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Chill out, Katherine Rich

Chill out, Katherine Rich

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey is urging National’s Katherine Rich to “chill out” after erroneous claims that Television New Zealand’s fortnight old Charter is losing the publicly-owned broadcaster viewers.

Steve Maharey said National destroyed public service television in New Zealand during the 1990s and TVNZ needs to be given a chance to show how it can contribute to the development of New Zealand’s cultural and national identity once again.

“Public service television can be found in every developed nation across the world, yet National destroyed it in this country during the 1990s. Mrs Rich’s comments today confirm her party is still stuck in a 1990s mindset.

“Television New Zealand has only been a chartered public service broadcaster for two weeks. The article Mrs Rich used as the basis of her comments only referred to two television shows recently broadcast on two nights.

“Obviously TVNZ will continue to make changes to its programme lineup as it implements the Charter. I think we should give our publicly-owned broadcaster a bit more time before rushing to hasty condemnation.

“Mrs Rich is also incorrect to assert that the amount of current affairs programming on TVNZ has decreased over the last two years. TVNZ tell me that with the launch of new shows like Face to Face with Kim Hill and Foreign Assignment this year current affairs programming has actually increased.

“Television New Zealand has been consistently winning viewers over a broad range of programmes. My message to Katherine Rich is “chill out” and give TVNZ a chance,” Steve Maharey said.

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