August 05, 2020
Minor parties feel debate squeeze
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is sympathetic to the Māori Party's gripe about being excluded from a TVNZ leaders' debate.
Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere blames systemic racism on the part of the TVNZ board and management, and he says it's in breach of the shareholder's expectations and the Bill of Rights Act.
But Mr Peters sees it as an example of the way Labour and National set the rules of engagement.
"The problem is that what we've got is a perverse system where the two old parties refuse to debate any pother party. They won't debate with us. And instead of the media saying 'the debate will go ahead without you, and we won't have a debate with you,' they just conform and comply and the rest is history," he says.
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