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TVNZ should learn from this week

Hon Georgina te Heuheu MP
National Spokesperson for Broadcasting

25 August 2006

TVNZ should learn from this week

National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu says the viewer response to the funeral of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu should be enough to convince TVNZ to screen fewer cookie cutter reality shows.

"Everyone knows the local content numbers are being boosted by franchised reality programmes, so the fact half a million Kiwis tuned in to this week's funeral should be enough to convince TVNZ to change its ways.

"Clearly Kiwis want to see more of themselves, and what makes our nation unique.

"Credit where credit's due, I think TVNZ and Maori TV did a good job this week. But this does fit in with National's view that charter money exclusively channelled in to TVNZ should be freed up to others to promote vibrancy, currency and diversity."

Mrs te Heuheu notes that TVNZ was clearly gazumped by Maori TV during this year's ANZAC Day commemorations.

"TVNZ would have benefited from some of the wonderful ANZAC Day images that Maori TV put to air. Perhaps the national broadcaster is learning."

Mrs te Heuheu also wants to know whether the two state-funded television networks have explored "closer economic relations" to avoid unnecessary duplication at significant national events.

"Given that TVNZ and Maori TV are both state funded, have they explored pooling cameras to save the taxpayer a dollar?

"Both stations could retain their own unique identity by providing their own on-air talent and production facilities, but any savings could be poured back into getting more of New Zealand On Air and that's what public broadcasting is all about," says Mrs te Heuheu.

ENDS


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