The real New Zealand does have talent

Monday 17 September 2012, 7:17PM
By Labour Party

While New Zealanders missed out on watching live coverage of our champion Paralympic athletes, New Zealand on Air has again chosen to use taxpayer funding to support ‘reality’ TV, says Clare Curran, Labour’s spokesperson for Broadcasting.

Her comments follow Today’s announcement that NZ on Air will provide TV3 with $1.6 million to support the production of X-Factor.

“Is reality TV of this sort really the best use of taxpayer money?  You would think that live paralymic sport would have been worthy reality TV, but we didn’t see much of that on our screens,” Clare Curran said.

“Reality programmes like X-Factor and New Zealand’s Got Talent are proven to draw a large audience and as such should be commercially funded.

“Making the taxpayer subsidise a commercially attractive programme based on a franchised concept is not an appropriate use of funding. This money is granted to NZ on Air to develop New Zealand’s culture and identity.

“NZ on Air  is clearly bowing to pressure from the two major commercial networks to fund “commercially attractive” programme content at the expensive of its many other public service  broadcasting responsibilities.

There are plenty of other original New Zealand arts, entertainment, prime-time projects begging for NZ on Air funding - and they should be given priority.

“New Zealander’s aren’t copycats. We take pride in our unique humour, our unique culture and our No.8 wire ideas. Shows like this hardly show us what we’re made of.

“With the recent demise of our only public broadcaster NZ on Air needs more than ever to demonstrate support for our local industry and real local talent,” Clare Curran said.