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Labour MP and Minister for Broadcasting Steve Maharey threatens Radio New Zealand.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on April 4, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Labour MP and Minister for Broadcasting Steve Maharey threatens Radio New Zealand.
Wednesday, 04.04.2007, 08:02am (GMT12)

Maharey wants special treatment over complaint

Dr Jonathan Coleman MP
National Party Broadcasting Spokesman

3 April 2007

Maharey wants special treatment over complaint

National Party Broadcasting spokesman Jonathan Coleman is urging Steve Maharey to clarify an off-the-record comment to state radio that he planned to complain directly to the Government-appointed board about the way he had been treated in an interview.

“No member of the public, nor the Opposition for that matter, would expect their complaint to be put in front of the board. There is a proper process in place which he should follow.”

Dr Coleman says that as Broadcasting Minister, Steve Maharey must realise his threat to Radio New Zealand could be seen as stand-over tactics designed to influence the independence of editorial decision-making.

“So this is what it has come to? Senior Labour Ministers threatening state broadcasters because they don’t like the coverage they’re getting. It is inappropriate and inexcusable.”

Dr Coleman is referring to reports saying Mr Maharey complained to a Morning Report producer and threatened to ring the Radio New Zealand board over a comment made on the programme.

“If the Minister is that thin-skinned, he should complain through the Broadcasting Standards Authority, rather than threaten to telephone Government-appointed Radio New Zealand board members.

“Why does he think he’s entitled to circumvent the normal process? He presumably supports the work of the BSA, and if he has a problem he should make a formal complaint, not threaten radio producers.

“Even better, he could just harden up and focus on fixing the mess he’s responsible for in broadcasting. With declining advertising revenues at TVNZ and major question marks over Labour’s ability to successfully implement digital TV, there are plenty of more important things the public expect him to be focussing on.”

ENDS

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