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Kiwi television programme statistics welcomed

17 May 2004 Media Statement

Kiwi television programme statistics welcomed

Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey has welcomed new figures that show television broadcasters have boosted the levels of locally produced programmes.

The figures, from NZ On Air's Local Content Survey, show that a third of programmes screened on the major free-to-air networks last year were New Zealand-made.

Between 6am and midnight TVOne screened 54.6% local content, TV2 24.3% and TV3 20.4%.

Steve Maharey said he broadcasters are showing real commitment to locally made programmes with the results exceeding the targets voluntarily agreed to for 2003.

"New Zealanders have consistently expressed their liking for home grown programmes with more than two thirds of them saying it should be increased.

“The Labour-led government has supported this desire by increasing the amount of public funding for television from $19 per head in 2002 to $33 this year. This figure includes funding for the Maori Television Service and funding to support the implementation of TVNZ's Charter.

"Local content on television plays an important role in developing a sense of who we are as a people as well as providing an outlet for the creativity of talented New Zealanders".

Steve Maharey said proposals by the National Party to sell off assets like TVNZ show that the opposition intends to take a step that is totally out of kilter with New Zealanders.

"Public ownership, and TVNZ's public service remit, drives the growth of the local screen production industry. A return to the failed reforms of the 90s with its asset sales would destroy the production industry and fly in the face of the viewing preferences of New Zealander," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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