Unpopular election TV broadcasts canned

  • 16/03/2017
Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams
Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams (Simon Wong / Newshub.)

Television viewers will be spared the droning, unpopular prime time election broadcasts now Parliament has changed the rules around the way parties spend their campaign funds.

The legal requirement for political parties' opening and closing election broadcasts to be aired on TV and radio has been removed by a bill that's just been passed.

TVNZ and RNZ no longer have to provide free air time for them, and parties will be given an extra allocation of campaign advertising funds to make up for that.

They can use their advertising allocations in more flexible ways, including online and digital platforms.

"The addresses are an outdated format and declining audience numbers show they are not effective at engaging voters," Justice Minister Amy Adams said when she brought the bill to Parliament.

"For example, during opening addresses in 2014, TVNZ received 25 percent fewer viewers than they would normally get."

The bill was passed on Wednesday by 108 votes to 12.

NZ First opposed it because it disagrees with the way party funding is calculated.