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Thanks for the vote of confidence, Trev

Jonathan Coleman MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokesman

8 July 2008

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Trev

National Party Broadcasting spokesman Jonathan Coleman is welcoming the Minister’s support for aspects of National’s broadcasting policy which was released yesterday.

“I’m pleased Trevor Mallard agrees that after nine years of the charter and millions of taxpayer dollars, Labour has no real idea what the direct charter funding was spent on.

“The monitoring of the charter has slipped into the Bermuda Triangle that rests between the Minister of Culture and Heritage, the Broadcasting Minister, and the Minister of Finance.

“No one’s been keeping an eye on that taxpayer investment, and Labour never appointed anyone to do that – despite claims on the Culture and Heritage website that it is responsible.

“After nine years, Mr Mallard now appears to accept the charter model is flawed.

“National’s plan to unlock that charter funding will allow other free-to-air broadcasters and independent producers more opportunities to make and screen quality, Kiwi-made programmes.

“We want to see more diversity on our screens, and provide transparency for the taxpayer.”

Programme makers have voiced similar criticisms about the charter model, and agree that there needs to be far more transparency in the way charter money is allocated and spent.

“Labour’s claim that there will be less quality television made as a result of National’s policy is laughable. TVNZ doesn’t have a monopoly on the good ideas, but it will still undoubtedly receive the lion’s share of the funding.

“What National aims to do is give all the other creative programme-makers out there the chance to get their ideas on air and provide better viewing for Kiwi audiences.”

ENDS

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