Dunedin television producer Mark Strickson has been asked to set up a television station in Bougainville. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
A Dunedin man is set to bring the ''god'' of television to
Television producer Mark Strickson, of Dunedin, said
Bougainville governor Joe Lera, who visited Dunedin recently,
asked him to set up a television station in Bougainville.
Mr Strickson (54) said television had god-like status in
Bougainville and would be key in uniting the fractured
The civil war had created a ''lost generation'' of people who
could not read or write because of the lack of schooling
during the armed conflict between Papua New Guinea and the
Bougainville Revolutionary Army.
''The problem with Bougainville is, with no communications
it's an incredibly fractured country and what television will
do is unify the country as the governor can talk to everybody
and that's hugely important so the people will know what's
going on with the country and how it is changing.''
He hoped the digital station would be broadcasting a two-hour
bulletin of pre-recorded local news and current affairs each
For the remaining on-air hours, the station would broadcast
an international satellite feed, he said.
The biggest challenge would be staffing the station, he said.
A lack of skilled workers in Bougainville would most likely
result in several Bougainville residents coming to Otago
Polytechnic in Dunedin to learn the skills to work at a
The station would need 14 staff and at least $1.7 million of
Bougainville Government funding for set-up costs, he said.
Annual running costs of the station would be about $3
If the funding was made available soon then the station could
be transmitting a signal by early next year.
Hopefully, Otago Polytechnic would build a campus in
Bougainville to educate the station's future staff, he said.
Polytechnic communications director Mike Waddell said a
''high-level'' memorandum of understanding between the
polytechnic and the Bougainville Polytechnic College hads
been signed but there were no plans for a Bougainville