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TVNZ 7, Victoria Partner For Election Interviews

TVNZ 7 And Victoria University Of Wellington Partner For Election Interviews

Voters will get a closer look at our leading politicians when TVNZ 7 and Victoria University team up for long-form pre-election interviews, beginning next month.

Election 08: Leaders on 7, hosted by Shane Taurima, is a series of four one-hour programmes, filmed in Parliament's historic Legislative Chamber before a small audience including Victoria University political science students.

TVNZ General Manager of Digital Services Eric Kearley says the series is intended to bring viewers a fresh perspective on New Zealand's potential leaders.

"This is something new for New Zealand television – long-form interviews, in-depth, one-on-one, and without advertising breaks. That's long enough to get beyond the headlines and sound bites and get an insight into what really drives our political leaders," he said.

Mr Kearley said Election 08: Leaders on 7 was in keeping with TVNZ 7's philosophy of producing factual television that reflects the diversity of New Zealand's voices, and offers perspectives not financially viable on commercial channels.

He said TVNZ 7's partnership with Victoria University would give the political series fresh insights.

"Victoria University's political science staff have a justified reputation for turning out some of New Zealand's sharpest leaders and thinkers. Their insights into what drives the politicians, and what's important to New Zealand voters will make a significant contribution to the question line," he said.

Victoria University Professor of Political Science, Nigel Roberts said the university was thrilled to be involved in the partnership with TVNZ 7 because informing New Zealand voters was an important part of the democratic process.

"Election 08: Leaders on 7 is an opportunity for New Zealanders to hear from our potential leaders in an unhurried and thoughtful environment. It will be a valuable resource to help voters decide who they want leading the country for the next three years."

Election 08: Leaders on 7 will be broadcast on TVNZ 7 over four consecutive Thursdays at 9.10pm from September 18, with encore screenings of each programme the following Fridays and Saturdays.

About Shane Taurima

Shane Taurima is an experienced political reporter and is currently the political correspondent for TVNZ's Te Karere and Marae. He spent eight years in the parliamentary press gallery as the political editor for Ruia Mai national Maori news and in 2006 he was a finalist in the Qantas Media Awards for Best News or Current Affairs Presenter for Marae's post-election special.


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