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Public don't want TVNZ Charter

Katherine Rich

National Broadcasting Spokesperson

21st November 2002

Public don't want TVNZ Charter

The latest NZ on Air research results do absolutely nothing to justify the TVNZ Charter, says National's Broadcasting spokesperson Katherine Rich.

"The survey trumpeted by Steve Maharey is not a confirmation that the public wants the TVNZ Charter, or that the Charter will make any difference to what Kiwis watch on television.

"New Zealanders have always enjoyed local programmes - there is nothing new in that. Ever since the dawn of television in this country, Kiwis have enjoyed seeing homegrown material. Just look at the top 10 shows in any given ratings period. Regularly 8 out of 10 of them are New Zealand made.

"The issue is that the shows enjoyed by the majority of New Zealanders tend not to be the pointy-headed minority interest stuff promoted by the Charter or the Minister.

"The Minister fails to see the irony that in running down the TVNZ business, there is now less money for local content than there was in '99, or the irony in the fact that some of the first shows to be axed like Assignment and Backchat were shows which arguably were Charter-friendly.

"Local content can't be funded on a fresh air and good intentions. Backed by only a tiny amount of new funding the Charter is a joke. The $12 million patch-up for lost profits will fund only a couple of new programmes - hardly a sum to provide the sea-change of content promised by the new Charter," said Ms Rich.


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