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Maori Party puts brave face on RWC outcome

Brendon Burns
Broadcasting Spokesperson

19 October 2009 Media Statement

Maori Party puts brave face on outcome to shambolic RWC broadcasting negotiations

The Maori Party is putting a brave face on the three-way bid for Rugby World Cup free-to-air broadcasting rights, but the Maori Television Service’s dream of a major coup has gone, says Labour broadcasting spokesperson Brendon Burns.

Brendon Burns said it was a major embarrassment for National and Prime Minister John Key in particular that the Government had not shown leadership far earlier in terms of planning for coverage of an iconic event.

“If ever there was an occasion for a NZ Inc approach to coverage, this was it, but Ministers have let an unseemly squabble and saga drag on for weeks before finally settling on an outcome,” Brendon Burns said.

“The big loser here has been the Maori Party and MTS. Although MTS is described as the lead provider, this is clearly in name only. For all the big matches and the opening ceremony, coverage will now be shared with other free-to-air broadcasters.

“That is not the outcome the Maori Party wanted. But it is an outcome that National Ministers have forced them to accept.

“What a shame Mr Key did not have the managerial skills to prevent the stand-off of recent weeks occurring.”


ENDS

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