Next TVNZ 1 Leaders Debate Will Be Sharper

TVNZ 1 says its second and final leaders debate will be in HD but not one involving likely coalition partners on September 8.

The network surprised viewers last night by broadcasting in SD the top-rating first debate between Prime Minister Bill English and Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern.

The sub-standard presentation was unexpected given TVNZ 1 airs its other news and current affairs shows, including the off-peak Q + A, in HD.

But TVNZ’s GM Corporate Communications, Georgie Hills, says the broadcaster’s next leaders debate and election night coverage will be in HD.

“Last night’s broadcast was from one of our studios that has yet to complete its HD transition. We’ll use the same studio for next Friday’s multi-party debate.

“The final studio leaders debate on 20 September and our 1 News Vote 17 Election Night Special will be HD. They’ll be coming from our main news studio.

“On election night we’ll also be giving viewers their first look at 1 News’ new augmented reality studio set up.”

Three’s leaders debate on Monday will be in HD, as will its election night coverage; Maori TV also is broadcasting its debates and election night reportage in HD.

Meanwhile, former MediaWorks news chief Mark Jennings, who oversaw that broadcaster’s HD news transition ahead of TVNZ 1’s, has dismissed the Mike Hosking-moderated debate as “dire” on

Although he didn’t comment on the SD transmission, he said the production values were poor and the debating “lacked any sense of theatre or drama …

“This debate had zero atmosphere. Humour was missing in action, partly due to a wooden performance by Hosking.”

Jennings argues this could benefit Three and its moderator, Patrick Gower, on Monday:

Normally, going second and being sandwiched between the two TVNZ debates (the first and the final) is a poor card to draw, but this time it might be an advantage.

Neither leader was a clear winner or loser last night, and suddenly the rematch has become more relevant.

Gower needs to be an energetic and slightly unpredictable presence when the leaders meet for round two in four days’ time.

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One Response to “Next TVNZ 1 Leaders Debate Will Be Sharper”

  1. YAY, that’s good to hear and I do agree with Mark Jennings, there was no atmosphere or anything. I do wonder why there was an audience :)

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