Four television networks will defy new parliamentary rules which ban using images of MPs in the debating chamber to make fun of them.
TVNZ, TV3, Maori Television and Sky News said they would ignore the new rule relating to satire, which had the potential to erode democracy.
"The banning of the use of images from the debating chamber for satire is a precious over-reaction by MPs and unnecessarily puts limits on New Zealanders' understanding of politics,' TVNZ news boss Anthony Flannery said.
"The public has a right to see how their elected representatives behave and perform in Parliament -- warts and all.'
TV3 news director Mark Jennings said light-hearted and satirical coverage of politics was as old as the news media itself.
"New Zealanders should have this approach to politics available to them,' he said.
"This is such a serious issue about New Zealanders' democratic rights that our competing organisations are prepared to back each other up if one is penalised for ignoring this part of the new rules.
The four organisations said they remained committed to fighting against the new rules and would break them where warranted.
MPs voted last week to institute a new set of rules around the broadcasting of parliamentary proceedings -- extending what can be filmed, but banning any images that satirise, ridicule or denigrate MPs.
The changes also state that breaches can be treated as a contempt of Parliament -- a charge that can result in imprisonment.
Rule breaches have traditionally been dealt with by the Speaker through denying an infringing news organisation coverage of the House for a short period.
Journalists in Parliament's press gallery and the Commonwealth Press Union's media freedom committee have criticised aspects of the new rules as an attack on free speech.
Newspapers have also protested the new rules, particularly clauses that extend the allowable use of images of MPs reacting to events to TV, but not to print photographers.
The old rules, which remain current for print media, only allow images of MPs who are on their feet speaking.
Act and the Greens have expressed some sympathy with the media's views, but Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen has accused journalists of overreacting.