INDEPENDENT NEWS

TVNZ Legislation Creates More Red Tape

Published: Thu 20 Dec 2001 12:16 AM
Television New Zealand legislation before Parliament will lead to more bureaucracy and red tape with no benefits for taxpayers, ACT Broadcasting Spokesman MP Penny Webster said today.
"The creation of three separate boards will mean slower decisions, and three times more directors' fees.
"What will happen when boards disagree with each other? In such a fast-paced industry, delay and gridlock could be terminal. The lower boards are likely to end up being lame ducks, with the TVNZ Group Board vetting decisions that are against the Charter, or politically incorrect.
"Transmission Holdings' ability to be a profitable business is already hindered by the Charter. But now, the TVNZ Group board will be able to veto any profitable business decisions if they conflict with another arm of the broadcaster.
"The transmission arm of TVNZ should have been separated. Its proven ability to turn a decent profit is being severely restricted. Obviously, Charter restrictions are going to win over the taxpayer's interest to save money.
"Of great concern is the wide ability of shareholding Ministers to order the removal of any statements in annual reports. This means that the true impact of the Charter and conflicts of interest arising from this legislation can effectively be hushed up.
"Once the Charter takes effect, the transmission arm will be required to prop up TVNZ, which will experience a massive loss of income," Mrs Webster said.
Ends

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