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Parliament On The Net Would Unravel The Spin

Tuesday 12th Sep 2000 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Other

ACT Leader, Hon Richard Prebble, welcomes Speaker Rt. Hon Jonathan Hunt’s, decision to allow Sky TV to begin broadcasting parliament’s question time live from next Tuesday, but states MPTV should be broadcast on the Internet as well.

ACT NZ pushed for a review of parliamentary media coverage after Hon Richard Prebble highlighted large anomalies in the relevant standing orders. The last set of rules for the press gallery were issued in 1984 by Speaker Sir Basil Arthur.

“The Speaker’s decision to allow SKY TV’s broadcast is an important first step, but only those who can afford a sky subscription will benefit. For a fraction of the access costs to users, Parliament could be broadcast live on the Internet to New Zealand and the world.

“Another advantage of Internet broadcasts is that they can be archived. This allows everybody, everywhere the ability to view an earlier sitting of parliament and judge for themselves, without the interference of political spin, their MPs performance and competency in the House.

“New Zealand has the highest number of internet connections per capita in the world. The latest internet developments allow “live streaming” of TV quality pictures with audio to be broadcast over the internet. The cameras are small and could be installed below the galleries in the Chamber and be computer programmed to point alternatively to the MP who is speaking.

“The New Zealand Parliament is proud that we were one of the first in the world to broadcast Parliament over radio continuously and unedited. The British House of Commons and other Parliaments are now broadcast continuously via the internet.

“Jonathan Hunt must allow Parliament to be broadcast on the Internet, so that all New Zealanders, rich or poor, can participate in our democracy,” said Hon Richard Prebble.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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