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NZPA to close down, 42 jobs will go

Wednesday 6 Apr 2011 5:39 p.m.

By Kim Chisnall and Angela Beswick

The New Zealand Press Association, the organisation that services newspapers with news, is to close down after more than 130 years.

The organisation will wind up its operations within the next four to six months and 42 staff are set to lose their jobs.

The NZPA called a meeting at its Wellington headquarters this afternoon to discuss the future of the media outlet.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said he had been told last week that there would be some job losses at NZPA.

“APN sources tell me it is Fairfax who want out of NZPA,” 3 News political reporter Patrick Gower tweeted this afternoon.

For as long as newspapers have been rolling off the presses in New Zealand, NZPA has been providing content for them.

It was set up in 1879 and on the companies website today it boasts of sending out a thousand pieces of information every 24 hours from stock exchange reports to news pieces to international news wires.

Kip Brook worked as the chief foreign correspondent for NZPA in London during the 1980s.

“We did a lot and there were big teams and we covered big events and we covered the news not just for the media but for all the New Zealand public because this was before internet came in and people didn't know what was going on,” he says.

At one point NZPA had journalists stationed in Singapore, Washington, London and Sydney.

Only the Sydney office remains now and staff numbers have been slashed.

Today's announcement that NZPA is to disappear altogether was not unexpected but Mr Brook says it's a sad day for New Zealand media.

With the expansion of digital media it seems the time of the news agency is over.

3 News

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