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Derek Fox Stands Up to Labour Ministers

Derek Fox Stands Up to Labour Ministers

Maori Television Service Derek Fox's refusal to accept the Government directive to put his channel on a state-owned, second-rate frequency pits him directly against Labour Ministers, ACT Broadcasting Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"Labour Ministers were this week ready to direct Derek Fox to broadcast on a second-rate, Government-owned UHF frequency, instead of negotiating with CanWest for VHF channel currently used by TV4. These two-faced Ministers are happy to sacrifice Maori Television so state-owned Television New Zealand can make a little extra cash.

"Mr Fox's today accused Jim Anderton's Ministry for Economic Development and BCL, the broadcasting arm of TVNZ, of telling "a few porkies" about UHF.

"To his credit, Mr Fox is refusing to accept the Ministers' spin that UHF would be perfect for the fledgling channel. Mr Fox pointed out to the Maori Affairs Select Committee that tuning and aerials would cost around $450 for every household wanting to watch the channel. Are taxpayers going to cough up for every household that wants to receive what Mr Fox describes as a "very fickle signal"?

"Derek Fox has today publicly embarrassed the Ministers and stood up for his channel.

"ACT New Zealand opposed the creation of a separate Maori channel. But today I applaud Mr Fox for standing up publicly against the hypocritical Labour Ministers who have somehow justified to themselves screwing Maori Television for the sake of another state-owned business," Miss Coddington said today.

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