Funeral procession for TVNZ7 farewell

By Kate Shuttleworth

Russell Brown's Media7 is one of the many shows featured on the closing TVNZ7. Photo / File
Russell Brown's Media7 is one of the many shows featured on the closing TVNZ7. Photo / File

A funeral march was held in Wellington today to mark the end of TVNZ7.

A procession of 500 people was led by a coffin-carrying hearse to the steps of Parliament and was met by MPs.

The station will close at the end of this month after the Government decided to cut its funding on June 30. The channel will become TV One Plus One.

TVNZ7 cost the Government $16.25 million annually - a third of the budget for Maori TV.

Labour, New Zealand First, the Green Party and United Future MPs oppose the end of TVNZ7, and Green MP Julie-Anne Genter said public support for saving TVNZ7 had been strong and the campaign would continue to build.

New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams said National had not attended any of the 12 public meetings held around New Zealand to save TVNZ7.

"Isn't that appalling? They weren't even prepared to stand up and defend their actions and receive comments from the public," he said.

A petition to save TVNZ7, signed by 31,000 people, was presented to Labour broadcasting spokesperson Claire Curran.

A campaigner from the Save TVNZ7 group Myles Thomas said the funeral procession was an appropriate way to mark the demise of TVNZ7.

Save TVNZ7 are continuing their campaign to save the public broadcast channel - they will hold a public meeting at St John's Hall tonight in Wellington and a funeral procession will be held in Auckland this weekend.

- APNZ

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