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What Has Marion Hobbs Got To Hide?

Tuesday 30th May 2000
Penny Webster
Media Release -- Other

What has the Minister of Broadcasting Marion Hobbs got to hide?, said ACT Broadcasting spokesman Penny Webster. Ms Hobbs today released papers outlining TVNZ’s plans for digital television that were requested under the Official Information Act. The papers were released three months late and were heavily censored. “The extravagant use of censorship is quite extraordinary. It appears any content that verifies the wisdom of selling TVNZ has been adjudged commercially sensitive. Information requested under and OIA request can only be withheld if it’s release will negatively impact on the effective conduct of public affairs, trade secrets and commercial sensitivity, personal privacy, the maintenance of the law or that the information requested is or will soon be publicly available. “A quick glance at the language surrounding the censored sections would suggest that erosion of share holder value in TVNZ is going to be quite dramatic. “This information should be the public arena. If reports have been authored on the pro’s and con’s of TVNZ’s public ownership the findings should be debated and not suppressed because it contradicts Marion Hobbs’ ideological bias. “ACT has always advocated the selling of TVNZ to protect the taxpayers investment. It would appear that reports commissioned by Government departments concur. “Marion Hobbs should be honest with New Zealanders and release all officially requested information, and not just the parts that don’t contradict her position,” said Penny Webster.

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