledge that this is just the start of a comprehensive programme of culture change. Achieving desired outcomes will take hard work, real commitment and time.

A further update will be shared in October 2022.

Progress – July 2022. NZBS Investigation

  • An on-line anonymous disclosure and notification system called ‘InformUs’ is currently in testing. It will be deployed in parallel to new and revised policies being rolled out (September 2022).
  • Training outcomes, tools and resources for staff have been identified with an online module to be ready for roll out from August 2022.
  • Changes have been made to the professional practice assessments in 2022 and will continue to be made throughout 2023, having been approved by NZQA.
  • The Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications (BBc) Handbook is being updated to include the revised complaints process as well as other revised policies (completion September 2022).
  • A review of the delivery structure of the BBc has been completed and changes will be implemented, including extending the academic portion of the programme and extending the degree to a three-year time frame. This will help alleviate stress and pressure on both learners and tutors and brings the programme into line with the Ara academic year.
  • The intern preparation support programme is being updated and will roll out for the learners undertaking an internship in 2023.
  • The Learners Responsibilities and Rights Policy, Bullying and Harassment Policy, Raising Problems and Complaints Policy and Probation and Suspension Policy are being reviewed with a date for release of August 2022. Students and interested stakeholders can view the draft policies currently under consultation here.
  • Work is well advanced to improve ease of discovery of policies via better presentation on the Ara website and MyAra.
  • Rules and Regulations and the Wellbeing Section of the Ōtautahi House Handbook have been updated and workshops have been held with residents to identify acceptable and un-acceptable behaviour, contributing to a healthy and responsible community at Ōtautahi House.
  • Work on incorporation of bullying, harassment, and discrimination training, into learner orientation for 2023, is underway including comprehensive information about how to lodge a complaint. 
  • Appointments have been made to key roles for the implementation of professional development and roll out of associated recommendations with the first professional development placements to take place in 2023.
  • Ara has appointed Harry Westrupp as dedicated Kaumatua Poutama to provide cultural support and mentoring to colleagues as needed.
  • A review of mental health services is largely complete with work to publicise the available mental health support services ongoing. Services have been increased. Additionally, in response to learner feedback, counselling services will increase to be offered outside of normal business hours in semester two.
  • The Code of Professional Practice has been updated and is currently under consultation.

Anyone at Ara, students or staff, who needs support should contact: