Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

National Claim TVNZ 'Unfairly Hounded' Dr Brash

National Claim TVNZ 'Unfairly Hounded' Dr Brash

Ian Fraser readies himself for a grilling from, among others, National's Georgina Te Heu Heu at last years TVNZ financial review hearing

***********

National's Broadcasting spokesperson Georgina Te Heu Heu has accused TVNZ of having abandoned political neutrality during the election campaign. She told National Radio's Geoff Robinson this morning that after watching TVNZ over the last few months "particularly during the election" she had found "[TVNZ's] political neutrality has, at times, seemed to be absent."

Ms Te Heu Heu's comments followed TVNZ’s chief executive, Ian Fraser’s resignation. Mr Fraser stated in his resignation letter that he had lost confidence in the Board of TVNZ.

“The Board of TVNZ is politically appointed. That makes it even more critical than it would be for a commercial board to stand well back from the day to day running of TVNZ, particularly our News and Current Affairs operation," wrote Mr Fraser on Sunday.

The Board of TVNZ replied swiftly to Mr Fraser's resignation letter pointing out that they had at no time, "interfered or otherwise involved itself in the editorial independence of the TVNZ news and current affairs operation"

Mr Fraser today clarified what he meant by "politically appointed".

"I want to make it clear that when I referred in my statement of resignation to a "politically appointed" Board, I was not alleging that there has been political interference in the editorial content of TVNZ News. I state categorically there has been none," explained Mr Fraser in a press release.

Despite the TVNZ board's unambiguous statement and Mr Fraser's clarification Ms Te Heu Heu was still concerned about possible political interference in TVNZ's affairs.

"I don't think it clears the air of the suggestion that there's political interference at all," she told Scoop this afternoon.

When asked by Scoop 'what in particular about TVNZ's election coverage had troubled her' she replied: "I don't know whether National raised this matter during the campaign but it did seen to us that on a number of issues Dr Brash seemed to be unfairly hounded. I know it's an election and supposedly anything goes but sometimes there was a feeling that whereas [Dr Brash] was going to be totally hounded by TVNZ, often the Prime Minister wasn't."

Ms Te Heu Heu did step back from alleging actual ministerial interference in TVNZ's running however.

Scoop: "Did you think that perhaps the Minister had put in a dictate to TVNZ [requiring them] to hound Dr Brash?"

Hon Georgina Te Heu Heu: "There's no suggestion of that at all."

Ms Te Heu Heu was vague when asked to give specific examples of who exactly at TVNZ had been, in her opinion, biased against Dr Brash telling Scoop there was no reporter or incident "in particular".

"Those are our perceptions - they are not truths - they are not anything other than a perception," Ms Te Heu Heu said when asked to detail specific instances of broadcasting bias.

National's leader Dr Brash said today in a press release that Mr Fraser's allegations "are difficult to dismiss when they concern an organisation appointed by Labour and including former Labour Cabinet Minister and current Labour Party fundraiser, Dame Ann Hercus."

Prior to the election Dr Brash had attacked journalists who were members of the Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union. Dr Brash's attack on the fourth estate came after a difficult week in which it was revealed he had prior knowledge that the Exclusive Brethren had planned an anti-Labour pamphlet campaign.

TVNZ and a spokesperson for the Minister of Broadcasting (Steve Maharey) told Scoop there would be no further comment today on either Mr Fraser's resignation or National's attacks on TVNZ's news and current affairs.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Binoy Kampmark: Predictable Monstrosities: Priti Patel Approves Assange’s Extradition
The only shock about the UK Home Secretary’s decision regarding Julian Assange was that it did not come sooner. In April, Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring expressed the view that he was “duty-bound” to send the case to Priti Patel to decide on whether to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 grafted from the US Espionage Act of 1917... More>>

Digitl: Are we happy living in Handy's Age of Unreason?
In 1989 Charles Handy wrote The Age of Unreason. It's a book that looked forward to a time where telecommuting would be an everyday reality. We live in that world today, although we use the term working from home. The book contains other predictions that were on the money... More>>


Reactionary Succession: Peter Dutton, Australia’s New Opposition Leader
The devastation wrought on Australia’s Coalition government on May 21 by the electorate had a stunning, cleansing effect. Previously inconceivable scenarios were played out in safe, Liberal-held seats that had, for decades, seen few, if any challenges, from an alternative political force. But the survival of one figure would have proved troubling, not only to the new Labor government, but to many Liberal colleagues lamenting the ruins. The pugilists and head knockers, however, would have felt some relief. Amidst the bloodletting, hope... More>>


Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>




The Conversation: Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn't the answer

As New Zealand considers the removal of the goods and services tax (GST) from food to reduce costs for low income households, advocates need to consider the impact cheap food has on the environment and whether there are better options to help struggling families... More>>