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Peters Challenges TVNZ News To Run Bailey Story

14 December 2004

Peters Challenges TVNZ News To Run Bailey Salary Controversy

Rt Hon Winston Peters has challenged Television New Zealand to put the Judy Bailey salary controversy in tonight’s news bulletins and says he will be available to debate the issue with chief executive Ian Fraser on Close Up at 7.

This follows reports today that TVNZ is doubling Bailey’s salary to $800,000 because of the increase in demand for television newsreaders.

Mr Peters raised the issue in Parliament today, asking the Prime Minister if she was embarrassed that the state television-employed Bailey received $384 an hour for a 40 hour week, or more properly as Helen Clark said, for four minutes work a night, while a single pensioner received less than $250 a week.

“TVNZ executives pledged before a select committee this year that their spending will be more transparent. Now they are refusing to comment on the astronomical salaries they are paying themselves.

“This salary issue is an affront to ordinary New Zealanders struggling to make ends meet and it is high time these greedy and extravagant television executives were held to account.

“They should front up on their own television programme tonight and tell everyone why they should accumulate vast sums of wealth at the expense of taxpayers,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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