Govt airs real views on public broadcasting

An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says.

“National today admitted it doesn’t have a view on who should produce Television New Zealand content for Maori and Pacific audiences. That shows a Government that has no public broadcasting spine.

“National is content to let TVNZ outsource current affairs programmes because it says it has done it with other programmes.

“Certainly programmes such as Master Chef, My Kitchen Rules and Mitre 10 Dream Home are popular with some audiences but they are in a completely different league to long-running current affairs shows like Waka Huia, Tagata Pasifika and Marae Investigates.

“Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams washed her hands of the outsourcing issue during question time in the House today.

“That will be a big concern for our Maori and Pacific communities. They should not be used by TVNZ as an experiment to trial different funding or production models.

“That the Government doesn’t have a view on this issue exposes its intention - it wants TVNZ to simply make money and damn the viewers.

“Television New Zealand is owned by Kiwis. It should be acting as a broadcaster in the interests of Kiwi viewers,” Kris Faafoi said.