TV3's The Nation gets another year of funding

By Kate Shuttleworth

Labour Party leader contenders David Shearer (left) and David Cunliffe preparing to go on TV3's The Nation. Photo / Doug Sherring
Labour Party leader contenders David Shearer (left) and David Cunliffe preparing to go on TV3's The Nation. Photo / Doug Sherring

Executive producer of The Nation Richard Harman is thrilled the TV3 current affairs show will be funded next year and says the build-up to the 2014 election would characterise the show's content.

New Zealand on Air have confirmed funding for The Nation will continue next year.

It will get $890,840, just short of the $900,000 it was funded for 36 episodes this year. TVNZ's rival Q+A will receive the same level of funding it received last year, $800,000.

The fate of the Nation hung in the balance with rumours suggesting the show was likely to be axed, leaving Q+A the only political current affairs show funded through NZ on Air's platinum fund.

The show has been presented by Rachel Smalley since former TV3 political editor Duncan Garner made a shock exit earlier this year, citing differences of opinion with executive producer and political journalist Mr Harman.

NZ on Air chief executive Jane Wrightson said both programmes had a proven track record for discussing important and timely issues and contributing to mainstream current affairs.

"NZ On Air is committed to funding quality current affairs and we're pleased to be able to support both The Nation and Q+A," she said.

The platinum fund is a special contestable fund supporting programmes with something important to say about New Zealand.

Mr Harman said he was thrilled the funding would be extended and excited about content next year.

"We're looking forward to pretty energetic year," he said.

Mr Harman said the Labour Party leadership had been the most interesting issue this year.

"It's focused attention on Labour and I think it's actually helped them - you can see that in the polls.

"I've been surprised that the Government hasn't accomplished more this year, they've done a lot of heavy lifting, but they don't seem to have finished anything off."

He said Russel Norman would be his pick for MP of the year, due to being the de-facto leader of the Opposition for much of the year.

The story for 2013 would be the shifting dynamic between Dr Norman and the strengthening Labour leader David Shearer.

Mr Harman said the announcement Tariana Turia would be retiring would focus on how Prime Minister John Key forms a government if he gets enough votes at the next election.

"Attention would be focused on his relationship with Pita Sharples and possibly Winston Peters.

"The story of next year is the preamble to the election - on the one hand you've got who are going to be the dominant opposition party and on the other, you've got how can National form a Government."

- APNZ

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