NZ Greens push for 100% captioning

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Monday, 18 August 2014 17:32pm

The New Zealand Green Party has released a new disability policy which calls for captioning targets of 100% to be phased in for the country’s main television channels.

Captioning (and audio description) in New Zealand is paid for by NZ On Air, a government broadcasting funding body, but there is no legislation that requires anything to be captioned, or any mechanism for captioning levels to automatically increase. Under the Greens policy, the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunication Act would be amended so that TV1 and TV2 move to 100% captioning by 2017, and TV3 by 2020. Targets for other broadcasters would be set on a case-by-case basis.

In a press release, Green Party MP and disability spokesperson Mojo Mathers said, “We know that there are still significant barriers for disabled people to fully participate in our society, including access to work and popular culture.

“As New Zealand’s first deaf MP, I am proud to have led on disability issues in this Parliament, including my election being the trigger for Parliament TV to be captioned from next term.”

Only about 25% of New Zealand television program are currently captioned. This compares to about 85% of programs on the main Australian channels, while TV captioning is close to 100% in the UK and US.

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