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Statement from TVNZ Head of News

20 March 2008

Statement from TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs

TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs, Anthony Flannery, has responded to new restrictions on media access to parliament.

Today the Speaker of the House, Hon Margaret Wilson, gave notice of her intention to amend the rules relating to filming and photography by removing the standing approval for filming in the corridors outside select committee rooms.

In a letter to Vernon Small, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, Ms Wilson stated that from 1 April 2008, interviewing in the corridors will once again require the Speaker's permission. The ruling comes after television coverage of the Speaker's delegation 2008.

Anthony Flannery said "ONE News respects the institution of Parliament and it is from that position of respect that we vigorously pursue stories in the public interest."

"It is a House of Representatives which requires MPs to be accountable to the public, via the media, for their actions," he said.

"Any moves to restrict the access of ONE News, or any other media, from covering Parliament, is a restriction on media freedom and democracy in New Zealand and should be strongly opposed.

"ONE News will be discussing this issue of media freedom with other media organisations and the political party leaders."


ends

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