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Cullen's TVNZ boomerang

Jonathan Coleman MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokesman

27 March 2008

Cullen's TVNZ boomerang

National Party Broadcasting spokesman Jonathan Coleman says if Michael Cullen has problems with how TVNZ uses its charter money, he should talk to his boss.

"National has regularly argued that TVNZ needs to be more transparent in the way it spend its Charter money. However, the organisation that is supposed to be monitoring whether TVNZ is delivering on the Charter is the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, headed by one Helen Clark."

Dr Coleman is commenting on Michael Cullen's complaint this week that 'They receive funding for their charter programmes but at the moment it's not clear where the money goes. Some greater clarity is needed around [that]'.

"Perhaps Dr Cullen could ask Ms Clark if he can see her Ministry's reports on how well TVNZ is delivering on the Charter."

Dr Coleman says Radio New Zealand reported on October 17 2004 that 'Judith Tizard shares responsibility with Helen Clark for the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage which is responsible for monitoring TVNZ's charter performance and overseeing how the television company spends the direct funding it receives for charter programmes. Although TVNZ has now received more than 30-million dollars in direct funding the Ministry has not challenged expenditure on any programme'.

"Four years later, Dr Cullen is repeating the question that has been asked many times before. Helen Clark should release her Ministry's reports and the actions it has taken to ensure that the taxpayer money going into the charter programmes is accounted for."

ENDS

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