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Parliamentary broadcasts to be extended

Press Release


24 May 2006

Parliamentary broadcasts to be extended


Radio coverage of Parliament will be extended following the provision of additional funding in the Budget last week.

The Speaker, Hon Margaret Wilson, said the decision would enable the Office of the Clerk to extend the broadcasting of Parliament on Radio New Zealand’s AM network to Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Southland.

‘As Speaker, I have been keen to increase the availability of information about and knowledge of Parliament,’ she said.

‘In a democratic society, it is important that as many people as possible have access to Parliament.

‘For those who live outside Wellington, radio is the best way to follow proceedings in the House.’

Currently, 70% of the population can access the AM network’s Parliamentary broadcasts. The addition of Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Southland, at an operating cost of $142,000 in the current 2005/06 year and $1.1m over the next four years, will bring that figure to 81%.

Ms Wilson said technical work had already begun and it is expected that listeners in the three new areas will be able to tune in to Parliamentary broadcasts in the Spring.

This is the second recent Government initiative making Parliamentary debates more accessible. Parliamentary broadcasts have been streamed live from the Radio New Zealand website www.radionz.co.nz since 28 March, 2006.


ENDS

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