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Labour's fuzzy logic, your fuzzy picture

Media Statement
For immediate release
Friday, 5 September, 2003

Alexander: Labour's fuzzy logic, your fuzzy picture
Steve says: don't adjust your set

The Government's fixation with broadcasting Maori television from the BCL platform means tens of thousands of Sky subscribers and VCR users may suffer interference problems, United Future's Marc Alexander says.

"As long as it's ideologically sound, we don't have to worry about what works best, do we?" Mr Alexander, United Future's broadcasting spokesman, said.

In Parliament yesterday, Mr Alexander questioned Associate Communications Minister David Cunliffe over conflicting advice from the Ministry of Economic Development, and Sky and the MTS, with both the latter stating that the BCL platform would bring substantial interference problems.

He questioned how Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey, responsible for TVNZ, owner of BCL which is vying for the MTS platform, could overcome an "obvious prejudicial interest" and simply look at how the job would be best done.

"And it's clear that the Sky platform is a better alternative and should be used. I mean this issue will hit PlayStation owners too, so you'd think the National caucus would take a real interest.

"Just what would best serve the needs of a television service to broadcast its programmes, and the rights of New Zealand viewers to get quality reception where that can be achieved?" Mr Alexander asked.

"It's a very simple question, but it doesn't appear to loom large in Government priorities. Again, we have ideology winning out over common sense," he said.

"And given that my questions in the House yesterday were meant for Mr Maharey and he dodged them - for the second time this week - by sending them on to an associate minister, one is hardly filled with confidence that he has the necessary resolve to front the issue anyway."

"Let's see this decision made on the basis of what works. Sky would work, BCL wouldn't, so just do the deal."


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