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Greens baffled by broadcasting backdown

21 March 2005

Greens baffled by broadcasting backdown

Green Co-Leader Rod Donald has accused the Government of throwing the baby out with the bath water with its decision to cancel funding for the live broadcast of Parliament.

“Whatever the merits of TV networks being allowed to have cameras in the debating chamber, the case in favour of a live television broadcast of Parliament is overwhelmingly positive,” Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

“At the moment, the public are lucky to see only a few seconds of Parliament each day on free-to-air television. Often, that coverage is extremely superficial rather than substantive.

“By withdrawing funding for the proposed continuous broadcast of Parliament, the Government has denied the public the opportunity to see what really happens in the debating chamber.

“This is a setback for rekindling interest in our democracy, and undermines efforts to develop civics education for young New Zealanders.

“The Government should have had faith in the ability of the Standing Orders Select Committee to address the concerns of broadcasters while proceeding with the establishment of a proper Parliamentary television service to match the excellent radio broadcast that is already provided by Radio New Zealand, under contract to the Clerk of the House.”

ENDS

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