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We must pursue all options to revitalise te reo - Flavell

"We must pursue all options to revitalise te reo" says Flavell

Te Ururoa Flavell, MP for Waiariki

Education and te reo spokesperson for the Maori Party, Te Ururoa Flavell, is calling for the retention of public service television broadcasting in the lead up to the threatened demise of TVNZ 7.

The channel, available on the Freeview digital platform and Sky TV, will stop broadcasting in June 2012.

"Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo and the New Zealand Maori Council took legal action against the Crown's privatisation of broadcasting based on how the Crown would protect Maori language once private broadcasters took over" said Mr Flavell.

"One of their core messages was that programming of Maori language and culture on 'mainstream' channels was a vital strategy to ensure the language's survival. The Crown has never lived up to its obligations with mainstreaming but closure of TVNZ7 makes matters worse" said Mr Flavell.

"TVNZ7 regularly re-screens TVNZ's Maori news and current affairs programmes, usually in more accessible time-slots. The programmes on the channel are intelligent and innovative; free of charge and free of commercials, allowing low-income New Zealanders access to quality minority programmes they might otherwise have to pay for".

"The Maori Party wants to know what will happen to the' Learning Hub' if and when TVNZ7 ceases telecasting. "Retention of TVNZ7 with the intention of not only retaining the Learning Hub, but extending it to te reo and other languages, is important to keep our options open for the revitalisation of te reo Maori"

"TVNZ7 is the last TV frequency devoted entirely to public good, free-to-air, telecasting -and the Learning Hub is a particular strength to the programming. if If TVNZ7 doesn't want it, then Government should transfer the frequency to Maori TV, with the additional funding attached.

"If New Zealanders want to retain TVNZ7 as a free-to-air public benefit telecaster, and to pursue all options to ensure the survival of te reo; then my strongest advice would be to party vote Maori Party".

Mr Flavell will be today attending the National Kohanga Reo celebration at Turangawaewae (2pm) and the Maori Language Awards, Po whiwhi Tohu mo te reo Maori at the Rotorua Energy Centre (5pm).

Authorised by Te Ururoa Flavell, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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