N.Z. lawmakers to rethink film use ban

July 6, 2007 at 5:49 PM
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WELLINGTON, New Zealand, July 6 (UPI) -- The National Party in New Zealand reversed itself regarding a ban on using parliamentary footage for satire after TV networks said they would defy the ban.

Party leader John Key Friday called the rules "unworkable" and said the prohibition made members of Parliament look "precious," the New Zealand Herald reported.

While the new regulations broadened what could be filmed in Parliament, they specified the footage could not be used to denigrate, ridicule or satirize. Anyone violating the ban could be referred to Parliament's privileges committee, which imposes penalties.

Only the Green Party voted against the new rules. An amendment to drop the phrase on satire failed.

Key's comments followed a joint statement by several televisions stations saying they would ignore the rules.

"I don't think there is any point in having rules the media feel so strongly about that they're going to disobey them," Key said. "While the intention may have been right, I think there's room for us to be a little less precious."

A spokeswoman for Speaker Margaret Wilson, who chairs the standing orders committee, said she was happy to continue discussing the rules in committee.

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