TOP seeking court access to debate

NewstalkZB reports:

Gareth Morgan is set to go to the High Court to try to get into a TVNZ debate on Friday night after the network said it was not polling high enough to warrant a place.

A spokesman for TOP would not comment, but the party is expected to lodge an application for judicial review on Wednesday of TVNZ’s decision to exclude it from the debate between the minor party leaders on Friday night.

It is likely to seek an urgent interim decision to get it into the debate.

1News’ political editor Corin Dann said on the programme tonight that it was longstanding policy not to include parties that were outside Parliament in election debates unless they had reached three per cent in at least one of the most recent 1News Colmar Brunton polls. TOP had not reached that threshold.

It is not the first time a minor party has taken such action – and precedent is on TOP’s side.

It will be interesting to see how the court rules. TOP is polling higher than the Maori and ACT parties but they do hold electorate seats.

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