OPTIONS STILL WIDE OPEN FOR TVNZ

  • Jenny Shipley
State Owned Enterprises

The Minister for State Owned Enterprises, the Hon Jenny Shipley, and the Minister of Communications, the Hon Maurice Williamson, say it will be business as usual for TVNZ , while consideration is given to implementing the Coalition Government's Agreement on broadcasting.

The Coalition Agreement on broadcasting, signed and released in December, sets out a work programme which includes a review of a number of aspects of TVNZ's operations, including:

consideration of reduced advertising on TV1.
consideration of private sector management of TV2
monitoring the financial performance of regional television
The Coalition Agreement also sets a goal of promoting and protecting the Maori language.

The Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Jenny Shipley, says the Coalition Agreement reflects a growing public sentiment in favour of balancing commercial requirements with quality and values.

Mrs Shipley and Mr Williamson say the Government is only just beginning the process of considering the issues raised.

The Ministers say all options are still open.

Mrs Shipley and Mr Williamson say they are aware there is a lot of interest in the future shape of TVNZ, from the public as well as within the company. But the Ministers say those who have an interest should keep an open mind, and not pre-judge the outcome of the government's deliberations. Interested parties will be consulted before final decisions are taken.

Mrs Shipley and Mr Williamson say the issues will be discussed with other Ministers and MPs, from both National and New Zealand First, including the Minister of Maori Affairs and the Treasury Ministers.

The Ministers will also be taking into consideration advice from a broad range of interests, including the board of Television New Zealand and government officials.

Mrs Shipley, as Minister for State Owned Enterprises, says she expects TVNZ to continue to operate as a competitive player in the commercial market. She says where the government requires SOE's to meet non-commercial objectives, then that is achieved through appropriate agreements with the board.

Mrs Shipley and Mr Williamson are aiming to develop the options over the next six months, and hope to make the Government's plans for broadcasting public by July or August.