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The Nelson Photo News



Tv Viewers Want Action ... not excuses

The Nelson district has had television now for about four years, but despite promises by both the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation and the Government to improve reception, the strength and quality of signal received over the viewing area has never risen above mediocre. In the last two years strenuous efforts have been made to have the position rectified and, to be fair, the corporation has evolved a plan to provide Nelson and the West Coast with a better reception. But unfortunately, the corporation's efforts have been hamstrung by Government policy - a policy which many are suggesting is influenced today more by political than economic motives.

"Rubbish", we can almost hear the Minister for Broadcasting (Mr Adams-Schneider) snort. But is this claim too short of the mark? Let's examine the photograph above. The building is Gisborne's new translator and it, the equipment it will house, and the 6½-mile road leading up to it, will no doubt cost umpteen thousand dollars. The translator building was about half finished when this pic was taken (in October last) and the station is expected to beam WNTV1 into Gisborne, Wairoa, and East Coast homes. This is what is happening, during the economic crisis, in the marginal electorate of Gisborne, a seat held by the Government's lively Mrs Esme Tombleson. As a complete contrast, let's now examine the picture at left of a queer little wooden hut and a couple of shaky-looking masts. That's OUR translator on Princes Drive. We have another on Takaka Hill, a little more solid but equally makeshift. Both translators were put there by television enthusiasts - not the corporation, or the Government.

Then what have both these bodies done for Nelson tele-viewers? Apart from buying the two translators and their now antiquated equipment, and maintaining them, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The corporation has an excellent plant which will provide better quality coverage of the whole Nelson province and the West Coast, but this has been deferred by the Government at least twice, on "economic" grounds. On the opposite page is a clipping from the Buller page of the "Evening Mail" concerning the corporation's proposal to provide up to $15,000 to improve television reception in Greymouth and Hokitika. WHY, we want to know, spend this sort of money, when the corporation already has the answer to this problem in its hands. Is the Government going to allow this money to be wasted?

Here are some other facts which make interesting reading. There are something like 40 translators throughout the Nelson district bought by private individuals and groups, to provide a reasonable reception; about 10,000 of the near-15,000 television licences in the Nelson provincial district brought in something like $120,000 for the corporation last year and about $95,000 the year before. This being so, surely it's time that some of this money is spent in the Nelson district. We know the corporation wants to spend it (evidence of this is provided in the photograph on the next page of prefabricated antennas lying in the grass at the transmitting station at Stoke, sent here for the experiment on The Doubles.

So how about some action, Mr Adams-Schneider?



Some homes in several pockets in Nelson city have been forced into erecting queer-looking antennas and beaming through The Doubles to Wellington in an effort to get a reasonable reception. The pity of it is that it is on The Doubles that the corporation plans to erect a major translator to cover Nelson, Murchison and the West Coast.


Cows graze among the dismantled section of TV antennas at Stoke.


These clippings need no explanation.