Media Release: From The Anti-TV Licence Campaign Press Conference
Held at Quay West Hotel Auckland
Tuesday 7th November 2000
ANTI-TV LICENCE CAMPAIGN CRUSADERS CELEBRATE VICTORY WITH BOOK
The group that successfully campaigned for the abolition of the broadcasting tax this year says its push to make
Governments and bureaucrats accountable to the New Zealand people is only just beginning.
Founding members of the Anti TV Licence Campaign gathered in Auckland today at the launch of Beating Big Brother, a book
documenting the process of getting the Broadcasting Fee abolished on June 30th this year – a book that may become a
blueprint for similar “people power” moves against bad legislation.
The tax was abolished not because the group won in court, but because a frail 78 year old pensioner managed to convince
a hundred thousand fellow New Zealanders that they shouldn’t pay the tax.
Speaking at today’s celebration of his victory, that pensioner, Ned Haliburton said “we were a small band of dedicated
idealists with a three year campaign of civil resistance, that peacefully brought about the scrapping of what we
considered to be an immoral and unfair tax.
“This was a significant victory for a group of people who didn’t say what can one person do?”
Ned Haliburton said “the battle is not yet over, following the Anti-TV Licence Campaign groups decision on the 29th
September to file proceedings against NZ ON Air in the High Court in Wellington asking the Court to “determine whether
the broadcasting fee is a tax and the legality of applying GST to this tax’, and, “further seeks a ruling on whether NZ
On Air is exercising its statutory powers correctly in relation to the recovery of the broadcasting fee”.
Also at the celebration was best-selling author and investigative journalist Ian Wishart, who was there to launch his
latest book Beating Big Brother which is based on the crusade, behind the Anti-TV Campaign.
Ian Wishart said “the book highlights a watershed in NZ constitutional development - the ability of a minority of people
to effect change by abolishing a tax.
“Around the world there is growing resistance to the powers that Governments and bureaucracies have taken for
themselves, and the struggle outlined in Beating Big Brother is effectively a blueprint on how to do it.”
“New Zealanders left shellshocked by fifteen years of rapid change are beginning to find their muscle again, and this
protest is likely to be a taste of things to come.”
Finally, he said “the book tells the story behind the crusade of a tax being abolished for the first time in New
It is a tribute to the 300 freedom fighters who appeared in Court and those 100,000+ people who chose not to pay this
tax and, lastly, it is a celebration with the death of “Eric the Goldfish”, the symbol of NZ On Air.
For further comment:
Ian Wishart Ph 09-373-3676 email… firstname.lastname@example.org
Ned Haliburton Ph 09-426-5122
Momentus Public Relations Ltd
Po Box 36321
Mobile 025- 226-9409