15 May 2011

TVNZ commercialised long ago - minister

12:01 pm on 15 May 2011

Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman says claims that a bill before Parliament will commercialise Television New Zealand are unrealistic, as TVNZ has long ceased to be a public broadcaster.

The Television New Zealand Amendment Bill repeals the company's charter and replaces it with a series of statutory requirements.

It also makes contestable the funds that used to be available to TVNZ as the public broadcaster.

Labour and the Greens argue that the bill will hasten TVNZ's demise as a public broadcaster, to the detriment of the viewing public.

But Dr Coleman says TVNZ is effectively a commercial broadcaster now, and the legislation just makes that clear.