“Broadcasting Minister Willie Jackson has been unable to explain to Parliament what the TVNZ/RNZ merger will be able to provide that doesn’t already exist,” says ACT’s Broadcasting spokesperson Damien Smith.

“I asked Willie Jackson this specific question in Parliament today and the Speaker agreed that the Minister had not been able to provide an answer.

“If Willie Jackson can’t list a single thing the merger will give New Zealanders for the $370 million it will cost, then why on earth is he doing it?

"Mr Jackson said he wouldn't decide what sort of programming the new entity would provide. That is obviously true and it's worrying he'd even raise it.

"He needed to tell us what sort of services, in concept, the new entity could deliver, but he was totally unable to do this. We have a Minister who doesn't know why he's spending $370 million.

“Jackson keeps claiming that New Zealand can’t compete with streaming services like Netflix, he seems unaware that TVNZ already has its own streaming service.

“The Minister hasn’t carried out a cost benefit analysis, but claimed in Parliament “this is good money being spent.” How can he possibly know that?

“Jackson has proved today that New Zealanders won’t get anything new from this expensive merger. When inflation is out of control the Government should curb its spending, this would be great place to start.”

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Damien Smith