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Prime-time local content declining, survey shows

21 May 2008

Prime-time local content declining, survey shows

New Zealand On Air's latest Annual Local Content report shows that the amount of New Zealand programming on free to air prime-time television is declining, the Green Party says.

In addition, local content on TV2 between 6am to midnight has also decreased.

"The Minister's communications staff have done their best to put a positive spin on the latest results," Green Party Broadcasting Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"But the sad reality is that only 42 percent of the programmes that are screened during primetime are New Zealand-made, down from the previous year.

"TV2's local programming has also dropped 2 percent down to a pitiful 18 percent," Ms Kedgley says.

"You would have to question why we have a publicly-owned television channel that screens a diet of foreign programmes, and is virtually indistinguishable from commercial television," Ms Kedgley says.

"TV1 has less local programming now, after five years of the Charter, than it did in 2002."

Ms Kedgley said it was also disappointing to find that New Zealand made documentaries, children's drama and Maori programming were all declining.

"On the other hand Maori television produced a fantastic performance, with 80 percent of its programmes New Zealand made.

"We're lagging far behind other countries when it comes to providing local programme, the whole point of having a local content is to show New Zealand to New Zealanders not to screen the same incessant diet of foreign programmes," Ms Kedgley says.

ENDS

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