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New era for public television

New era for public television

Television New Zealand’s charter will ensure the broadcaster makes a major contribution to the development of New Zealand’s cultural and national identity, says Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey.

Legislation passed by Parliament this afternoon provides a Charter to guide Television New Zealand from 1 March 2003. It splits the current state owned enterprise into a Crown-owned broadcasting company called Television New Zealand, and a wholly separate state owned enterprise called Transmission Holdings Limited responsible for running a national and international transmission business.

Steve Maharey said as a commerical broadcaster Television New Zealand has achieved a lot – but the government’s view is that under a new public service model it can make an even greater contribution to national development.

“The primary value of broadcasters lies in their contribution to the cultural and social wealth of a nation.

“With a Charter to guide Television New Zealand I am looking forward to seeing more innovative and high quality programming on air. It will better reflect the expectations of all New Zealanders, rather than solely focusing on programmes which attract the biggest audiences. The government has provided $12m to Television New Zealand to support charter initiatives.

“The revised company structure contained in the legislation – a broadcaster company guided by its charter and a separate state owned enterprise responsible for the transmission business – will also ensure that each can focus on their core roles.

“I look forward to seeing our public television broadcaster flourish as a Crown-owned company, no longer restricted to the pursuit of purely commercial objectives. I look forward to its response to the direction provided by the Charter, and to the cultural and social benefits that will result,” Steve Maharey said.

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