9 Feb 2012

NZ on Air board member accused of conflict of interest

9:07 am on 9 February 2012

Labour is accusing a member of the board of New Zealand on Air of a confict of interest over a documentary to be made about the Whanau Ora social services policy.

Last year Stephen McElrea, who is also the Prime Minister's electorate chairman, complained to the Electoral Commission about a documentary on child poverty screening three days before the general election. The complaint was not upheld.

Labour broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says Mr McElrea has been involved in funding decisions about a documentary on the rollout of the Whanau Ora policy.

She says it is a clear conflict of interest for a political appointee to be involved in decisions about the funding of a documentary about a controversial Government policy.

The head of New Zealand On Air has defended Mr McElrae.

Chairman Neil Walter told Morning Report that Mr McElrae has had a lot of unfair criticism.

He said tyhat whatever Mr McElrae's political affiliations, he has impressive qualifications and has shown he is perfectly capable of keeping his politics separate to his decision making.