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Freedom Of The Press Is Owning One

30 July 2005

Freedom Of The Press Is Owning One

"Media coverage of the coming elections, incestuously focused on the media's own polling, excludes significant and serious political views unless they come from the current crop of Parliamentary parties", said Paul Piesse, co-leader of the Alliance Party today.

"The exception to that is reportage of the 'shock - horror' entertainment value of political/religious bigots (as per the Destiny Church Party) or outright facists (as per the National Front)", he said.

Mr Piesse said that elements of the print media would not report the views of the Alliance Party, for example, because it is not currently represented in Parliament.

"This is a self-fulfilling argument", he said. "They don't report us, so people don't know what our policies are - or even that we exist - so they don't vote for us, so we are not elected to Parliament, so the media has an excuse for not reporting us..."

Mr Piesse was commenting on the fact that major media outlets had totally ignored regular Alliance press releases focusing on the key issues of rising power prices (and the lack of accountability to the public of the electricity industry) and the urgent need for a decent liveable wage.

"The Alliance is a registered political party", he said. "It has polled as high as 20% in the past, and as New Zealand's left party was in coalition with the main centrist party, Labour, in the previous Parliament"

Mr Piesse said that "a genuine democracy requires the media to place a spectrum of views before New Zealanders. Ignoring the Alliance doesn't mean that it will go away. It will continue to work for a New Zealand based on the socialist principles of democracy, equality and social ownership and control", he said.


PAY IN THE HOSPITAL SECTOR STILL NOT SORTED

"New Zealanders would be wrong to think that after the well deserved and long overdue pay settlement for our public hospital nurses, the pay argument in that sector was sorted", said Paul Piesse, co-leader of the Alliance Party today.

"On the contrary", he said, "all those workers upon whom the medical and nursing staff depend to be able to function effectively have still been left at the bottom of the heap. Perhaps they are not so glamorous", he said.

Mr Piesse said that this includes all the clerical and records staff, orderlies and numerous others serving in range of specialist and maintenance roles.

"Fairness requires a substantial adjustment for them, too", he said. "It is utterly outrageous that major public bodies pay people at or only just above the statutory minimum wage".

"All health workers should have received the nurses 30%", Mr Piesse said. "And if those who have been denied it because of Government underfunding determine to take action to advance their claim, then the Alliance Party will support them totally".

ENDS

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