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Marc My words - Vol. 5 March 1, 2003

Marc My words - Vol. 5 March 1, 2003

United Future has given TVNZ a real chance of a future!

By Marc Alexander MP

Until the end of last year it looked as though TVNZ was to continue as a cumbersome politically driven broadcaster propped up financially by profits from Transmission Holdings Ltd. There were to be three Boards, one for each operation, and one to oversee both, with chairmanships of all three being readied for the (formerly) ubiquitous Ross Armstrong. The result would have been a disaster; the broadcast arm would have no reason to maintain fiscal viability and would have sponged off the profit and investment imperatives of THL. Put simply, there would have been no necessity to maintain a business logic. Potentially, a Minister with five million dollars could have been confronted by a choice between investments in THL to produce revenues for the people of New Zealand, or making a ten episode documentary on the mating rituals of the snub nosed cow pat beetle that would thrill th

Despite the shrill protestations of the Greens' spokesperson Sue Kedgley (who screeched to anyone within earshot that it was a backroom eleventh hour deal), Peter Dunne and I pressed our case for the dissolution of the TVNZ/THL monolith to Dr Michael Cullen on 13 October 2002. Being a pragmatic Finance Minister he saw the merits of our proposals and in due course agreed to advance the case through Steve Maharey's office. The result was a Supplementary Order Paper to achieve the break-up that we sought.

Unfortunately we have ruffled a few feathers along the way, (almost always a sign that we're on the right track!!). The Greens don't like the split because it means the pertinent Minister will be made more accountable over programming/investment decisions to make them more transparent; National don't like it because we thought of it first and made it happen; Act is preoccupied about any treaty provisions that may or may not be relevant, (as they are about everything these days); NZ First aren't sure of their opinion until they ask Winston; and the Progressive Coalition has neither coalesced nor progressed!

The bottom line is that United Future has progressed a business friendly proposal which has the potential for maximising profits to New Zealanders with THL, and liberating TVNZ from the irresponsible clutches of those who would not allow it to stand on its own economic feet and deliver programming that people actually want to watch.


The America's Cup has been lost, victim to a combination of a lack of match fitness, capital, and experience amongst the crew. Whatever the final analysis may be with respect to our Cup defence, a number of observations are worth considering:

Let's have our own yacht race every four years or so inviting overseas challenges and using the event as a celebration of our enviable boat building and sailing skills.

Rename the Viaduct Basin, (which sounds ominously like the bit between a duodenum and colon), and call it the Blake harbour.

Using the venue as a showcase for our seafaring prowess, perhaps with a small maritime museum including a record of our generous donors and sponsors.

Dunne: Nats 'game-playing' on Iraq a disgrace

National's refusal today to seek leave for an urgent debate on the Iraq situation was "political game-playing of the worst kind," United Future leader Peter Dunne said this morning.

"It is absolutely disgraceful that after weeks of telling everyone that the issue needs to be debated in Parliament, that when the Government gives them precisely that opportunity, they run for the hills," Mr Dunne said.

"Just what sort of game is Bill English playing?

"This is an international issue of the greatest significance. This House should be debating it and debating it now.

"If National thinks that New Zealanders don't care about the fact that we are on the verge of a very significant war, then they are even further removed from the average Kiwi than I thought they were," Mr Dunne said.

"What is their fear - that Bill English will make another 'bring the SAS home' gaffe?" he asked.

If you would like to know more about United Future, or would like to discuss issues that you think is important, let us know.

Call Nigel & Rose on (03) 3746804 Calendar

Friday 7th March Family Commission 'Briefing' at Christchurch electorate office

Saturday 8th March Marc is Celebrity Judge at Hokitika Wildfoods Festival Friday 14th March Marc visits Cholmondeley Children's Home

Wednesday 19th March Peter Dunne launches Neighbourhood Support at Parliament

Saturday 22 March Marc attends opening of Union & Community Health Centre

Friday 14th: Happy Birthday to Ollie.Marc's Mum-in-law!!!

Contact Marc at:- The Racing Bill passed the committee stage last Tuesday and will move on to the third reading. Quite apart from United Future's considerable contribution, it marked Marc's first passed amendment which was almost unanimously passed. Only Act failed to grasp its relevance and importance, something it has in common with its questionable ethical woes!!

Alexander applauds tougher line on child porn United Future law and order spokesman Marc Alexander has thrown his full support behind the planned introduction of harsher sentences for child porn offenders. "The increase of the maximum penalty from one to 10 years in jail for producing, copying and trading in child pornography is to be commended," Mr Alexander said today. "It's about time that those who are involved in the sexual abuse of children for financial gain are seen as the depraved, ethically bankrupt parasites that they are. "People have got to realise that those who trade in these images, those who use them for their own pathetic gratification, are as guilty of abusing a child as if they were in the room with that child as it was being abused and did nothing about it. "Children are our most valuable and vulnerable resource and those who attempt to rob them of their childhood, those who pervert their right to innocence have no place in our society," he said. "Those who play a part in the child porn industry deserve no favours nor any sympathy . there is every reason for them to be brought to account, vilified and put on a public register. "Now they have been given a warning!" Mr Alexander said.

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