6 Nov 2009

Documents show TVNZ asked English to approve ad

9:11 am on 6 November 2009

Television New Zealand asked the Finance Minister's office to "sign off" on its "Plain English" promotional advertisement before it went to air.

Documents obtained by Radio New Zealand under the Official Information Act show Bill English's office was given approval of the script and the final edit of the promotional announcement.

In emails exchanged between TVNZ and Mr English's press secretary, the state broadcaster repeatedly asked whether he was happy with the promo and whether he would "sign off" on it.

The documents also show the changes Mr English's office made to the script, including introducing the line: "We're nearly through the tough times."

The Labour Party says the changes are far more than just the economic accuracy check that Mr English said his office conducted.

Labour says the documents disprove Mr English's claim that the scripts were merely checked for economic accuarcy.

Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe says more than 60% of the original script was changed by Mr English's office and believes the TVNZ promo is state funded propoganda.