New Zealand | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

New Zealand

New Zealand

Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status


Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Press freedom is provided for by law and is respected, although access to information is not guaranteed. In December 2001, the government backed down from a plan to include a criminal defamation clause in the Electoral Amendment Bill. Independent broadcasters compete with state-owned radio and television, and New Zealand's private newspapers and magazines cover politics tenaciously, offering a range of views. Media organizations criticized the April 2002 decision of the high court to ban the National Business Review from reporting on a high-profile case involving a biotech firm.