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Taxpayers' Money Wasted on New Maori Channel

Tuesday, July 24 2001
Penny Webster
Press Releases -- Other

The Government will waste millions of dollars on a Maori television channel when it was offered a much cheaper and more effective option, ACT MP Penny Webster said today.

"Sky Television offered the Government in writing the opportunity of broadcasting six hours of Maori television a day at a cost of just $600,000 a year. As one third of all Maori already have a Sky decoder this would have been a very cost effective and practical step.

"Yet the Government dismissed this offer out of hand and the Minister has refused to release the letter outlining the offer.

"Instead, without being able to justify its decision the Government has jumped down the politically correct route with an option that will cost $55 million of taxpayers' money in the next five years.

"This is outrageous at a time when ill people are being turned away from hospitals and health authorities are being told the Government doesn't have the extra money they need.

"It seems the Government can always find money to feed Helen Clark's fixation for the arts.

"I think most New Zealanders who want good health services and a good education for their children will be appalled at the waste of their money," Penny Webster said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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