Immigration and free to air sports
Our political Q&A for Taupo candidates this week asks if they support a drop in immigration and any more to have free to air coverage of significant sporting events.
and high suicide rates. If we feel threatened that immigrants will compromise the positive aspects of our culture, can we feel optimistic that they will provide solutions to the problems we face as kiwis?
Yes restricting low-skilled workers and encouraging more highly skilled workers, and making changes to temporary migration settings. We’ve also reduced the number of residency approvals. We’ve already made changes to immigration policies which benefit the regions and the agriculture industry, including tripling the bonus points for skilled migrants with job offers outside Auckland and a new pathway to residence policy for 4000 long-term temporary migrants and their families in the South Island.
The Government does not support mandatory free to air coverage of major sporting events. To support New Zealand teams and other taxpayersupported events would involve costs of around $1000 per household. The development of new content providers and channels of distribution means there are more ways to access sport content than ever before. How sport is broadcast is likely to diversify through online portals, ‘‘Day Passes’’ for existing providers, new types of providers (for example, an online subscription service) and other methods. Major sports organisations such as NZ Rugby are reliant on revenue raised from licensed broadcasting rights. Free-to-air broadcasters would not be able to match the level of bids offered by pay TV providers such as Sky. As a result, mandating free-to-air would create a substantial shortfall in revenue which would end up being covered by the taxpayer. Digital convergence is creating new opportunities and increased competition will lead to lower prices for consumers. Some major events already receive some freeto-air coverage, for example through Prime. TVNZ has already successfully bid for the rights to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, one of the events proposed for the ‘‘National Significance’’ list. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said: ‘‘Let’s prepare our work force for the future of work and upskill our workers. We are not fixated on immigration numbers but rather on getting the settings right, if businesses have genuine skill shortage they can always access migrant labour to fill it.’’
We are a sportsloving nation and it’s very important to keep up with major sports events. Rugby is so precious to all of us. Not all of us can afford to get Sky sports channels or go to the pubs to watch major sports events like America’s Cup, FIFA World Cup, netball tests, All Blacks tests and the Olympics for different reasons.
The result, many Kiwis miss the opportunity and it would be great to change that. As Labour MP I would support any efforts to provide free to air coverage of major sporting events to allow more Kiwis to enjoy them with friends and family.