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Way To Go Ross

New Zealand First Leader and Member for Tauranga, Rt Hon Winston Peters today gave his full support to the Chairman of Television New Zealand Dr Ross Armstrong, for his comments regarding the opportunity to improve the content and quality of news presented on Television New Zealand.

“It has long been recognised that departing head of news services, Mr Cutler, was more interested in having his journalists chasing car crashes across Auckland or reporting medical quackery such as miracle mussel cures for cancer, than reporting real news of real interest to real New Zealanders, Mr Peters said.

“Perhaps when a new appointment is made to the position, the successful person will once again have TVNZs not insignificant resources concentrate on issues of interest and newsworthiness, he said.

“Full power to Dr Armstrong’s arm, and I urge him not to stop there, others in extremely highly paid positions responsible for churning out low quality, pathetic tabloid rubbish, news and current affairs programmes, should also not be spared the scrutiny of the Board of TVNZ, said Mr Peters.

“As recent as yesterday, another example of the one sided coverage of news stories by TVNZ, was displayed.

When making submission to the Electoral Amendment (#2) Bill, before the Justice and Electoral Select Committee, opposing the proposal to limit the publication of polls in the four weeks leading up to an election, cameras were in attendance, in force, to report the views of the TVNZ submitters.

But in the afternoon when New Zealand First, as the promoter of this section of the Bill was making a presentation, there was not a camera to be seen.

This sort of duplicity and denial of fair access by the viewing public to all the facts, is widely representative of why Dr Armstrong has had to take the fight to those responsible, head on ,

It speaks volumes about the alleged independence of TVNZ news programmers, when they simply refuse to cover both sides of a debate and instead merely spread their own version of the news which they, and they alone, determine New Zealanders should see.

“That’s not freedom-that’s licence”, claimed Mr Peters

“This is but a further example of why a good shake up is long overdue. As Chairman of the Board, Dr Armstrong has every right to comment on policy matters such as the quality and content of programmes and he cannot be accused of political interference for having done so.

“Indeed were he not to take an active interest in the quality and content of news or current affairs, he would be failing in his responsibility, concluded Mr Peters.

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Ends

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