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Local content future more stable under Labour

2000 web siteThe admission from New Zealand on Air that it may be forced to drop the number of hours of funded local programmes was a bad omen for the preservation of New Zealand's culture and national identity, Labour broadcasting spokesperson Marian Hobbs said.

She said it highlighted the need for local content quotas as proposed by Labour.

"Local content on New Zealand television and radio is already low by world standards. We cannot afford to let it drop even further. Labour's proposed quota system would bring New Zealand in line with many other countries, like Canada, Australia, Ireland, and South Africa, which have recognised that local content quotas are a way of protecting and promoting their national culture.

"Labour plans a 10% quota which will be raised to 20% in consultation with the broadcasting and artistic industries. These quotas would be developed in consultation with broadcasters and artists and there would be different quotas for different genres.

"Given that the statements from the chairman of New Zealand on Air on the decline in local children's television programmes from 907 hours in 1997 to 613 hours in 1998, you can see why that is important. Just as worrying is the plan to fund only 13 hours of children's drama in the current financial year.

"Children's television programming will be a priority in Labour's broadcasting plans.

"Perhaps more than any other section of society, children need to see their own lives and culture reflected on the small screen. They need to be given the opportunity to see the uniqueness of New Zealand and to learn about different facets of New Zealand life. We don't want our children growing up as Young Americans because that is all they see on television."

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