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One News sponsor linked to rainforest destruction

One News new sponsor linked to rainforest destruction

Green Media release 11th January 2007

The Green Party Co-Leader Dr. Russel Norman is dismayed that One News updates will be sponsored by the National Bank as of Monday. The National Bank is a subsidiary of the ANZ Banking Group which is involved in financing rainforest destruction in Papua New Guinea.

"It is a sad day when the news service of a state owned broadcaster is sponsored by a company with links to the destruction of the remaining rainforests in Papua New Guinea," says Dr. Norman.

"At a time when we need the media to hold large corporations accountable for their environmental performance, it is disturbing to find these same news organisations being sponsored by the companies linked to the destruction of the environment.

ANZ Banking Group is providing financial services to giant Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau in Papua New Guinea. Rimbunan is responsible for massive rainforest destruction. The World Bank has documented the human rights abuses associated with logging in PNG and even the New Zealand Government has acknowledged that most of the logging in PNG is carried out illegally. The World Bank pulled out of supporting such projects.

The destruction of rainforests is responsible for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

"TVNZ says that one of the reasons they are happy with the National Bank sponsorship is the credibility of the National Bank brand. This means that TVNZ now has a vested interest in not damaging the brand of the National Bank. It is hard to see how this will not compromise TVNZ's ability to carry out its democratic functions as a member of the fourth estate.

"Once again this demonstrates why we need public news broadcasting free from commercial linkages in New Zealand."

ENDS


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