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D-Day for Maori Television


D-Day for Maori Television

Ministers in Helen Clark's cabinet must this morning either go ahead with plans to set up Maori Television to fail, or face making a very embarrassing turnaround, ACT Broadcasting Spokesman Deborah Coddington said.

"This is D-Day for Maori Television. The key Ministers are determined to force Maori Television to broadcast on a second-rate UHF frequency from Broadcast Communications (BCL), the struggling company that used to be a cash-cow for ailing Television New Zealand.

"The Ministers were due to announce their decision when Maori Television Service's Derek Fox - a passionate defender of his channel - spoke out. He wants Cabinet to accept a proposal from CanWest for the Maori Television Service to use Channel 4, which would be a decent platform.

"Mr Fox publicly accused Jim Anderton's Ministry for Economic Development and BCL of telling "a few porkies" about UHF. At the Maori Affairs Select Committee, Mr Fox revealed that tuning and aerials would cost around $450 for every household wanting to watch the channel.

"Today we will find out if Mr Fox has outmanoeuvred the Ministers, or if they will arrogantly plough on with their decision to send the new service the way of Aotearoa Television.

"This channel must be given a decent platform if we have any hope of turning the service into a successful private enterprise with no more drain on taxpayer funds," Miss Coddington said.

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