27 Oct 2008

Labour plans Pacific television channel

8:37 pm on 27 October 2008

The Labour Party says it would establish a Pacific Islands television channel to ensure Pasifika perspectives, culture and languages are reflected on air.

The idea is part of Labour's Pacific Islands Affairs policy released in Auckland on Monday 27 October.

The details are yet to be worked through.

Labour leader Helen Clark says New Zealand On Air would determine the most cost effective way of launching the channel, which could be a free-to-air digital station.

She says New Zealand has the largest Pacific Islands population in the world, and so for Pasifika culture to flourish, it must flourish in New Zealand.

Miss Clark says she expects the channel would be a mix of English and Pacific languages, like the Pacific radio station Nui FM.

Labour's Pacific Affairs spokesperson Luamanuvao Winnie Laban says the Pacific community is hugely excited by the idea.

She says Pacific identity is central to New Zealand's identity and enjoyed by both Pasifika and Palangi people.