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Alexander slams increased Maori radio funding

Thursday, 5 May 2005

Alexander slams increased Maori radio funding

United Future broadcasting spokesman Marc Alexander has slammed Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia's announcement of additional funding in the coming Budget for Maori radio.

"A tax-funded advantage on the basis of ethnicity is not only flawed, it's counterproductive and ideologically driven," Mr Alexander said today.

" How can the Minister tell the public that he is 'pleased to announce additional funding for Maori radio in the upcoming budget of just under $3.4 million to upgrade broadcasting equipment', when there are far more pressing priorities?

"He claims this new spending will 'enable Maori radio stations to maintain a competitive footing'. Well how exactly? All other radio stations have to justify their own existence with advertising revenue based on listenership...they fund themselves.

"If Mr Horomia is correct when he says that 'Maori radio meets the demands of an increasingly sophisticated listening audience' then why not let them pay for it?

"We waste $70 million a year propping up Maori language outcomes by the balmy logic of assuming that Maori TV and radio broadcasting is the way to help Maori culture. If we really wanted to do something positive for Maori language and culture then we need more than continually throwing more and more taxpayer money at it.

"It needs more Maori to choose to live the relevance of their own language, not more taxpayer funded radio," he said.


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