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Opposition Parties stand together on public broadcasting

Broadcasting Spokesperson

Opposition Parties stand together on public broadcasting

The National Government’s conscious decision to kill off our only public broadcast television channel is an attack on democracy and will diminish our national identity, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran.

“TVNZ7 ends transmission at midnight tonight and at 7am tomorrow the free-to-air station will become a TV One Plus 1 channel after the Government decided not to extend funding.

“The former Labour government provided $79m over six years, $70m of which came from a special dividend from TVNZ, to set up digital public broadcasting channels TVNZ6 and TVNZ7. It was always the intention of the previous Government that they would continue.

“Labour will take a fully-costed policy into the next election to establish a sustainable new public broadcaster.

All Opposition parties and two of the Government’s current coalition partners have expressed strong support for public broadcasting. This is a strong sign of their ability to work together on a critical issue that goes to the heart of national identity and democracy.

“When TVNZ7 gets turned off, New Zealand will be the only country in the OECD, except Mexico, without a public television broadcaster. This is to our national shame

“More than 36,000 Kiwis have signed a petition to keep TVNZ7. Around 3000 people have attended public meetings and rallies around New Zealand in the last six weeks. Almost 1.6 million Kiwis watched TVNZ7 in May, almost 120,000 more than in April. A movement in support of public broadcasting has now been firmly established in New Zealand.

“There are now fewer quality New Zealand television programmes being made and Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss and his Government are indifferent to the widespread pleas for a television channel which provides rich, informative, intelligent and commercial-free content.

“His government has let down New Zealanders,” said Clare Curran.


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