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Kylie And Slim May Have To Count For Radio Quota

1 April 2002

Kylie And Slim May Have To Count For Kiwi Radio Quota

Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave, Silverchair and even Slim Dusty may have to be counted in any local content quota because of our CER agreement, says Katherine Rich, National's Broadcasting Spokesperson.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in documents released under OIA "any local content quota for the broadcasting sector would, of course, pursuant to Article 4 of the 1988 Protocol on Trade In Services to the ANZCERTA, [Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement] have to apply equally to Australian services and service suppliers".

Officials also reminded the Minister of the important Blue Skies Agreement where New Zealanders successfully argued in the Australian High Court that kiwi content should be counted under and Aussie quota. "Relying on ANZCERTA provisions, New Zealand industry recently won an important judicial decision in Australia, to have New Zealand content treated as local content under Australian broadcasting rules. Clearly it would be appropriate for New Zealand to implement its own policies on content in a way that takes full account of the interests of our industry and the ANCERTA relationship."

Marian Hobbs keeps calling the quota "voluntary" but then threatens the industry with legislation. Its clear radio broadcasters feel they have no choice. David Innes from the RBA said, "it isn't quite a gun at the head", but it may as well be.

Even the Minister herself confirmed on the Larry Williams show last week "it's not their [radio industry] initiative". If Marian Hobbs thinks her quotas are "voluntary", no doubt she thinks that protection money paid to the Mafia are "donations".

In terms of a local content quota New Zealand's CER obligations are a grey area. When the Government has so clearly pressured industry into doing this, the Australians could rightly accuse New Zealand of going against the spirit of the agreement.

I want to hear more kiwi content on radio but quotas are not the answer. More music will be played as great material is produced and the work of NZ on Air continues. It won't happen by making radio stations play more Slim Dusty.


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