6 Oct 2009

ACT anti World Cup rights for Maori TV

5:15 pm on 6 October 2009

The ACT Party says using public money to boost Maori Television's bid to broadcast the 2011 Rugby World Cup is inappropriate.

Maori Television has called on $3 million of public funding from Te Puni Kokiri to help boost its tender.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says that the spending will have benefits in terms of Maori development.

Prime Minister John Key says it's incumbent on Te Puni Kokiri, and the minister, to demonstrate that this is a good use of taxpayer funds.

But ACT leader Rodney Hide says it's just not appropriate. He says the Rugby World Cup should be about promoting all of New Zealand, not just Maori groups - and not using taxpayer money to do it

The Labour Party has also questioned Maori Television's bid, saying it has poor coverage compared to TVNZ and TV3 and has skewed the bidding process by using the promise of public money.

The general manager of Rugby World Cup Ltd, which holds the 2011 television broadcasting rights, says a decision on the rights will be made next Sunday.