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TVNZ Rejects Complaint

26 August 2008

TVNZ Rejects Complaint

Television New Zealand has today rejected a complaint by Parliament's Speaker about ONE News filming in the House.

Speaker Margaret Wilson has complained to TVNZ's Head of News and Current Affairs about an item broadcast on ONE News on 5 August showing an MP looking at a newspaper clipping while in the debating chamber.

In her complaint, Ms Wilson says the filming "shows deliberate and wilful flouting of the rules" about filming in Parliament.

But TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs Anthony Flannery said today that the MP concerned had withdrawn their complaint and that there had been a number of other news items throughout the year which contained material that technically could be construed as also being outside the rules that had drawn no complaints.

"The public has a right to see how their elected representatives behave and perform in Parliament, warts and all," Mr Flannery said.

"MPs have and often use all sorts of items and props in the debating chamber. Anyone sitting in the public galleries can see that, so why can't other members of the public see that via television?

"Earlier in the year all the television broadcasters agreed not to abide by some of the new rules governing television coverage of the House. TVNZ still stands by that stance."

ENDS

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