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How many TV viewers will Labour switch off?

Jonathan Coleman MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokesman

29 November 2007

How many TV viewers will Labour switch off?

National's Broadcasting spokesman Jonathan Coleman says Trevor Mallard has kicked for touch on the tough decisions about how many people he thinks should lose their TV signal when the shift to digital enters its final phase.

"Mr Mallard needs to explain the Government's plan. He's offering no certainty at all to the poorest New Zealanders who cannot afford a new digital set up, and those who simply don't want to change."

Dr Coleman is commenting on the Government's announcement that it will set a switch off date for the terrestrial analogue signal once 75% of the population have digital TV, or 2012, whichever comes first.

"National supports digital television, but there has to be a firm plan to deal with the final group of New Zealanders who haven't made the switch to digital.

"One presumes there may be a public cost for switching over that final group. Mr Mallard needs to come out and say exactly how he'll deal with that.

"At precisely what level of digital TV uptake by the population will the analogue switch-off actually occur? How many people will be cut off? Which region will be the guinea pig?

"Labour has known that this was always going to be the stickiest bit of the digital TV policy. The lack of detail in this area shows that Mr Mallard is merely trying to make the hard questions go away."


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