About Media Training NZ

After working as a journalist and public relations professional for many years, founder and head trainer Pete Burdon could see a major disconnect between reporters and the people they interviewed for their stories.

He saw so many media spokespeople damage their reputations and the organisations they represented. This was anyone from corporate CEOs to government ministers to school principals.

This was not because they had done anything wrong or were bad people. It was because they did not understand how a media interview differed from other conversations and what reporters and producers needed for their stories. Pete says this has escalated over recent years as the needs of the news media have changed.

This led to the formation of Media Training NZ. The company has one core reason for its existence. That’s to prevent good people damaging their reputations through no fault of their own, but growing them instead. It’s about preparing leaders to deal with the news media in any situation, positive or negative.

The company offers full and half-day workshops throughout New Zealand and Australia, while Pete presents regularly to conferences and other events. 

Since its formation, the company has trained leaders from the following areas:

  • National Politics
  • Local Government
  • Government Officialdom
  • Corporate Management
  • Business Governance
  • Franchising
  • Primary and Secondary Education
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Tourism
  • Sport and Leisure Organisations
  • Aged Care

Pete Burdon  -  Founder and head trainer

Pete has 18 years experience helping leaders from numerous sectors communicate with the news media.
His background is in journalism and public relations. As a former journalist for a daily newspaper, he is well aware of what the media wants and how to give it to them.

Just as importantly, Pete has worked on the other side of the news. As a high-profile press secretary for the New Zealand Government, he advised Cabinet Ministers on how to deal effectively with the Media. His advisory role extended to that of spokesperson. After performing the same role for a major industry lobby group and a leading public relations company, he moved into the world of the self-employment with the formation of Media Training NZ.

Pete is the author of  "Media Training for Modern Leaders," published in Melbourne and availale in Dymocks stores across Australia, at this website and online through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. The book stands out among other similar publications because it takes into account how leaders must change their approach to the news media in today's world. It is also one of the most up-to-date books on the subject available anywhere in the world. These changes are also reflected in all Media Training NZ workshops.

He has two Masters Degrees. The first was achieved in Journalism at the University of Canterbury and the second in Communication Management from the Sydney University of Technology.

Pete lives in Christchurch with his wife Stephanie and daughter Olivia. He likes to stay active and ran his first marathon as a 38-year-old. 

For more on your training options, visit Media Training, or to consider Pete for your next conference as a speaker, visit the Keynote Speaking page.


Steve Addison - Crisis Management Associate

Steve is an experienced crisis manager. He has worked as a member of the executive teams of New Zealand Cricket, the Southern District Health Board as well as the senior management teams of the Ministry of Health's National Health Board and Landcare New Zealand.

He has managed reputational issues as diverse as the aftermath of the Cave Creek Tragedy, industrial action by doctors and nurses, the infamous Blackcaps players' strike, threats of terrorism to the Blackcaps and cancelled world cup matches, cricket player misbehaviour, district health board budget blowouts, numerous serious medical misadventures and Canterbury earthquake communications.

Steve tailors crisis management packages to suit the size and complexity of your organisation, while he is also on hand if you experience a sudden issue or crisis (But it's always far better to have a plan in place before that happens as an insurance policy on your reputation).


Tony Nicholls - Australia Affiliate

Tony is an accomplished journalist with more than ten years’ experience with the ABC, SBS and Network Ten; covering thousands of news stories across Victoria, Australia and the international media.

He has seen the rise of digital media transform communications and the news cycle forever; making new demands of journalists, politicians and media spokespeople. Riding the wave of change, Tony understands old-fashioned news values as well as what drives the new digital media landscape.

Tony has had the privilege of interviewing Australia’s movers and shakers – the people who have shaped news bulletins. Most importantly, he understands what a story needs to make it to air or print.

Tony also knows what interview questions you’ll be asked, what the media wants, and how best to deliver an impactful message. 

What my clients are saying

" Pete Burdon recently conducted media training sessions with my Urban Development Team. The feedback has been nothing but positive, with all attendees (myself included) finding it extremely valuable. His training is practical, cuts to the chase, and builds up the skills and confidence of attendees progressively throughout the sessions. It was the perfect refresher for some of us with media experience, while others new to the game now understand what media want, how to get..."
Mark Fraser, General Manager, Urban Development and Delivery, Kainga Ora Homes and Communities New Zealand

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Media Training NZ Limited
PO Box 105721
Auckland 1070
PO Box 36-251
Christchurch 8011
Email: Pete Burdon
Phone: 029 200 8555
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