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Dunne backs community access radio

Media statement
For immediate release
Friday, 16 June 2006

Dunne backs community access radio

United Future leader and Ohariu-Belmont MP, Peter Dunne, says the announcement that New Zealand will get free-to-air digital television next year is great news and provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen the position of New Zealand's community access radio stations.

"Access radio in New Zealand is not a high-profile, glamorous branch of the broadcasting industry, but they do provide New Zealand with almost 100,000 hours a year of local content.

"This great community service is generally provided on the smell of an oily rag and the enthusiasm of thousands of volunteers ? yet the stations have no firm legal basis for retaining the spectrums they broadcast on.

"My fear is that with the advent of more digital television, the pressure will be on the Government to allocate more of the spectrum to new broadcasters and this will harm the community radio stations.

"I urge the Minister of Broadcasting to look after the interests of the community stations by inserting a clause into the legislation that would ensure they retain their spectrum allocations," said Mr Dunne.

ENDS

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