Labour broadcasting spokeswoman Clare Curran has given a
thumbs down to television show New Zealand's Got Talent
after a Dunedin singer pulled out of the contest this week.
University of Otago music student Kylie Price (19) withdrew
from the semifinals on Tuesday after Television New Zealand
stipulated she sign an exclusive contract which prevented her
from performing without its permission.
The 2012 Gold Guitar winner told the Otago Daily Times
on Thursday she had withdrawn over the issue, but said she
was unable to comment further due to contractual obligations.
TVNZ spokeswoman Meredith McGrath said the contract was a
condition imposed by programme's producer Imagination
However, Ms Curran yesterday hit out at the programme and NZ
on Air, which provided $1.6 million funding for the series.
"New Zealand taxpayers should be aggrieved that a leading
contender in New Zealand's Got Talent has withdrawn because
of restrictive performance conditions placed on her by the
privately owned company behind the show," Ms Curran said.
"Now, we have Dunedin singer Kylie Price being forced to pull
out of the semifinals due to restrictive contractual
conditions that she wasn't prepared to undertake and would
have prevented her from performing elsewhere.
"Television New Zealand has confirmed the conditions were
imposed by Imagination Television Ltd, the show's producers,
and that they are applied to the UK-formatted programme
"That just proves how commercial the show is and again raises
questions about NZ on Air decisions to fund commercial
'commercially-attractive' local programmes," she said.
"It also highlights the extent to which these shows are
shaped by factors that have little to do with local content
and cultural functions.
"What is most worrying for Kiwi taxpayers is not just the
extent to which commercial content is increasingly being
funded by NZ on Air, but also the extent to which it has
allowed itself to be bureaucratically captured by private
"The big question is that if taxpayers are funding these
programmes, then who has the decision-making power over
contracts and licence?" Ms Curran asked.
"Kylie Price has decided she's not having any of it and I say
good on her."