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One standard of broadcasting for everyone

"It's pretty clear the state broadcaster knows who is paying the wages following the so-called 'documentary' about the Prime Minister screened on TV One last night," says National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu.

"Unfortunately for the viewing public, it's precisely what I would expect from a state broadcaster which gets a big slice of its income from the Government.

"Taxpayers and television viewers have every right to be concerned," says Mrs te Heuheu. "On one hand TVNZ screens a Tom Scott-narrated attack on National Party Leader Don Brash, on the other we have the mild mannered BBC type voiceover offered by Simon Dallow in the programme on Helen Clark.

"In one programme the cameras were allowed behind closed doors and in the other, they were kept at arm's length. Yet there was no mention of that in the documentary.

"I would have thought that the lack of co-operation from Helen Clark's office might have rated at least a mention.

"This is yet another example of the broadcaster confusing its aims and seeing itself as an arm of the Government rather than an independent news organisation.

"Helen Clark should have been given the same treatment as National's Don Brash and in this case that does not appear to have happened.

"It certainly is food for thought as the Government prepares to spend vast amounts of taxpayer money on post-Budget advertising campaigns. No doubt TVNZ stands to be one of the big winners from that propaganda exercise too," says Mrs te Heuheu.

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