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Who will take the rap for slump in TVNZ dividend?

Hon Georgina te Heuheu MP National Party Broadcasting Spokeswoman

14 November 2005

Who will take the rap for slump in TVNZ dividend?

National Party Broadcasting spokeswoman Georgina te Heuheu says the board should be held accountable for the expected slump in TVNZ's return to the taxpayer.

"Will the forecast drop in the dividend be reflected in the pay-packets of the board?"

Mrs te Heuheu has written to the Commerce Select Committee seeking an inquiry into TVNZ, following the Ian Fraser and Susan Wood fiascos, the slump in ratings and the likely effect on advertising and revenue.

"Most worrying for taxpayers is that the much-reduced dividend being announced this week is an historical snap-shot, which doesn't take into account the most recent problems at TVNZ.

"Clearly, the financial situation is not helped by shareholding Ministers who praise the rival news operation and condemn the broadcaster that they are responsible for.

"With each statement they further undermine the credibility and the value of an important taxpayer asset, and they continue to offer their confidence to a board that's overseen the whole mess."

The Commerce Select Committee will vote on whether to hold an inquiry when it meets this Thursday.

"Michael Cullen and Steve Maharey are in denial. They resist an inquiry because they know it will expose serious shortcomings in the management, culture and the direction of the state-funded broadcaster," says Mrs te Heuheu.

ENDS

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