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Don't Touch That Dial

Don't Touch That Dial

Wednesday 29 Jan 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Broadcasting

ACT New Zealand Broadcasting Spokesman Deborah Coddington today accused the Government of setting the Maori Television Service up to fail, and predicted that New Zealand has not seen the end of taxpayers' dollars going to fund the Maori broadcaster.

"Cabinet yesterday finalised funding, and a transmission platform, for Maori TV. This is the Labour Government shafting the service, and not allowing it to air on a mainstream channel when it could have," Ms Coddington said.

"Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has obviously been sidelined, because Maori TV is going exactly where Ministers like Mr Steve Maharey want it to go - nowhere.

"It is not the Government's place to own television stations, and ACT New Zealand opposed the creation of Maori TV from the outset. That said, however, Labour has committed taxpayer dollars to the project. It must be given the best opportunities to succeed and become a private enterprise, or it will become a leech on taxpayer funds.

"Labour, however, seems to have other ideas. Creating Maori TV, only to drive it to failure, shows that the Government is paying Maori little more than lip service. If Labour truly wanted to promote Maori broadcasting - and cared about New Zealand taxpayers - then it would be helping Maori TV to succeed, rather than trying to pull its plug before it is even switched on," said Ms Coddington.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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