Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


TVNZ Could Be Kneecapped By Charter Objectives

TVNZ Could Be Kneecapped By Cost Of Meeting Charter Objectives

National's Murray McCully has today revealed that meeting the Government's 'Charter' objectives for TVNZ could cost the taxpayer owned broadcaster over $100 million a year.

"Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs has suppressed a report, prepared by top TVNZ executives, since it was completed in October last year, and she almost certainly never wanted the public to know its contents.

"It contains credible scenarios which show adhering to the Charter could cost TVNZ over $100 million per year. That's a huge price tag for political correctness, and there are no prizes for guessing who picks up the bill.

"Hobbs' public consultation on the Charter late last year was a sham, because she knew full well that the Charter could come with a giant price tag. She deliberately avoided letting the public know that - instead taking steps to ensure the Report remained secret," Mr McCully said.

The report, prepared by a group of TVNZ executives headed by Shaun Brown, examines the costs of additional programmes TV1 would have to buy as part of it's Charter obligations. It also forecasts how much advertising revenue TV1 would lose, on the basis of diminished ratings due to complying with the Charter.

"I am told the report calculates the cost of delivering more Maori, cultural and minority programmes, in accordance with the Charter, at over $50 million a year.

"In addition the TVNZ report is said to scope the amount of revenue TV1 would lose because of decreased ratings, due to playing the programmes Marian Hobbs wants, instead of playing the programmes viewers want. Some scenarios in the report estimate that will reduce TV1's advertising revenue from $150 million a year at present, to $100 million a year.

"Hobbs and some of her colleagues knew this report was political dynamite. They knew that if the public got wind of these facts it would erode support during the sham public consultation they planned. So circulation of the Report was limited to a small group of Ministers, a handful of officials in Finance Minister Michael Cullen's office and several Treasury and CCMAU officials.

"Michael Cullen left officials with the distinct impression that he thought the report was self-serving and he would appreciate their efforts to discredit it.

"I have been told that the assumptions and conclusions are broadly credible and that the manner in which the Government proceeds will determine whether the Charter will cost some tens of millions of dollars, or over $100 million per year.

"I have also been told that this decision will have a huge impact on TVNZ's value, assessed several years ago as being close to $2 billion. Proceeding to implement the Charter in the assertive manner Hobbs has outlined would, I am told, reduce the company's value by over $1 billion.

"There is no justification for the continued suppression of the TVNZ Report. The Minister must release it and explain to its owners, the taxpayers, what she is planning to do to their company," Murray McCully said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election