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TVNZ Board Likely To Go

Prime Minister Helen Clark, angry over the John Hawkesby affair, looks set to fire the existing TVNZ board, while broadcasting heavy-weight Paul Holmes has threatened to take his skills across the Tasman, in protest.

The Prime Minister indicated to news media this morning there was likely to be a clean sweep of the Television New Zealand board, with possibly none of existing board surviving a “substantial” change.

She is expected to announce this decision at a press conference this afternoon after Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs and Finance Minister Michael Cullen meet the Board today.

Miss Clark was angry over the $5 million plus sum recently paid out to former broadcaster John Hawkesby after he was fired by the state-owned network in 1998.

She was further incensed by a statement last week from TVNZ Board saying it stood by the top executives who made the decision.

Over the weekend the battle heated up with Miss Clark suggesting the best public relations advice for the board at the moment would be to “shut up”, and saying broadcaster Paul Holmes reputed $700,000 salary was offensive to many ordinary New Zealanders.

She then accused the board and Television New Zealand of using presenter Paul Holmes and newsreaders Richard Long to defend the network in a public relations stunt.

Over the weekend the Sunday Star Times Newspaper printed an article with current newsreaders Richard Long and Julie Bailey and their reactions to the Hawkesby affair.

TVNZ spokesperson Liam Jeory has rejected these allegations.

Broadcaster Paul Holmes has responded to Miss Clarks comments saying, that his comments in defence of TVNZ staff were made of his own volition. He has threatened to leave the country and take his talents across to Australia “adding to the brain-drain.”

© Scoop Media

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