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Maharey congratulates NZ Idol finalists

Maharey congratulates NZ Idol finalists

The massive audience support for NZ Idol emphasises New Zealanders' support for locally-made television programmes.

The massive audience support for NZ Idol emphasises New Zealanders' support for locally-made television programmes, says Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey.

Steve Maharey is attending tonight's show when contestants Ben Lummis and Michael Murphy face off in the final of the demanding 15-week series.

"While it was just a portion of the total cost, public funding through NZ on Air to Television New Zealand ensured the series got off the ground.

"The programme has showcased the talents of young participants from throughout New Zealand and given viewers a glimpse into their lives and communities. Even though the format has been used in other countries the local production has a uniquely New Zealand flavour."

Steve Maharey said the way in which the contestants from such a wide range of backgrounds have coped with failure and success, supported of each other, and responded to training have reflected aspects of what it is to be a New Zealander.

"It's great to see so many people, including parliamentarians, interested and involved in a locally produced television programme.

"Tonight's final of NZ Idol during Music Month precedes a 24-hour music event, National Anthem, a celebration of New Zealand music to be screened on TV2 on the last weekend of the month. It will raise funds to encourage young New Zealanders to make and experiment with their own music."

Steve Maharey said this government's promotion of cultural and social objectives through mechanisms like the voluntary music targets on commercial radio and TVNZ's new public service mandate is paying off.

"Radio stations are now playing close to 20 percent of locally produced music, up from 11 percent two years ago and programmes like NZ Idol consistently feature in the Top Ten television programmes

"Let's hope we see the finalists getting lots of airtime in the future," Steve Maharey said.

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