Labour's Sunken Treasurer Presents?Communications
It has the whimsy of Disney and the budget of Titanic, is how the Acting Minister of Communications Hon John Luxton described Labour's Creative Industries White Paper.
"It is important that our New Zealand musicians and artists get a fair go. Currently the different media do actually have quite high local content - 21% across all TV 1,2&3 and often over 20% on radio.
But this morning, broadcasters have started to voice real concerns over a Labour Party policy that would enforce production and on-air quotas on a broadcasting system that is already open, competitive and dynamic," the Minister said.
"Any changes have to be paid for. This policy will undoubtedly lead to increased costs which will have to be met either by broadcasters, or out of the public broadcasting fee, or by the tax payer.
"Already the Government pumps $86 million through NZ On Air into the broadcasting sector, and the Film Commission added a further $12.3 million in the last financial year to the creative industries area.
"New Zealand music will receive in the current financial year $2.2 million.
"Most New Zealanders see this as enough. NZ On Air research has revealed that while New Zealanders want to see more local production they would be reluctant to pay for it.
"Labour's proposed quota system is a non starter. It would be costly and difficult to administer and would rail against New Zealand's international treaty commitments already made under the General Agreement on Trade and Services.
"Imagine what would happen under CER. Australian programmes would flood our airwaves, and how many times do we want to watch reruns of Crocodile Dundee so local broadcasters can meet their New Zealand content quota obligations with Australian programmes.
"Labour's Financial spokesperson Dr Cullen must believe the sunken treasure stories about the Mikhail Lermontov, and is planning to make 'The Raising of the Mikhail Lermontov' as Labour's first production," Mr Luxton said