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New Technologies and the Digital Future

17 August 2001 Media Statement

New Technologies and the Digital Future

Independent research commissioned by New Zealand on Air on new technologies is a useful contribution to current thinking on digital broadcasting, the Minister of Broadcasting, Marian Hobbs said today.

"I am well aware of the issues canvassed in the report and a considerable amount of work has already been done by the government and officials in monitoring the development of digital television," Marian Hobbs said.

"My priority is ensuring that all New Zealanders have access to the choice and opportunities that digital can offer.

"This requires setting a direction that supports open access and open standards for one set top box for consumers.

"These matters are being investigated and considered at the moment.

"We have benefited from other countries' experience, both good and bad and are now well placed to make informed decisions about the government's role that will best suit the New Zealand environment.

" We want the public to get the benefits of the new technology without rushing into decisions such as a date for analogue switch-off.

"The big picture hinges on TVNZ's newly defined public service role. Now that this decision has been made other inter-related issues will follow including the governance structure for the new TVNZ, support for its charter responsibilities, support for local content and the creative industry and the government's role in the digital era."

ENDS



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