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Christchurch radio cuts bad omen for Wellington

Media Statement
Thursday, 9 December 2009

Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu
Leader of UnitedFuture

Dunne: Christchurch radio cuts bad omen for Wellington

Newstalk ZB’s decision today to strip Christchurch of “local” radio by getting rid of four Canterbury broadcasters should have Wellingtonians concerned that they are next “for the national network treatment”, UnitedFuture leader and Ohariu MP Peter Dunne today.

“The writing seems to be on the wall. Both Christchurch and Wellington are places that very much have their own cultures and their own feel – but Christchurch is now going to get ‘one size fits all’ radio, and you would have to fear that Wellington will be next,” Mr Dunne said.

“Newstalk ZB may well spin such changes as not impacting on local communities, but the reality is that they are automatically going to be offering a lesser service to the people of Christchurch.

“This decision breaks down local news, local understanding and just the local feel. No amount of spin can hide that. That is a loss.”

“It is hard to think that they are not probably already looking at similar moves in Wellington,” he said.

One of the four Christchurch broadcasters whose positions were disestablished today was renowned broadcaster John Dunne, Mr Dunne’s brother.

ENDS

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