Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Maori TV Indecision is Pathetic

Maori TV Indecision is Pathetic

The Cabinet’s failure to make a decision on whether to force the Maori Television Service to use a second-rate frequency reveals a bitter division between ministers, ACT Broadcasting Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

“Is this the same group of people who actually voted for the station to be created? Their hypocrisy is breathtaking – one would have expected them to very quickly pick the best platform, which is clearly CanWest’s TV4, and move on. Yet as a result of their bickering and inaction, the public has been paying for this new channel for months, yet it’s going to be another six months before a single programme is aired.

“Today’s been a tough day for the Prime Minister – generally she is able to stamp on internal Labour conflicts before they reach the media.

“A group of ministers, including Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey – who isn’t even supposed to be involved with Maori Television – want the service to broadcast on a second-rate UHF frequency which only reaches two-in-ten houses. Their only motivation is to get a little extra money in the coffers for Broadcast Communications Ltd, the TVNZ offshoot that owns the frequency.

“Unfortunately for Maharey, Derek Fox has stood up for his channel, and stated how dodgy the frequency is. He wants his station to be given a decent start, and he has publicly fought to be allowed to accept a deal with CanWest where the Maori Television Service would receive the TV4 frequency, and the Government would provide CanWest with radio frequencies. “I can’t imagine that any of the Maori Caucus are particularly enamoured with Maharey’s plan to dump all over the channel.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“That explains the indecision, while the continued stalemate is the result of the prime minister’s loathing of being publicly embarrassed. If Helen Clark wanted to, she could have overruled her Ministers today, and forced a decision. I suspect that she has already made up her mind if she will buy a fight with her Maori Caucus and Derek Fox, or dump on Steve Maharey et al. But the Prime Minister desperately doesn’t want to start this parliamentary session in the middle of an internal stoush. So she has told Ministers to go back to the drawing board, and bought herself some more time to engineer the spin.

“ACT New Zealand never supported the creation of this channel. But now that public money has already been pumped into it, the service should be given every opportunity to become a successful private enterprise, with no more drain on taxpayer funds. The Labour Cabinet’s indecision is pathetic, and the harm they are doing is breathtakingly hypocritical,” Miss Coddington said.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Flaws In Anti-gang Laws

Google “Christopher Luxon“ and “mojo” and you get nearly 60,000 matching responses. Over the past 18 months – here and here and again, here – Luxon has claimed that New Zealanders have either lost their mojo and/or are in the process of re-finding it. With mojo in hand, New Zealanders will once more become a nation of over-achievers, blessed with the feisty Kiwi can-do spirit of yore.

But here’s the thing. According to Luxon, we’re naturally bold, inventive and self-reliant. Yet according to him, we’re also “wet, whiny and inward-looking”...


Government: GPS 2024: Over $20 Billion To Get Transport Back On Track
Transport Minister Simeon Brown has released the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport, outlining the Coalition Government’s plan to build and maintain a transport system that enables people to get to where they need to go quickly and safely... More


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.