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TVNZ must explain coup threat coverage

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party State Owned Enterprises Spokesman

7 December 2006

TVNZ must explain coup threat coverage

National Party State Owned Enterprises spokesman Gerry Brownlee is calling on TVNZ to explain why a broadcaster funded by the Kiwi taxpayer gave Fiji's coup leader the opportunity to deliver his threats to the world.

"The question that TVNZ must answer is was this a legitimate media conference, or were they acting under the instruction of Frank Bainimarama. Be it inadvertent or not, the New Zealand public broadcaster has become a tool of the coup leader."

Mr Brownlee says he's not satisfied with the excuses provided by Michael Cullen in Parliament today.

"Dr Cullen refused to express an opinion as to whether this was an error of judgment. I for one don't want to see TVNZ becoming the Al Jazeera of the South Pacific, and the Government must seek answers."

Mr Brownlee says taxpayers will be disappointed to learn that their taxes helped the Commodore with his illegal agenda.

"This is not a question about whether the Commodore's threats were news. They were. This is a question about whether, without TVNZ's satellite assistance, the Commodore would have been as effective in his campaign of fear."

ENDS

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