Among the Constitution celebrations that took place yesterday was also the launch of the new Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) satellite dish for Niue’s broadcasting corporation (BCN).
After the formal programme for the 48th Constitution Ceremony, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon. Penny Wong along with her delegation arrived at BCN yesterday afternoon to commence the launch of the satellite.
BCN’s Acting General Manager and staff were also there to welcome the Minister.
BCN was also fortunate to have Reverend Dr. Matagi Vilitama who resides in Australia as part of the launch.
Chairperson Rev. Scanlan Mitiepo opened the programme with a few opening remarks before Rev. Dr. Vilitama gave the special blessing to officiate the satellite.
Minister Wong in her remarks expressed how grateful she was to be part of the official ABC satellite here on the island.
“One of the things Australia wants to do with Niue and its Pacific is to support you and your priorities.”
“We know how important the media is. We also understand that we have strong people-to-people links.”
“One of the ways we can contribute to our understanding of each other is to make sure we share our stories.”
“I hope with the satellite and the contribution we’ve made to local television and local content here – that Australian content from the ABC – can contribute to that shared understanding for our closer ties. Through that medium we can continue to deepen our friendship and our relationship,” says Minister Wong.
Inside the BCN studios, Minister Wong was able to officially commission and press the button to bring ABC content back to TV Niue and to the homes around Niue.
The Minister was also able to tour the conditions of the BCN studios which were damaged from a fire two years ago.
Acting General Manager of BCN Esther Pavihi said that this was a momentous occasion for BCN to meet with Australia’s Foreign Minister and to be included in her itinerary to Niue.
“It was an honour for BCN to be included in the Minister’s schedule during her short days visit to Niue but I’m especially heartened that Minister Wong and her delegation were able to see the BCN station, built by Australia and officially opened 27 years ago on the 19th of October 1995.”
“Since the fire destroyed the studios in May 2020, we have been operating out of two small makeshift studios but despite those challenges, it is our commitment to provide broadcasting services through radio and television to the Niue public, and today we welcome ABC Australia content back to TV Niue programmes.”
“We are indeed grateful for the assistance from the government of Australia and our partners at ABC International, to them we say Oue Tulou,” says Pavihi.
Pavihi also acknowledges PACMAS for providing $5,000 to establish the first-ever Media Association in Niue.
ABC Australia is now showing on TV Niue Channel 2 as part of the base channel TV programmes.