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Labour disappointed with Broadcasting Standards Authority

Chris Flatt
General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party

14 October 2011

Labour disappointed with Broadcasting Standards Authority decision

Labour is disappointed with the outcome of a complaint made to the Broadcasting Standards Authority relating to what amounted to an hour long radio promotion of the Prime Minister, with no balance being provided for other political leaders.

“The BSA has made its decision based on a very narrow interpretation of the rules around what constitutes an election advertisement. The BSA has ruled that only programmes that overtly and directly encourage voters will breach the Broadcasting Act. The BSA has said that they believe any encouragement of voters by the Prime Minister’s radio show would only have been incidental and therefore not in breach” said Chris Flatt.

“Labour respectfully disagrees with this interpretation, particularly as the BSA acknowledges in their own decision that the radio show clearly provided political advantage to the Prime Minister and the National Party” said Chris Flatt.

Today’s decision does not affect the complaint Labour has lodged with the Electoral Commission as to whether the Prime Minister’s radio show was a prohibited election programme and an unauthorised election advertisement that breached both the Electoral Act and Broadcasting Act.

“In light of the ongoing complaint to the Electoral Commission, no decision has been made at this time as to whether Labour will be appealing the BSA decision” said Chris Flatt.

ENDS

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