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Young Kiwis embrace home-grown TV

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Broadcasting
Minister of Youth Affairs

3 August 2005 Media Statement

Young Kiwis embrace home-grown TV

Young New Zealanders are welcoming the increase in local content on our television screens, Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Speaking at a reception for the winners of NZ On Air's school essay competition, Steve Maharey said the 1,000 entries showed that young Kiwis were increasingly choosing home-grown TV over imported alternatives.

"The results of this competition reinforce the message I'm hearing more and more often these days – that young New Zealanders want to see their own culture reflected on their TV screens," Steve Maharey said.

"The success of shows like bro' Town and What Now? have proven that young people want more than imported American sit-coms and Australian soaps. They want to watch programmes about young New Zealanders that are made in New Zealand."

Nearly 1,000 students entered New Zealand On Air's school essay competition. Participants were between 11 and 18 years old and were asked to write essays on their opinions on the importance of New Zealand-made television programmes.

Steve Maharey likened the enthusiasm for local programming to the surge in demand for New Zealand music over the last five years.

"Kiwi music reached a tipping point a few years ago where it went from being last choice to first choice for young New Zealanders. I think we are fast approaching that point with local programming.

Commercial airplay of New Zealand music increased from 8.7 percent in 1999 to more than 20 percent in 2005, with local content on TV increasing from 23 percent to 33 percent over the same period.

ENDS

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