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Labour: Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None

Labour: Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None

Friday 29 Aug 2003 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Broadcasting

ACT New Zealand Broadcasting Spokesman Deborah Coddington today said that the Labour Government should address the problems plaguing the Maori Television Service before it concerns itself with introducing free-to-air digital television.

"Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey's announcement yesterday that Labour wants industry groups to plan for the roll-out of digital TV shows that the Government has got its priorities wrong - again," Miss Coddington said.

"Labour's announcement received an unenthusiastic response from broadcasting experts. Christchurch School of Broadcasting head Paul Norris quite rightly pointed out that public demand for digital TV does not exist, saying `They're quite happy with the services they've got'.

"I doubt the public will be any more enthusiastic when it realises the introduction of digital TV will mean upgrading their TV set or purchasing a set-top box to access the new service.

"Why must Labour get involved in digital TV when Sky has provided the service for years? Three years ago, the Government rejected TVNZ's plans for a digital service. What has changed? Overseas evidence shows there is no commercial benefit to switching to a digital service.

"While Labour should be fixing the problems besetting MTS, it is being distracted by trivial issues like digital television. Mr Maharey and his `jack of all trades, master of none' Government must knock this idea on the head. They should address the real issues of concern to New Zealand taxpayers," 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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