18 Jun 2011

Candidate fails to win place in TV debate

7:25 am on 18 June 2011

A candidate in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election has failed in his attempt to force a Television New Zealand programme to include him in a televised debate.

The co-leader of the OurNZ party, Kelvyn Alp, had sought an injunction in the High Court at Auckland to allow him to take part in the Marae Investigates debate along with candidates from the Mana, Labour and Maori parties.

Mr Alp says it's a kick in the guts to have failed to get an injunction. He says voters are making a choice that will affect their lives and the state broadcaster is failing in its duty to inform the public of all available options.

"It's a human right to be fully informed by the state broadcaster of all your available options," Mr Alp says.

TVNZ says the court decision recognises its constitutional right to make editorial decisions in news and current affairs without being dictated to by interested parties.