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More Static On Maori Television

Hon Georgina te Heuheu MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokeswoman

24 November 2003

More Static On Maori Television

"The New Zealand taxpayer deserves a straight answer on when the troubled Maori Television Service will be on air, delivering on Government promises," says National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu.

"Parekura Horomia promised us the new television channel would be broadcasting by June last year, 17 months later we're still waiting," says Mrs te Heuheu.

She's commenting on reports that the Maori Television Service plans to beat a broadcasting deadline of December this year by putting a test pattern or promotional trailers on air.

"There's no way a test pattern or promotional trailers go any of the way towards delivering on the Government's promise to 'revitalise' the Maori language.

"This is nothing more than a futile exercise to protect Parekura Horomia who unwittingly set a deadline for broadcasts during an embarrassing series of questions in Parliament earlier this year," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"Under the stewardship of Labour, the Maori Television Service appears as if it has been set up to fail.

"It's been plagued by a constantly changing executive line-up, there are still questions around the choice of the broadcasting platform and regular calls for more accountability over funding.

"Now we're being urged to stop asking when MTS will be on air and told to expect more delays, maybe until the middle of next year," says Mrs te Heuheu.

"Maori and taxpayers alike deserve to know that progress is being made and taxpayer money is not being wasted.

"We need to be told when the tens of millions being spent on Labour's ideological pet project will be realised and when the 'revitalisation of the language' will finally start," says Mrs te Heuheu.

Ends

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