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Minister Reassures TVNZ Staff

The Minister of Broadcasting, Marian Hobbs, says she can assure TVNZ staff that reported remarks by TVNZ Board Chairman, Ross Armstrong, have been misinterpreted.

Dr Armstrong is in Italy and sent her a message overnight that his comments about Managing Editor, Paul Cutler, were not a slur on Mr Cutler. Nor were they a declaration that Dr Armstrong would get involved in the appointment of Mr Cutler's successor.

"Dr Armstrong is a person who knows about the culture of organisations and he was acknowledging that whenever a position becomes vacant, particularly at senior executive level, there will inevitably be change, perhaps a different way of doing things," Marian Hobbs said. " It was an organisational statement he was making and certainly not a slur on Mr Cutler."

She recognised that TVNZ staff were concerned by the way his comments were reported.

"I can understand how staff are feeling," she added. "They believe they're facing potentially a lot of change because there has been so much talk on Television New Zealand about Television New Zealand.

"I would not expect huge changes in their lives. The changes, if they come about, are likely to be organisational in terms of TVNZ's relationship to the Government."

Ends

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