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Robust screen industry essential to fulfil Charter

10 November 2003 Media Statement

Robust screen production industry essential to fulfil Charter

A strong, independent screen production industry is essential to realise the potential of Television New Zealand’s charter, says Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey.

The government’s response to the Screen Production Industry Taskforce was released today. Television is the major medium for which the industry produces screen production. The Taskforce report contained criticism of the way Television New Zealand, the largest commissioner of television programming, worked with the independent screen production industry. Since the release of the Taskforce report TVNZ has put considerable effort in to improving these relationships, including by the development of formal protocols and specific commitments in the company’s Statement of Intent.

Steve Maharey said the independent screen production industry has an assured place now that TVNZ’s Charter is in place.

“TVNZ’s Charter obliges the nation’s leading television broadcaster to make more space on air to showcase New Zealanders and their diverse interests. It also contains an unambiguous commitment to support the independent New Zealand film and television industry.

“It is essential for this partnership to be strong if TVNZ is to achieve its objective of increasing the diversity of its lineup, while maintaining commercial viability. As other charter-type broadcasters have found around the world, for example Britain’s Channel Four, edgy programming which pushes the boudaries is often produced by the independent sector.

“TVNZ has agreed with the government through its 2003-2004 Statement of Intent that it intends significantly improving its relationship with the independent sector.

“The television production industry is already a significant export income earner for New Zealand. Building on this achievement requires a secure and creative home base which the nation’s public service television broadcaster is determined to ensure,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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