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Money being wasted on broadcasting split

Katherine Rich National Broadcasting Spokesperson

26 March 2001

Money being wasted on broadcasting split

The Government is wasting $300,000 on a consultant's broadcasting report which isn't even necessary, National's Broadcasting spokesperson Katherine Rich said today.

"I asked Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey for the cost the Arthur Andersen report on the possibility of Broadcasting Communications Ltd separating from TVNZ. His answer is that the cost is $299,000 plus GST.

"This amount is totally over the top when most people within the industry already know that separating BCL and moving it into another SOE would be a pointless exercise. "There are no obvious benefits to separating out BCL, only costs, and reports so far indicate that the Arthur Andersen study is likely to conclude exactly this.

"Sources tell me the previous Minister indicated she would consider moving BCL from TVNZ if the SOE didn't co-operate with the Government's desire for more minority interest broadcasting.

"Commissioning this report was no more than a theatrical move to get some action from TVNZ. At a time when TVNZ already had plans in the pipeline to add more current affairs to the schedule, $299,000 for such a pointless study is expensive bullying and totally unnecessary expenditure.

"The dollars would have been better directed to NZ on Air to fund 20 hours of additional New Zealand content or six more kiwi albums," Katherine Rich said.

Ends

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