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Petty politicking can’t take shine off NZ Idol

31 August 2004

Petty politicking can’t take shine off NZ Idol

The Broadcasting Minister, Steve Maharey, says opposition politicking around the hugely successful New Zealand Idol programme is pathetic.

The TV2 programme broke audience records and launched the careers of talented young Kiwi musicians. The show was partially supported by NZ on Air, who will have their stake repaid should it make a profit.

Steve Maharey said it was entirely appropriate for NZ on Air to support the programme.

“Whatever way you look at it, New Zealand Idol was an outstanding success.

“Opposition attacks over the financing arrangement through which New Zealand on Air supported the programme are entirely premature. Final accounts for the programme have yet to be completed so no one knows whether the show made a profit or whether NZ on Air will have its stake repaid.

“In any case, whether the programme made a profit or not is not the only way we should measure it a success. If that were the case most locally-produced programmes on all four free-to-air channels would fail to measure up.

“New Zealand Idol unquestionably meshed with New Zealand on Air’s brief to promote and foster expressions of NZ culture and identity. The programme showcased the talents of young participants from throughout New Zealand and gave viewers a glimpse into their lives and communities.

“The show made a major contribution to the New Zealand music scene and helped it to reach an all time high. In June New Zealand artists made up nearly 20 per cent (19.04 per cent) of all cd sales and New Zealand music passed 25 per cent of air play on commercial radio. As a percentage of sales, the amount of New Zealand music bought has doubled since 1998.

“It beggars belief that the National and Act parties would think that bashing the Kiwi music industry would be a vote winner. As four-times-platinum Idol winner Ben Lummis said, with impressive statistics like those being achieved, “You can’t take that away”,” Steve Maharey.

ENDS

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