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NZWG Questions TVNZ 'Local' Drama

(11 October 2004)

The New Zealand Writers Guild has questioned TVNZ's definition of new drama Last Man Standing as 'local'.

"We believe it is misleading to call Last Man Standing a 'local' drama," said Guild Executive Director Dominic Sheehan. "TVNZ may very well have co-financed the show but it was produced in Melbourne with apparently overwhelming Australian creative contributions. The programme was made in conjunction with Australia's Channel 7 which is also heralding the programme as Australian 'local' content. How can the same show be 'local' in both territories?

"TVNZ need to stop the spin and admit that their upcoming schedule suffers from a dearth of homegrown drama and, indeed, comedy. It's not enough for TVNZ's general manager of programming Annemarie Duff to say that local shows are 'still in development'. This is the same excuse TVNZ have been giving us for over a year now. TVNZ's inability to move shows from development into production has decimated our local television industry. In the last twelve months there has been almost no work for local writers and once writers stop working the flow on effects impact on directors, producers, technicians and actors.

"TVNZ's Charter requires them to 'support and promote the talents and creative resources of New Zealanders and of the independent New Zealand film and television industry.' We believe the network is woefully failing to live up to this objective."


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