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Televising of Parliament

Media Release

27 July 2006

Televising of Parliament


Publicly funded televising of Parliament moves closer next week with the start of a public tender process seeking expressions of interest in the technical installation and ongoing operation of the service.

Funding approval and options will go to a Cabinet committee for final approval later in the year.

The aim of the project is to make proceedings in the House more accessible and to improve the public’s understanding of the democratic process.

If approved, a continuous live television feed from the debating chamber, later extending to two select committee rooms, would be made freely available to all broadcasters. The live debate would also be streamed to the parliamentary website.

The provision of a phased, in-house service would not affect existing arrangements for television cameras in the galleries.

The Speaker and Chair of the Standing Orders Committee, Hon Margaret Wilson, said the televising of all debates in the House would significantly increase the public’s access to what was going on in the debating chamber. The public would be able to view entire debates, not just clips that the television channels considered to be the most important or entertaining for news bulletins.

‘Televising Parliament is valuable to democracy, as it gives the public the ability to see how legislation is made and how the government of the day conducts itself,’ she said.

New Zealand would join about 60 other countries, including most of the OECD, which televise all or part of the proceedings of Parliament.

There would be no changes to the rules covering the televising of proceedings in the House.


ENDS

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