The ComCom should be able to put behavioural conditions on mergers
Posted 31st Aug 2016
Filed under: Broadcasting
This piece was originally published on 24 August on National Business Review.

It might not be headline news but the major shake-ups of our media environment threaten a seismic shift in the New Zealand media landscape. Do we care? Should we care? Yes, we should.

The proposed mergers of NZME and Fairfax, and of Sky TV and Vodafone are being considered as the remnants of public interest media (aka Radio NZ and a declining number of TV programmes funded by NZ on Air) are toughing out eight years of government funding freeze.
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Frostbite for NZ on Air as frozen funding reality hits
Posted 14th Dec 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
NZ on Air’s admission that its budget is under huge pressure will be a concern to New Zealanders already disturbed at the lack of quality local television programmes, says Labour's Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran.

“The National Government’s seven year starvation funding for new public interest television is eating into money available for programmes made by New Zealanders about New Zealanders.
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NZ on Air lets current affairs television die
Posted 3rd Dec 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
The loss of more quality current affairs television shows the New Zealand on Air funding model is broken, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran said today.



“A huge amount of public money is being used to prop up television executives’ expensive, commercial visions which offer nothing new to the public, while Investigative journalism and current affairs shows are axed.
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TVNZ backtracks on chopping news jobs in the South
Posted 2nd Nov 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
TVNZ has finally listened to sense and shelved plans to axe two fulltime frontline news positions from their Dunedin office, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“The planned cuts to a news operation that covered 65,000 square kilometres of the South Island was short sighted. It is unfathomable that they would chop news gathering in an area bigger then Switzerland.
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Māori TV decision a victory for common-sense
Posted 21st Oct 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
Today’s decision by the Māori Television board for the channel to remain in Auckland is a victory for common-sense but raises the question why such a move was ever considered in the first place, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Clearly time and money has been wasted on exploring the proposal to farm Maori Television out to Hamilton and Rotorua – money that could have been spent on television content.
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Labour bill to stop stealth cuts to Radio NZ
Posted 15th Oct 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
Radio New Zealand’s punishing six-year funding freeze would be put to an end by Labour’s bill that matches funding to inflation and population growth and assists the broadcaster’s transition to a multimedia public service network, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“The Radio NZ (Catch-Up Funding) Amendment Bill, which has been placed in the private member’s bill ballot today, provides for an 11 per cent increase based on total inflation and an overall population increase of 6.7 per cent from June 2009 to June 2015.
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TVNZ profits up, regional coverage slashed
Posted 2nd Oct 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
State-owned broadcaster TVNZ’s plan to axe two critical frontline news positions from Dunedin has an immediate negative impact on coverage for the whole of Otago and Southland, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.



“TVNZ is cutting around 10 positions nationwide in a cost-cutting exercise affecting backroom news production and regional news gathering.
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Workers exploited in Māori screen industry
Posted 19th Aug 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
The ugly underbelly of low wages and unsafe working conditions for Maori working in television is a direct result of an exploitative management culture and funding starvation by Government, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Preliminary results from a Ngā Aho Whakaari Māori Screen Guild of Aotearoa survey show two thirds of Maori screen workers in television are working long hours, with low to no pay, in unsafe conditions as expectations of the workforce continue to rise.
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Minister must explain Maori TV interference
Posted 24th Jun 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“Sources have told me that Mr Flavell rebuked staff for signing a petition against Paora Maxwell’s appointment and insisted all complaints about the CEO must be made through him, in a speech made in May 2014 welcoming Mr Maxwell to the organisation.
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Māori TV editorial interference scandal deepens
Posted 17th Jun 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
The Maori Development Minister has misled a select committee and appears to have broken the law through editorial interference in Māori Television, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

Labour has released emails between Te Ururoa Flavell’s press secretary and Maori television that show the Minister's press secretary tried to alter the format of a proposed Native Affairs debate on Whanau Ora and attempted to dissuade Māori Television from inviting NZ First to appear on the show.
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Labour calls for assurances on Maori TV editorial independence
Posted 9th Jun 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
The Minister of Maori Affairs must seek immediate assurances from the Chair and CEO of Maori Television that editorial independence at Maori TV has not been compromised, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.



“The shock resignation of prominent and respected reporter Mihingarangi Forbes last week from Maori TV’s Native Affair’s programme has exposed further rifts within the publicly funded broadcaster.
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Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
Posted 28th May 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran.

