Parliament

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

 

TVNZ exit raises questions of Minister and Chair

Murray McCully National MP

25 April 2001

TVNZ exit raises questions of Minister and Chairman

Both Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs and TVNZ chair Ross Armstrong have some explaining to do after the resignation of TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs Paul Cutler, says National MP Murray McCully.

"Mr Cutler's announcement follows months of meddling in news issues by the Minister and the chair.

"On 21 December last year Marian Hobbs demanded TVNZ directors change programming and news and current affairs in anticipation of the proposed TVNZ Charter. She threatened the Board the Government would force the divestment of the profitable transmission subsidiary, BCL, unless there was rapid progress.

"Those threats prompted a flurry of activity on programme changes inside TVNZ. Ten days after the threat TVNZ's chairman announced changes to news, a new late news programme and detail on which presenters would switch bulletins. Its extraordinary that the chairman or the directors were involved to that level of detail in the management of TVNZ , and grossly improper that the Minister could prompt such interference with her threats.

"TVNZ has been alive with rumour and gossip about Government or board attempts to interfere in news issues for months. It is a very serious matter if the actions of the Minister or the directors have prompted Mr Cutler's resignation.

"There are proper steps the Government can take to promote changes to TVNZ, but the Minister has taken none of those options.

"If the Government wishes TVNZ to cease to be an SOE then it needs to bring a Bill to Parliament. If its want general policy changes then it can issue directions under the SOE Act, although that Act makes it clear the directions can't relate to news and current affairs collation and presentation.

"In view of the current climate at TVNZ, the Minister and the chairman need to fully explain the circumstances behind Mr Cutler's announcement," Mr McCully said.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages