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Greens: MMP Parties Join Forces Over TV3 Debate

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

3 October 2008 - The leaders of three MMP parties have written a joint letter to the TV3's head of news and current affairs Mark Jennings condemning the decision to cancel the All Parties Leaders debate and asking for it to be reconsidered.

Green Party Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman says, "this is the outcome that Key and Clark had hoped for. It seems clear they are too frightened that if they front up to questions or criticism from the MMP parties they will end up looking bad."

ACT Leader Rodney Hide says, "Helen Clark knows she can match John Key and doesn't want to have to debate anyone else - or appear onstage with Winston Peters. TV3 has agreed and become a key part of Helen Clark's anti-democratic and anti-free speech election campaign. We're not allowed to campaign and say what we want without government authorisation, and now TV3 has pushed the MMP Parties off the air because that's what Helen Clark wants."

UnitedFuture Leader Peter Dunne says, "it is extremely disappointing that TV3 has buckled to the wishes of Clark and Key and cancelled the debate, obviously deciding MediaWorks profit margins are more important than this country's democratic process."

The leaders say, "in our joint letter, we reminded Mr Jennings that in 2005 Justice Ron Young clarified over the Dunne/Anderton case against TV3, that, the channel placed itself in the role of providing a public function. This means it is not possible for TV3 to look at the situation purely in commercial terms and dump the show because it believes it is not 'viable'."

"That legal decision reinforces that when it comes to election debates TV3 has an obligation to provide New Zealanders with a balanced view presenting all the points of view - not just those of John Key and Helen Clark," they say.

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