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TVNZ Separation of the transmission business

Separation of the transmission business of Television New Zealand Limited

The formal separation of the transmission business of Television New Zealand Limited is now expected to take place by December 2003 to allow officials time to work through taxation issues of a commercially sensitive nature, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said today.

The change of ownership of TVNZ Australia (Pty) Ltd from TVNZ to the Crown has Australian taxation implications that are currently being considered.

Television New Zealand Ltd (TVNZ) is a Crown-owned public broadcasting company responsible for delivering against its Charter in accordance with the TVNZ Act 2003. The transmission business of TVNZ will become a separate state-owned enterprise responsible for delivering national and international transmission services. It had been hoped that separation of the transmission business would occur on 1 July 2003 but time is needed to work through the taxation issues. A separation date of 31 December 2003 at the latest is stipulated in the TVNZ Act to allow for such an eventuality.

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said the later separation date will have little practical impact on day-to-day business operations.

"Delaying the formal separation of the companies is in the best interests of Television New Zealand and its shareholders representing New Zealand tax payers. The transmission subsidiary companies of TVNZ (being Broadcast Communications Ltd and TVNZ Australia (Pty) Ltd are already operationally separate and TVNZ 's implementation of its Charter is not affected in any way by the separation date.

“The Directors of the new transmission SOE will now take up their appointments by 31 December 2003. The Chairman designate, Wayne Brown, will continue to be involved in the period up until the separation through his membership of the BCL Advisory Group, a subcommittee of the TVNZ Board. The appointment of two additional directors to TVNZ, Robert Fenwick and Philip Melchior, will go ahead as planned on 1 July 2003, in order that they can start contributing to the effective operation of TVNZ,” Steve Maharey said.

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