TVNZ’s Excludes Winston Peters from Leaders’ Debate - Bias?

Published: Thu 27 Oct 2011 10:09 AM
Richard Prosser NZ First Candidate for Waimakariri Member NZ First Board of Directors
TVNZ’s Exclusion of Winston Peters from Leaders’ Debate:
Personal bias or political interference?   New Zealand First candidate Richard Prosser is asking why TVNZ has chosen to exclude NZ First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters from it’s Leaders’ Debate to be aired on the Q program on Sunday 30th October.
Mr Prosser says that TVNZ’s explanation doesn’t stack up. “They claim they are restricting participation to the Leaders of those Parties who have MPs in Parliament or who poll above 3% in two stated TV One – Colmar Brunton polls, which they claim to be “robust and scientific”” Mr Prosser said.
“Yet the same Colmar Brunton poll before the 2008 election showed NZ First on just 2% support before the Party went on to capture fully twice that percentage of the vote, at 4.07%, just three days later. The poll they claim as justification is clearly inaccurate and provably so,” he said.
Mr Prosser also dismissed the restriction to Parties with MPs in Parliament as irrelevant. “Parliament has been dissolved ahead of the election and the Government exists in a caretaker role,” he said. “Technically no Party now has any MPs in Parliament, because at this time Parliament doesn’t exist.”
“New Zealand First was the fourth highest polling Party at the 2008 election, gaining more votes that ACT and the Progressives, and more than United Future and the Maori Party combined,” said Mr Prosser.
“Clearly NZ First is of great interest to a great many New Zealanders, and for TVNZ to cut the Party out of legitimate debate in this arbitrary fashion smacks of deliberate bias,” he said.
“What I’m wondering is whether this is a personal political bias on the part of those making the decision, or if perhaps TVNZ has been subjected to political pressure from above,” Mr Prosser said.

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