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Jonathan Coleman on TVNZ

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, March 17th, 2009 - 42 comments
Categories: broadcasting, national/act government, privatisation - Tags: ,

Jonathan Coleman on TVNZ. Parliament, 10 May 2007.

ColemanDr Jonathan Coleman

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’?

And they wonder why they’re being accused of preparing TVNZ for sale.

42 comments on “Jonathan Coleman on TVNZ ”

  1. the sprout 1

    Reading Coleman’s comments, the word ‘dildo’ springs to mind.

  2. IrishBill 2

    “North Korea”? It’s like someone decided Redbaiter should be the Minister of Broadcasting.

  3. r0b 3

    and that using a State-owned broadcaster to try to shape national identity is actually a feature of totalitarian regimes, not Western democracies

    I don’t believe a minister, even a Nat, would say something so self evidently stupid. Someone forgot the “humor” tag, right? Right?

  4. Redbaiter 4

    Wow, you guys have such convincing arguments.

    Where is the rational rebuttal of what Coleman has said??

    (Plaudits for posting this BTW)

    • Tane 4.1

      We can have an argument about the merits of privatisation and the abolition of public service broadcasting, but that requires National admitting that’s what they want.

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        Actually redb I’d rather Coleman defend why he thinks building national identity through public service broadcasting is a bad idea…and whether all nations that do that are indeed totalitarian…

    • Ari 4.2

      How about: It’s in the public interest to broadcast programs that have a responsibility to the wider society and to local television production, otherwise most of our TV ends up being about foreign sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

    • DeeDub 4.3

      My rubuttal is this:

      B B C

  5. the bean 5

    yeah…and i want TV about OUR sex, drugs and rock n roll 😛

    • Ari 5.1

      That’s actually part of what I want too, but broadcasters aren’t going to shell out for local production costs when one of them’s squeezed for dividends and has its other obligations to the government relaxed, and the other two don’t have a shot at government investment at all.

  6. BLiP 6

    That’s amusing coming from Coleman – the GP who smokes cgiars and soaks up corporate hospitality from British And Tobacco. I wonder what epitomises his idea of New Zealand’s identity – a punch up at a rock concert I suppose.

  7. There’s a lot of issues here.

    IMO there is a role for a public broadcaster but that doesn’t require 2 commercial channels to achieve.

    Indeed, the reality is that one channel without the commercial imperatives that TVNZ has would more effectively achieve the national identity objectives.

    You could also argue that Sky TV – through sport – is the significant contributor to televising NZ’s national identity.

    Anyway, who needs Top Town when you can have much better programmes on Maori TV

    • BLiP 7.1

      Absolutely. Maori tv puts TV One and Two to shame in terms of holding up cultural identity. The problem with TV One and Two is the profit motive. My idea would be to leave TV Two commercial and use the funds to support TV One.

      • Daveski 7.1.1

        BLiP – unless one of us changes soon, we will end up agreeing 🙂

        Actually, I’d flog off TV2 which would allow TV1 to become a genuine public broadcaster and appoint management staff with these skills. If you mix the purpose, you will need broader range of more expensive skills.

        • the sprout

          god i agree agree with both of you on all counts.
          we are running the risk of forming a united front here folks

        • Tigger

          Well of course Maori TV feels like a true public broadcaster – no dividend to return means they’re free to be what they’re supposed to be. Long may it continue.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      You could also argue that Sky TV – through sport – is the significant contributor to televising NZ’s national identity.


      Most people, remarkably enough, don’t watch TV for sport. Most of the people I know don’t watch sport at all.

  8. Bring back SP … he would disagree with me on principle 😉

  9. insider 9

    I have a fundamental dislike of this whole concept of TV “building national identity” – it sounds like post revoltionary zealotism with a bunch of people deciding who and what we shall be.

    I actually don’t like the idea of TVNZ managers deciding for me what my identity is and then building that without my say so.

    I don’t have a problem with them ‘reflecting’ national identity – I accept it will require some editorial judgements that I may not agree with. It may be a subtle difference but it is an important one.

    • Redbaiter 9.1

      One thing one has to accept is that NZ is a socialist basket case, and if there ever has been any “national identity building” it must have been sub-contracted to the same kind of idiots that are behind the leaky homes crisis.

      NZ’s “national identity” is a cringing soulless forelock tugging amoeba pledging his life to the collective.

      Want to change that?

      Tearing down the disgusting politically polluted edifice that is TVNZ would be the foremost improvement one could make.

      • lprent 9.1.1

        “same kind of idiots that are behind the leaky homes crisis.”

        You mean National’s local body representatives from the 1990’s like “Citizens and Ratepayers” in Auckland. They were the ones who took a relaxation in building regulation as an excuse to drop standards in building codes and inspection. They are also the ones who are now stalling at every possible opportunity in paying for their idiotic mistakes.

        BTW: I have an apartment that has largely been fixed, and we are still waiting for the court case against the council and others.

        • Redbaiter

          C’mon, it was a play on the word “building.”

          I’m suggesting that those who have arrogantly assumed the responsibility for “building our national identity” (what an utterly gross and revolting term that really is) have been as slip shod as the Auckland hammer hands who during the boom, declared themselves builders, slapped up sub standard edifices, took the cash and shot through to Oz.

