10 Dec 2009

Maori programmes 'should be safe' post-charter

10:10 pm on 10 December 2009

Maori programmes on Television New Zealand should be safe despite the demise of the public service charter, according to a former senior Maori manager with the state broadcaster.

The Broadcasting Minister has introduced a bill repealing the charter, which was introduced by Labour in 2002.

Former kaihautu Hone Edwards believes the existing Maori line-up will remain in off-peak time-slots, where the reach of TV1 is so great that even in off-peak times it draws more viewers than prime-time shows on Maori Television.

Mr Edwards told Waatea News that most Maori programmes are funded by New Zealand on Air and Te Mangai Paaho, rather than through the charter, and he believes TVNZ will be prepared to leave the level of core programming as it is.

He says minority or niche progammes not specifically mentioned in the bill are more vulnerable, such as programmes for Pacific, Asian or disabled peoples.