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Source: Taxpayers Union

12 FEBRUARY 2021FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Government’s decision to give the $50 million ‘news and journalism fund’ to NZ on Air and says that it will see cozying up to Government and leftwing interests.“Instead of following an Australian or Canadian model of tax credits, or giving taxpayers a tax deduction for media subscriptions, the Labour Government will have their hand-picked cronies choose what media and stories get taxpayer support,” said Jordan Williams, a spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union.“To claim NZ on Air is independent is laughable. It literally has the Prime Minister’s personal lawyer and debate coach sitting on its board. Conservative media that is critical of Wellington’s world view never gets a look in for funding.”“Here at the Taxpayers’ Union, we are against corporate welfare in principle.  Officials picking and choosing which business to support with taxpayer money always results in perverse incentives. But the very worst corporate welfare is when it directly affects the media and political agenda. But that’s what Kris Faafoi has designed.”“This model has absolutely no safeguards for political neutrality or independence. The previous funding decisions by NZ on Air to reward leftwing campaign journalism speaks for itself.””If the Government was serious about protecting media diversity, why aren’t half NZ on Air’s board appointed by the opposition?”“The National Party should immediately commit to abolishing this fund, and following overseas models that rely on what people want to read, not what the Government of the day wants them to read.””We certainly look forward to those fair-minded people at Radio NZ’s Media Watch giving this issue a fair hearing.”