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New research strengthens case for charter

New research strengthens case for charter and more kiwi television on air

Research released by New Zealand on Air today confirms New Zealanders’ overwhelming support for moves to put more local content on air, says Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey.

According to the Attitudes to NZ On Air Funded TV Programming survey 77 percent of New Zealanders want to see New Zealand programming on television and radio – and 62 percent want to see the amount of New Zealand made television programmes increase.

The survey findings come as Parliament is due to complete debate on the Television New Zealand Bill – which establishes a charter to guide its programming decisions and includes a commitment to boost the broadcasting of local content – and television broadcasters and producers are meeting at the request of Steve Maharey to discuss the adoption of a voluntary television local content quota.

Steve Maharey said he was heartened by the results which confirm New Zealanders very strong support for a greater level a local content on free-to-air television.

“Critics of Television New Zealand’s charter claim that it will lead to worthy-but-dull programming, cut viewer audiences and lead to a drop off in advertising revenue. This research blows the pessimists out of the water.

“The survey confirms that government moves to get more New Zealand made programming on air is well supported by television audiences and they want more of it.

“The research will also be useful to both sides of the industry (programmers and producers) as the government discusses with them options for a voluntary television local content quota. I hope that we can reach agreement before Christmas to develop a formal proposal for an industry-led voluntary quota.

“It is clear from the research that New Zealanders want and expect to see more of themselves on television. The charter and a local content quota are important tools to realise this ambition,” Steve Maharey said.

The Attitudes to NZ On Air Funded TV Programming survey is a follow-up to focus group research commissioned in 2000. Twelve focus groups, representing a range of New Zealanders, were interviewed in seven towns and cities across the country.

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