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TVNZ Charter: Formal Implementation Delayed

28 June 2002

Broadcasting Minister Marian Hobbs says that after further consideration she has decided it is not appropriate to direct Television New Zealand to include the charter in the company's Statement of Corporate Intent in this pre-election period.

TheTVNZ Bill, which would have changed TVNZ from a State Owned Enterprise to a crown company with its own charter from July 1, has been delayed by the General Election.

"TVNZ and I have worked co-operatively throughout to see the charter implemented and TVNZ will continue with its preparations pending the bill becoming law," Marian Hobbs said. "I know that the staff and management of TVNZ are ready and rearing to go.

"As an interim measure, the charter was to have been included in TVNZ's final Statement of Corporate Intent as an SOE. I was advised that this would best be achieved by issuing a direction to TVNZ. On further consideration, however, I do not consider it appropriate to issue such a direction at this time.

"Given the need for stability during the election period and taking into account concerns of the TVNZ Board, I have decided not to proceed. As a result of the delay, the $12 million charter funding provided in the Budget won't be paid over in the meantime.

"Provided Labour is returned as the government on July 27 the TVNZ Bill will be a priority for the new Parliament.

"While I regret the delay the deferment will ensure the far-reaching changes to TVNZ's role as a public broadcaster are considered fully by the new Parliament.

"The charter will strengthen TVNZ's relationship with the people of New Zealand and enable it to serve the country better and in more diverse ways."

The minister said she had agreed to a three month extension to September 30 for TVNZ to file its final Statement of Corporate Intent, a requirement of the State Owned Enterprises Act.


Ends

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