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Commercial TV Serves Minorities Better Than State

Commercial TV Serves Minorities Better Than State TV

Commercial television is offering channels and programmes for ethnic communities but state television's hands are tied until the Labour Government agrees to go digital, says National Ethnic Affairs spokesperson Pansy Wong.

"It's a bit rich for Ethnic Affairs Minister George Hawkins to praise SKY television's decision to offer more Asian channels and programmes when he is part of the Cabinet that is blocking TVNZ's move to go digital and offer similar programmes," says Pansy Wong.

In the past TVNZ board and management had discussed the subject with Mrs Wong and were positive that with digital tv they could provide more channels with the flexibility to broadcast educational programmes, to reach niche audiences like ethnic minorities.

"Is the Minister going to take a leadership role to ensure his government's broadcasting policy will have quotas for programmes for the ethnic community?

"Mr Hawkins says that the Asian community is of growing importance in New Zealand, so where is his Government's commitment?

"Mr Hawkins says it is important to keep Asian languages alive, so how is his Government ensuring that state television does this?

"I challenge the Minister to take a lead from commercial tv to deliver what ethnic communities are demanding. It's the least he can do to justify his role," says Mrs Wong.

Ends

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