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78% foreign programmes on public service tv

17 November 2005

78% foreign programmes on public service television

The fact that only one in five programmes on TV2 are Kiwi-made is a terrible indictment on TVNZ's Charter, Green Party Broadcasting Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

Three years after the Charter's implementation, TV2 is screening just 22.7 percent local content between 6am and midnight, with TVNZ's two channels together only averaging 39 percent NZ-made programming in the same time period, according to TVNZ's 2005 report released yesterday.

"What is the point of having a public service, publicly owned channel that screens 78 percent foreign-made programmes?

"The truth is that the Charter goals are simply not being met. Clearly its lack of teeth is allowing TVNZ to continue to put commercial goals ahead of its public service responsibilities. This is especially of concern given the TVNZ Board Chairman's suggestion today that TVNZ will need to reduce local programming next year because it is 'substantially more expensive than foreign purchased programming'."

Ms Kedgley says the primary goal of the state broadcaster is supposed to be 'to reflect New Zealand to New Zealanders'.

"Instead of doing this, TV2 is reflecting foreign cultures and values to New Zealanders. This is especially concerning considering that TV2 is a channel aimed at children and young people. Children growing up in New Zealand who watch TV2 will learn more about Los Angeles, and the values of the USA, than they will about their own communities.

"The failure of TVNZ to increase the amount of local content, despite the substantial funding given by government for this purpose, suggests it may be time to impose local content quotas on free-to-air television."

New Zealand is lagging far behind other countries when it comes to local programming. Australia has local content quotas of 55 percent for all its commercial television channels, and the United Kingdom has, on average, 91 percent local programming. Other countries like Canada, Italy and Germany all have more than 75 percent of local programming on their channels, Ms Kedgley says.

ENDS

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