Draconian restrictions on journalists’ rights unwelcome and unnecessary

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The Public Service Association (PSA) says the recommendation by a TVNZ inquiry that reporters, content producers and editors be banned from political activity is a draconian and unnecessary breach of their rights as New Zealand citizens.

Brenda Pilott, PSA National Secretary, said “It is every New Zealander’s right to participate in our democracy.”

“The State Services Commission guidelines for public servants clearly explain the rights and responsibilities, and we hope Commissioner Rennie will speak out strongly against these unjustified restrictions.

“If these restrictions are put in place, it will set a dangerous precedent for other public servants.

“The investigation into Shane Taurima’s actions showed no editorial bias, so this is an overreaction to a problem that doesn’t exist.

“Hopefully TVNZ senior management have the common sense not to put these recommendations into practice,” said Brenda Pilott.