Back in the day, New Zealand television programming was sold cheaply into the Australian market. Many cultural and other products are exported into foreign markets and sold for whatever they can get above the price of shipping or digital transmission. What else explains all that rubbish on cable TV?
Under the Closer Economic Relations agreement that creates a single market between Australia and New Zealand, New Zealand made television programming content must be treated the same way as Australian content so it was included in their 50% local content rules for commercial television back from whenever I remember this story from. There was a Federal Court of Australia case that ruled that New Zealand television programming was Australian content programming for the purposes of the relevant media regulations because of Closer Economic Relations.
From the late 1990s, with revival of the New Zealand film and television industry, New Zealand content was starting to flood the Australian market, especially in the off-season in the summer when stations were looking for cheap content to fill a low ratings period.
Naturally, this Kiwi invasion did not please the rent seeking Australian television programme production industry and many a mendicant actor, writer and producer
Where there is a will, where there is a way: minimum quality standards are introduced into the Australian content rules defined by price – a price that happen to be above what the television stations used to pay for New Zealand made programming.