“A seven year funding squeeze for Radio NZ and NZ on Air, after accounting for inflation and population growth, means public funding of broadcasting is now at an all-time low.
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Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
Posted 22nd May 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of flux. Radio NZ has had its funding frozen since 2008, TVNZ has said it no longer considers itself a public broadcaster.
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Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
Posted 14th Apr 2015
Filed under: Broadcasting
The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s media environment and vital to an informed public.
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Peter Dunne dials H for hypocrisy
Posted 19th Feb 2014
Filed under: Broadcasting
Peter Dunne has made yet another astonishing flip-flop – this time on his support for an inquiry into data breaches, says Labour’s Associate ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Last year Peter Dunne promised to support my private member’s bill, the Electronic Data Safety Bill that would establish a Special Commission of Inquiry into the spate of disastrous data breaches across government.
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Govt distances self from Māori TV appointment
Posted 4th Sep 2013
Filed under: Broadcasting
Bill English is distancing the Government from Māori TV’s looming appointment of a CEO who controversially left his previous executive job at TVNZ, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran said today.

“Bill English today played a straight bat in Parliament in response to questions about whether he believes the Chair of Māori Television, former National MP Georgina Te Heu Heu, has a conflict of interest in her choice of appointment of her close friend Paora Maxwell as MTS CEO.
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Govt inaction plays part in MediaWorks woes
Posted 17th Jun 2013
Filed under: Broadcasting
The Government’s refusal to break the stranglehold of pay-TV company Sky on the media market has contributed to the position MediaWorks finds itself in today, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.



“Instead of throwing a $43 million loan at MediaWorks three years ago to bail them out of a short term sticky situation, the Government should have done what most other countries do and free up the market to enable free to air television to compete with pay-television.
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Murdoch sale opportunity to review broadcasting and video content
Posted 4th Mar 2013
Filed under: Broadcasting
The Government must include video content and broadcasting in its review of the telecommunications industry following News Limited’s decision to sell its stake in Sky Television, Labour’s communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran said.

“Today’s announcement is a clear signal by Rupert Murdoch that Sky’s dominant market position has changed forever with the increase in online video content from sources such as Quickflix, and Netflix.
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New Radio NZ CE must be committed to charter
Posted 17th Jan 2013
Filed under: Broadcasting
The replacement for long-serving Radio New Zealand chief executive Peter Cavanagh must have the same commitment to commercial-free public broadcasting and respect for the station’s charter, says Labour’s broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“The retirement of Peter Cavanagh may be seen as an opportunity by the Government to appoint a new chief executive more amenable to advertising and sponsored content on Radio New Zealand.
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Media must be seen to be free from political interference
Posted 9th Nov 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting


The appointment of Richard Long to the board of TVNZ might look good on paper but his links to the National Party could create the perception of political interference, says Clare Curran.

Richard Long was Chief of Staff in the National Leader’s office to Bill English and Don Brash from 2003-2005.
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Who Owns new Zealand's Got Talent?
Posted 26th Oct 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
New Zealand taxpayers should be aggrieved at news today that a leading contender in New Zealand’s Got Talent has withdrawn because of restrictive performance conditions placed on her by the privately owned company behind the show, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says.

NZ on Air funded New Zealand’s Got Talent to the tune of $1.6 million, despite the programme being a commercial venture.
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The real New Zealand does have talent
Posted 14th Sep 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
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.
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Paralympians and public not served well by commercial broadcasters
Posted 5th Sep 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
The role public broadcasting should be playing, but isn’t, means Kiwis are missing out on some of the year’s best sporting action, Labour’s Broadcasting and Disability Issues spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“The lack of live coverage of events showcasing the enormous talent of our Paralympians is not only a lost opportunity to provide positive role models for the almost one in five New Zealanders with a disability, but also exposes the glaring gap that public television should be serving.
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Government MPs mislead TVNZ7’s supporters
Posted 3rd Sep 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
National MPs on the Commerce Select Committee have misled New Zealanders on the options for saving public broadcaster TVNZ7 in a report released today, Labour’s broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“The Government members of the Commerce Committee have claimed in their majority report that there was never any suggestion that Government funding would continue for TVNZ7 beyond the contracted period.
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Opposition Parties stand together on public broadcasting
Posted 2nd Jul 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
The National Government’s conscious decision to kill off our only public broadcast television channel is an attack on democracy and will diminish our national identity, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran.

