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ACT Has Made TVNZ An Election Issue

Labour Candidate for Epsom, David Jacobs

Act’s announcement last week that it would sell TVNZ to finance its proposed tax cuts has made the future status of TVNZ a defining issue in the election, says David Jacobs the Labour candidate for Epsom.

David Jacobs is a film-maker. He produced the controversial documentary Rubber Gloves Or Green Fingers about New Zealand potential as an exporter of organic food.

“With TVNZ privatised it is doubtful whether such a film could be made in New Zealand,” said David Jacobs. “There would be no opportunity at all for New Zealanders to make and watch public interest television.”

“Act has let the cat out of the bag. National has been trying to conceal the privatisation agenda of the right-wing parties. Its strategy has been neither to confirm nor to deny that it wants to sell TVNZ.”

“Now Act has admitted that it wants to flog off TVNZ to the highest bidder and National’s silence about the idea can only be taken to imply its consent.”

“TVNZ can be a better broadcaster than it is now. It can be a public broadcaster, fostering a culture of innovation in New Zealand. It can contribute to economic as well as cultural wealth. That potential will be lost if TVNZ is sold to a private television operator.”

“Labour’s proposed charter for TVNZ will ensure that it provides a proper public broadcasting service, promoting democratic debate, cultural identity and innovation.”

“National and Act are willing to sacrifice the potential of public television to contribute to New Zealand’s cultural and economic wealth.”

“New Zealanders deserve to know that TVNZ is likely to be sold without even a vote in Parliament if National and Act are in government together after the election. The only chance the public has of stopping this act of cultural and economic vandalism is to vote for a Labour-led government on 27 November.”

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