The Herald reports:
New Zealand On Air has been labelled out of touch and wasteful for awarding $200,000 of taxpayer money on a documentary about Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick.
The Act Party said Swarbrick should reject any role in the publicly-funded documentary.
NZ On Air today said “misinformation” was being sown after groups including the Taxpayers’ Union criticised the funding.
Swarbrick was not involved in pitching the project.
Irrelevant – she is cooperating with it, and it benefits her political aspirations massively.
“This is a gross misuse of taxpayers’ money,” Act leader David Seymour said.
NZ on Air must have lost their collective mind to think this was appropriate.
Media commentator Bill Ralston said the NZ On Air funding decision appeared to be problematic, even tone-deaf.
Ralston said it could be argued if the agency wanted to fund a documentary about a Green Party MP, it should do the same for all other parties in Parliament.
“It looks craven … It’s not a good idea by New Zealand On Air.”
How about we spend zero taxpayer dollars on fawning documentaries on any sitting MP.
Swarbrick directed queries to a producer who helped make 2020 film OK Chlöe.
Producer Letisha Tate-Dunning said the new project was a documentary following Swarbrick’s personal journey and daily life as an MP over the next two years.
So this in fact will be the second taxpayer funded “documentary” about the Green MP.
“Neither NZ On Air, the Green Party, or Chlöe herself have editorial control of the film. Chlöe does not benefit financially from the film,” she added.
“The producers want to make the film because they feel it’s important to show the reality of working within politics and how a young woman reconciles this with what and who is important to her.”
The benefit is political. Why did they not do one on ACT’s Brooke Van Velden?
our tax dollars all $199,9999.00 of them will fund this piece of electioneering and another $20,000.00 has already been tipped in for script development by another tax funded body, the Film Commission.
Now I’m not getting down on Chloe or the producers (one of whom is the wife of a prominent left-wing journalist) but there’s simply no way on God’s green earth that this can be seen as anything but taxpayer funding of a politically partisan puff piece. The decision to fund it with your tax dollar is bent, crooked, corrupt, and wrong.
To compound the problem it’s the second time NZOnAir has funded such a project. An earlier and much shorter film called “Ok Chloe” has already received the largesse of your tax dollar through NZOnAir.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pulled out of a similar project involving the same producers when she correctly read the room and realised how corrupt such funding looks.
It is impossible to imagine NZOnAir didn’t know exactly what they were doing when they approved this funding, but if they didn’t they are incompetent and if they did they are corrupt.
Harsh but true. The problem is they are so removed from the New Zealanders who fund them, that they probably can’t comprehend how anyone objects to a $220,000 taxpayer funded hagiography on a Green MP. I mean, all their friends will love it.
My solution is to move NZ on Air from the Wellington CBD to say Taihape. That will get them in touch with real NZ.