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More static from Maharey on TVNZ

Hon Georgina te Heuheu MP

National Party Broadcasting Spokeswoman

09 November 2005

More static from Maharey on TVNZ

National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu says Steve Maharey should offer to resign if his 'politically appointed board' is unable to stop the public blood-letting at the state broadcaster.

"Mr Maharey says he has complete confidence in the board. He should put his money where his mouth is.

Mrs te Heuheu is also questioning why two shareholding Ministers in less than a week have publicly endorsed state television's rival as having a better news product.

"Like Michael Cullen last week, Mr Maharey has today repeated a claim that TV 3 has a superior service. Why shareholding Ministers would want to run down the brand and encourage the flight of advertisers to TV 3 is beyond me.

"All Labour has done is carp from the fringes while ratings are in freefall and the once valuable asset lurches from one public relations disaster to the next.

"We've heard it from him all before, but is anyone at TVNZ paying any attention?

"The finding by the Employment Relations Authority in favour of Susan Wood and her $450,000 salary reinforces just what a hideous mess TVNZ is in.

"But blame for the dreadful management of this damaging affair falls at the feet of the do-nothing Broadcasting Minister.

"He's let this drag on too long already and so far has refused to hold any board members accountable for their decisions.

"This board presided over Judy Bailey's salary, Susan Wood's public row over her pay packet and gave the green light to Ian Fraser's generous exit package.

"And in an unusual move, they have appointed a committee of three staff to run the place while Mr Fraser works out his time and secures his lucrative super pay-out.

"Little wonder the employment authority criticised TVNZ for poor management, when the board is unable to provide anything resembling a consistent approach.

"If his confidence is misplaced, and the public blood-letting continues, Mr Maharey should do the honourable thing and resign," says Mrs te Heuheu.

ENDS

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