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Call For Fair Television Electoral Coverage

Tue, 28 Sep 2004

Call For Fair Television Electoral Coverage

The front runner in the Wellington Mayoral race has called on Television New Zealand to stop showing bias in its electoral coverage.

Rob Goulden, whose informal surveys show that in Wellington he is tracking ahead of incumbent Kerry Prendergast, says from TVNZ’s coverage one would think the only part of the country where there is a contest is Auckland.

"When TVNZ shifted its head office to Auckland they gave the country an assurance that regional coverage would not suffer but as far as electoral coverage goes this is certainly not the case.

"The Holmes Show has had two live debates with the Auckland candidate and then this morning Good Morning had a third debate with the Auckland candidates."

Mr Goulden says the clear message to be taken out of TVNZ’s coverage is that appalling campaigning behavoiur by candidates is the way to attract attention.

"Maybe is I started abusing Kerry and issuing defamation writs the Wellington issues would also gain attention."

Mr Goulden says there are no shortage of real election issues in Wellington of equal importance and interest to the issues in Auckland but TVNZ seems to think that personality politics is all that people are interested in.

"Down here we also have major infra-structural issues and we have a huge issue over policing.

"In Auckland Mayor John Banks is claiming success in attracting additional police to his city. Well here in Wellington police numbers are down by more than 40% yet our Mayor has done nothing. It’s a scandal but TVNZ just doesn’t seem interested in such things.

"Maybe this is because all the news decision makers from Ian Fraser and Bill Ralston down now live in Auckland and they are only interested in their nest and their rates. Well I can tell them the world doesn’t stop at the Bombay Hills are they should stop showing Auckland bias."

ENDS

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