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TVNZ Denies Destiny New Zealand Leaders Debate



17 August 2005

TVNZ Denies Destiny New Zealand Leaders Debate

TVNZ has officially declined Destiny New Zealand's request to be included in the forthcoming 'Leader's Debates' on TV1.

Party President Stephen Brown says while they're disappointed, the party is considering its options.

"TVNZ is excluding Destiny New Zealand based on our lack of representation in Parliament. This argument is no longer valid given that Parliament is dissolved. It's also retrospective and ignores the fundamental basis of a democratic election, which is to elect the next government," says Mr Brown.

Destiny New Zealand put its case forward on the basis that:

* It is standing (42) candidates in electorates nationwide from Kaitaia to Dunedin.

* The party is one of only three parties standing candidates in all seven Maori seats, which increases its ability to capture votes from both the Maori and the general electoral roles.

* Recent polls show the party consistently polling just under or equal to other minor parties which were in government including Jim Anderton's Progressive Party. Given the margin of error recorded against these polls, Destiny NZ's support may be around the five percent threshold.

This percentage figure is likely to increase given the historic polling trend of minor parties rising as the election date draws nearer.

* The party has a broad range of policies specific to the national constituency.

Mr Brown says the party is reluctant to pursue court action but will use the next 24 hours to digest TVNZ's response before a final decision is made.

"We're not asking for special treatment, just fairness and consistency," he added.


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