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National' 'me too' culture policies

2000 web siteThe Government is embroiled in a desperate bid to catch up with Labour's highly regarded policies to support creative industries and public broadcasting, Labour cultural affairs spokesperson Judith Tizard said today.

Judith Tizard said the Prime Minister was set to announce tomorrow some last minute proposals designed to try and woo the music sector and public broadcasting advocates.

However, she said Labour's commitment in these areas had already been well-signalled and the Government's catch-up attempts would be viewed with cynicism.

Included in tomorrow's announcement is a proposal for a music industry group although the Government wants it to be largely funded by private interests. Labour proposed a Music Commission in its Creative Industries policy paper released last year.

The Government is also expected to announce the provision of an FM frequency for youth radio - another aspect of Labour's policy and which will be re-stated as part of Labour's Broadcasting Policy to be released this Tuesday.

"National's 'me too' announcements will be received with the cynicism they deserve," Judith Tizard said.

"National Ministers have an appalling record on the promotion of our national identity through broadcasting and creative industries.

"As recently as a few months ago, Maurice Williamson was proudly saying the Government had 'headed off' the suggestion of a Youth Radio Network.

"The Government has also quashed Culture and Heritage Minister Marie Hasler's suggestion that local content quotas on radio and television might be worth investigating and I understand she has not managed to get Cabinet even to consider the idea seriously.

"Labour is committed to format specific local content quotas on radio and free to air television. That will be restated in our broadcasting policy this week. We see quotas as essential to ensuring that New Zealand's unique cultural identity is preserved and celebrated. It would bring New Zealand into line with the many other western countries that have recognised local content quotas play a key part in protecting and promoting their cultures.

"Labour will also be legislating to provide that parallel imports of CDs , videos, films, books and software will not be permitted until two years after first released. This is in response to the Government's parallel importing law change which has already had a detrimental affect on local creative industries," Judith Tizard said.

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