13 Jul 2011

Producer applauds TVNZ charter demise

3:18 pm on 13 July 2011

One of the country's top television and film producers is welcoming the demise of TVNZ's contentious public service programming charter.

The Television New Zealand Amendment Bill night passed its third and final reading in Parliament on Tuesday by 64 votes to 56.

The legislation repeals the charter and replaces it with a series of statutory requirements.

It also makes contestable the pool of taxpayer money that used to be available to TVNZ as the state broadcaster.

South Pacific Pictures' chief executive John Barnett says the charter never delivered public service television.

He says it was badly drafted, did not have anything that was measurable and was so broad it was not possible for any broadcaster to fulfil.

Labour says TVNZ sale possible

The Labour Party says the dumping of the charter clears the way for the state broadcaster to be sold, should the National Party win the election in November.

Broadcasting spokesperson Claire Curran says the removal of the charter ends the need for TVNZ to act in the public interest in any way.

Ms Curran says the Government is has already signalled plans to sell its Avalon studios in Lower Hutt and end New Zealand-based TVNZ 7 channel.