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TVNZ emails reveal 'culture of contempt'

Hon Murray McCully National Party MP

1 May 2006

TVNZ emails reveal 'culture of contempt'

National Party MP Murray McCully has today released emails obtained from Television New Zealand under the Official Information Act which he says portray "a culture of contempt for the parliamentary process."

The emails are exchanges between TVNZ chairman Craig Boyce and departing Chief Executive Ian Fraser on the eve of two appearances before the Finance and Expenditure select committee late last year. TVNZ was subsequently sent to the Privileges Committee in relation to their conduct around the select committee inquiry.

In one email, Mr Boyce states, with reference to the select committee, 'these bastards are our enemy.'

Mr McCully says TVNZ has exhibited a culture of corporate contempt for the parliamentary process over many years.

"Indeed, the Privileges Committee report identifies previous incidents in which TVNZ has shown resistance to its obligations to Parliament and its select committees.

"The disdain with which the company treats Parliament could scarcely be more fully characterised than in Mr Boyce's statement that 'these bastards are our enemy'.

"The emails go on to reveal Mr Boyce's strategy to mislead the select committee in relation to questions raised by myself involving TVNZ board member Dame Ann Hercus, because revealing the truth would be 'a disaster for everyone'.

"Since the TVNZ matter is still before the Privileges Committee, I have referred the emails to the chair of that committee.

"I call on the Prime Minister and the Minister of Broadcasting to state where they stand on this appalling conduct by a publicly owned company and to indicate what actions they will now take to stamp out this rot in our state institutions," says Mr McCully.

ENDS

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