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TV3's decision censors Progressive Party

5 August 2005

Grant Gillon, Progressive Party President

TV3's decision censors party committed to action on alcohol

TV3's decision to exclude Progressive from participating in its partial parliamentary parties' Leadership Debate next week denies viewers an opportunity to hear Jim Anderton outline his party's case for raising the alcohol purchasing age to 20 years, says Progressive President Grant Gillon.

"TV3, a unit of a North American company called CanWest, has decided to move away from being an impartial reporter of Parliament and its parties to becoming, instead, an active participant in framing the terms of political debate in New Zealand," Grant Gillon said.

"My canvassing of people in the Northcote electorate where I live tells me that raising the alcohol purchasing age, and instilling more social responsibility in the liquor advertising and marketing industry, are two issues that an overwhelming majority of parents want to see action on by politicians," Grant Gillon said.

"Parliament made a mistake lowering the drinking age in 1999, and Progressive is the party in the current Parliament that has introduced legislation to fix the 1999 public health mistake.

"TV3 is denying our party leader, Jim Anderton, the opportunity to question Don Brash, Rodney Hide and Jeanette Fitzsimons on why they all tried to kill the Progressive Party's Alcohol Harm Reduction Bill from even proceeding to select committee where all New Zealanders can have their say," Grant Gillon said.

Progressive MP Matt Robson's Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill proposes to raise the alcohol purchasing age, strengthen provisions relating to the supply of liquor to minors, provide a restriction on broadcast liquor advertising before 10pm and to extend the jurisdiction of the Broadcasting Standards Authority to include broadcast liquor advertising issues.

The Bill is currently before the Law and Order Select Committee in spite of opposition from the leaders of National, ACT and the Greens.

ENDS

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