          In reality, that’s a generalisation that’s far too generous to the manipulative socialist scum at TVNZ. The shonky builders were only after some pocket money. The soft collectivist tyranny promoted by the politically partisan management at TVNZ threatens our democracy.

  10. gingercrush 10

    Hmm I never understood why TVNZ 6 and 7 didn’t become fully pledged old-school non commercial channels. I would have thought that would be obvious. I guess not. I The charter itself was hysterical in how pathetic it was and has certainly done nothing to improve TVNZ. While ratings have fallen significantly. One aspect is of course Sky. But TV3 itself is much better than it was during the nineties.

    If anything Labour had plenty of time to improve TVNZ and improve it significantly. But they didn’t. They could have changed TVNZ from being a profit motive entity to something else but they didn’t. So its rather laughable watching them squirm and shout about National cutting jobs and making silly accusations that National will sell TVNZ. Especially as one can point to 2007 where 150 jobs were lost.

    I almost wonder if some of the opinions expressed by the left here aren’t some frustration with Labour itself. Because while certainly you identify with Labour more. Its quite telling, that much of the blame in many areas can be pointed back to Labour. State Broadcasting is one of them. That for all the things, many of you agree with Labour. It would seem that many of you are frustrated that Labour never went far enough and didn’t set up the political relationships to have a proper engagement with more left idea.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Biggest problem I have with Labour is that they’re social democrats and actually still think capitalism works. Maybe one day they’ll recognise the error of their ways but i ain’t holding my breath.

      Yes, TVNZ could be a hell of a lot better if it wasn’t a commercial brand.

  11. spot 11

    “Hmm I never understood why TVNZ 6 and 7 didn?t become fully pledged old-school non commercial channels…”

    GC – explain further, you don’t think they are PS channels, or that they’re non-commercial?

    On a wider point – “inform, educate and entertain” are the classic Reithian values of PSB, borrowed heavily by TVNZ, and tempered with words such as share, contribute and maintain.

    I’m not sure anyone is telling anyone what their ‘identity’ is, a narrow reading at best.

    • gingercrush 11.1

      They’re largely commercial free but they certainly are not public service channels. They should have been set up as public service channels with original programming so they could stop pretending that Tv One and TV Two actually do charter stuff. They do charter stuff but its at stupid times and are of themselves largely irrelevant. Now we have four channels supposedly meeting charter obligations and meeting public service aspects. The reality is none of them do that, since 6 and 7 have very little original programming and are largely just repeats from TV One and TV Two and/or cheap programming from overseas.

      6 & 7 could have been been run as a separate entity inside TVNZ with more direct funding from the government with real and proper obligations to provide public services. That would mean meaningful original programming. 1 and 2 therefore could be left alone as the commercial entities they really are. Of course you would need extra funds initially, since many people do not have freeview. But in the end, it’d be a better solution than now.

  12. TVNZ needs to sack Andrew Shaw for a start and anyone involved in reality tv, they also need to stop these lame NZ comedys that arent funny.

    TVNZ turned down flight of the conchords, sums up their judgement.

  13. Mr. Coleman is my local MP, I’m sad to say. I certainly didn’t vote for him, but FPP dished him up anyway.

    I’m grateful we have MMP and I was actually able to elect people I DO support….but I note that National wants to take that way from me, too……

    Can anyone explain why almost all National’s policies are geared to eventually transfer NZ money, business and assets into foreign hands by all possible means?

    Which nation are they the National Party of?

  14. BLiP 14

    Which nation are they the National Party of?

    First you have to understand that the National Party is made up of cringing soulless forelock tugging amoeba pledging their services to the business people who put them in charge. Understand that, and you will see the National Party doesn’t serve any nation. It can’t. It’s been captured. Their collective vision of Aotearoa New Zealand is summed up in their shorthand lexicon: NZ Inc. To them there is no such thing as society, only business opportunities for those in the know. Everything else is PR bollox.

  15. I find it a bit difficult to take this man seriously, especially in light of his previous actions. I would hate to think what his views are in regards to second hand smoke ;-).

    • Matthew Pilott 15.1

      I would hate to think what his views are in regards to second hand smoke

      Probably that it’s theft, and you should get your own diggers, ya bludger!

  16. randal 16

    was he on teevee?
    I thught the caucus had decided they all looked too shifty to appear in front of the nation and thats why they signed shifty key up for the job!

  17. randal 17

    was he on teevee
    i thought they all looked to shifty to appear on teevee so thats why they signed john shifty key up for the job!

  18. noleftie 18

    What’s with all the hatred of TVNZ? If you don’t like what its dishing up, DON’T watch. Go back to counting your brain cells which should take about half a second.

    Public service television costs money and where’s that going to come from…schools, hospitals, middle class welfare, interest free student loans?

    It’s always a choice isn’t it, talking heads addressing some pressing issue of the day which no one wants to watch or America’s Next Unfunniest Video Idol.

  19. Ben R 19

    “does he not realise that New Zealanders do not want to be told by the Government what their identity is”

    I thought all political parties had a vision which included NZ’s identity?

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