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ACT requests fairer broadcasting allocation

The ACT Party, which the polls now say is the third party and rising rapidly, is requesting a review of the fairness of the broadcasting allocations.

ACT Leader Richard Prebble has written to TVNZ reminding them of their insistence that the ACT Party last election be treated in the Leaders' Debates as a minor party.

"Last election TVNZ excluded ACT on the basis that we had not broken 6% in their polls. On that basis, the Alliance which is at 4.5%, should not be included on the Holmes Show Leaders' Debate this year, and Mr Anderton should have to debate with the other minor parties like Mauri Pacific the Greens and the Christian Heritage party. All those parties have MPs, and like the Alliance, no public support.

"ACT is also instructing our lawyers to raise the matter with the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission allocates free TV and broadcasting time and the state funding that goes with it.

"The Alliance has been allocated a third more money than the ACT Party and more money than NZ First, even though the polls show the Alliance is now the 5th party.

"In ACT's view the Alliance broadcasting time and funding should be adjusted to correspond to their dwindling public support. We are considering taking the Commission to court about this matter.

"ACT also believes there is a case to argue that as Labour and the Alliance are campaigning as a coalition, they should be sharing their broadcasting time and allocation.

"If the Alliance is withdrawing candidates in favour of Labour their funding should definitely be adjusted. The Commission has already stripped money from minor parties that have failed to demonstrate that they have 500 members, and they will remove funding from other parties if they cannot put up a full complement of candidates. On this basis the Alliance funding should certainly be reduced by at least 30%."

ends

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