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MTS Should Be Dumped

MTS Should Be Dumped

Sunday 17 Aug 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Broadcasting

The latest episode in the ongoing never-to-be-aired mini-series called `Maori Television Service' shows it is past time the Labour Government axed this sideshow, ACT New Zealand Broadcasting Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"This is dodgy, sleaze politics writ large, with Labour's main objective being to keep Derek Fox happy and away from his Maori party which was always a threat to the Labour vote," Miss Coddington said.

"Now we see a deal is being done, in secret, behind closed doors with Sky Television. What a massive embarrassment for the Government, which only months ago announced MTS would be aired through the public broadcasting network to 'keep it in the whanau'.

"The Government booted CanWest out of negotiations, despite the fact that if we must have MTS, then a straight swap of channel 4 for a radio frequency was the best deal for Maori, and the taxpayers. Perhaps the fact that the Prime Minister is locked into a dispute with TV3 over corngate had something to do with TV3 being treated badly.

"However, Sky has stuck to its lobbying and may well find that the more time you spend in the offices of cabinet ministers, the better your chances are of securing favour when it comes to television programmes, or deals.

"Big business should stay out of the corridors of power - that's the best way for small business to thrive.

"And this government should stop favouring Maori with taxpayers' dollars. The position of kaihautu at TVNZ should be abolished. Maori Television Service should be dumped. And all this politically correct nonsense - which in effect is another form of censorship - should cease," Miss Coddington said.

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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