Image crafted by Lyndon Hood
New Zealand’s chances of turning into North Körea got a little bit slimmer thanks to the current Government’s plan to cancel the TVNZ charter. In 2003 when the then Labour government introduced the TVNZ Charter aimed at bolstering our national identity I thought yippee. National identity bolstering is good stuff. It’s supporting the Black Caps and the All Blacks. Some flasher frogs also like to go to the NZ Ballet or maybe the Opera. All good I thought.Then I read this quote from current Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman when he was National’s Broadcasting spokesperson in 2007.
When the Minister says that the Government is committed to the core objective of building national identity and will do so through television, does he not realise that New Zealanders do not want to be told by the Government what their identity is, and that using a State-owned broadcaster to try to shape national identity is actually a feature of totalitarian regimes, not Western democracies; or does he secretly fancy himself as the “MP for Palmerston North Korea”?
Not so good. I was living in Stasi era
A select committee looked at the charter. The committee was made up of Labour and National MPs who agreed that - yep the charter needed a bit of work but tweaking it would be enough. Sweet as – maybe I was now living in a freer society.
Luckily the Prime Minister and Mr Coleman were taking no chances and got rid of the whole shebang. Sure their fellow MPs had agreed to update the charter and despite assertions to the contrary the wholesale abolishment of the Charter wasn’t explicitly spelled out in National’s broadcasting policy. When faced with