“TVNZ7 ends transmission at midnight tonight and at 7am tomorrow the free-to-air station will become a TV One Plus 1 channel after the Government decided not to extend funding.
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Dunne’s crocodile tears simply posturing
Posted 2nd Jul 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
Peter Dunne's criticism of the government’s decision to extend public frequency radio licenses to MediaWorks, at the same time as axing TVNZ7 ring hollow, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Mr Dunne should have flexed his political muscles when he was in a position to save TVNZ7,” Clare Curran said.
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RIP Back Benches
Posted 27th Jun 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says she will tonight join a packed audience to watch the final ever live filming of the Back Benches television show.

“Back Benches has helped to make politics accessible once again. It has brought humour and the perspective of the everyday Kiwi into the realm of Parliament,” says Clare Curran.
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MP urges Dunedin to fight to Save TVNZ 7
Posted 6th Jun 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
Dunedin South MP and Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran is urging Dunedinites to do what they can to support the campaign to Save TVNZ 7 and attend the Dunedin Public Meeting being held tomorrow night, Thursday 7 June from 6-8pm in the Colquhoun Theatre, Dunedin Public Hospital.

"On 30 June, unless the government changes its mind, or is forced to change its mind, TVNZ 7, our commercial free public broadcast TV Channel will be switched off because the National Government doesn’t want to continue funding it," Clare Curran said today.
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Broadcaster can afford TVNZ7: Labour
Posted 8th Apr 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
A Labour private members bill will require TVNZ to fund public broadcasting channel TVNZ7, a measure which would save the channel due to be axed in June, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“TVNZ can afford to fund our only commercial free public broadcasting channel and as our state broadcaster they should be required to do so, Clare Curran said today.
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National’s political interference distorts NZ broadcasting
Posted 18th Jan 2012
Filed under: Broadcasting
Two National Party office holders are implicated in the NZ on Air controversy, suggesting political interference is ‘alive and sick’ at the country’s public broadcasting funding agency, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Suggestions that publicly funded programmes should not be aired during an election campaign reveal serious cracks in our democratic process and must be resisted,” Clare Curran said.
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Dunne rolls over on Public Broadcasting
Posted 6th Dec 2011
Filed under: Broadcasting
United Future’s first fishing expedition as a coalition partner has all the hallmarks of a Monty Python sketch, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson, Clare Curran says.

“Despite all his protestations about being public broadcasting’s saviour, all Peter Dunne has managed to do is get the National Government to agree to maintain current levels of funding for Radio New Zealand and TVNZ.
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Labour to establish new public broadcaster for the digital age
Posted 1st Nov 2011
Filed under: Broadcasting
Kiwis will be asked to help shape a new, non-commercial, modern public broadcaster to be established under a Labour Government.

Announcing Labour’s broadcasting policy today spokesperson Clare Curran said it would bring together elements of non-commercial public broadcasting that already exist, including the statutorily independent functions of TVNZ7 and Radio NZ, to both strengthen and broaden them in the digital environment.
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State broadcaster takes up begging bowl
Posted 11th Aug 2011
Filed under: Broadcasting
The prospect of Radio NZ having to raise money from cake stalls or corporate sponsorship has been signalled with the extraordinary revelation today that it has been registered as a charity, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“The State broadcaster says it only registered its concert network. However Radio New Zealand was apparently registered as a charitable trust with the Charities Commission under the name Radio New Zealand Charitable Trust last month.
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Labour compromise could save Radio One
Posted 7th Jul 2011
Filed under: Broadcasting
Student-owned Dunedin radio station Radio One’s popular broadcasts are on the line as the Act Party continues its battle to gut student associations and force them to cut valuable services to students, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson and MP for Dunedin South Clare Curran.

Radio One is one of many local student stations under threat if departing Act MP Heather Roy’s Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill is passed.
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Public broadcasting should not be undermined by commercial interests
Posted 26th Apr 2011
Filed under: Broadcasting
Radio New Zealand Chair Richard Griffin is considering moves that would begin the process of commercialisation of our state broadcaster, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“Richard Griffin, a former press secretary to Jim Bolger, interviewed on Mediawatch at the weekend, revealed he is open to sponsorship of radio programmes at the state broadcaster even if a law change is needed,” Clare Curran said.
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