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Quality at stake in TVNZ bid for funding control

Hon Georgina te Heuheu MP National Party Broadcasting Spokeswoman

18 January 2004

Quality at stake in TVNZ bid for funding control

National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu says the quality of television would be put at risk if the Government bows to pressure from TVNZ over $68 million worth of New Zealand On Air funding. "Reports today confirm my statement of November 26, that the Government is being lobbied to give the television network that it owns, control of NZOA's purse strings.

"It would essentially squeeze out competition. We can't turn back the clock, only competition in the sector can guarantee quality programmes.

"TVNZ already gets huge amounts of taxpayer cash and it receives the lion's share of NZ on Air funding," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"If it is allowed to take the lot, that would disadvantage not only the viewing public but it also has the potential to destroy New Zealand's vibrant independent production sector.

"The Government's already handing over millions of taxpayer dollars to TVNZ for the charter, yet only one in 10 people believe it has delivered better programmes.

"Instead quality shows have been axed and experienced staff are being shown the door.

"The Minister must preserve quality and choice. To do that he must resist the temptation to give Government-run television still more control," says Mrs te Heuheu.


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