Status: Free
Legal Environment: 1
Political Influences: 3
Economic Pressures: 6
Total Score: 10

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 78
Religious Groups: Anglican (24 percent), Presbyterian (18 percent, Roman Catholic (15 percent), other or none (43 percent)
Ethnic Groups: New Zealand European (74.5 percent), Maori (10 percent), other European (4.5 percent), Pacific Islander (4 percent), other [including Asian] (7 percent)
Capital: Wellington

The law provides for freedom of speech and press; according to the BBC, the country enjoys one of the world's most liberal media environments. Independent broadcasters compete with state-owned radio and television, and New Zealand's private newspapers and magazines cover politics tenaciously, offering a range of views. The Maori population struggles for more independent broadcasting and coverage; the government-subsidized Maori Television Service (MTS), scheduled to begin operations in June 2002, has been plagued with mismanagement and will not begin transmitting until at least March 2004. TV3 is appealing against a ruling made by the Broadcasting Standards Authority that an interview conducted with Prime Minister Helen Clark in July 2002, about allegations that the government had covered up a genetically engineered corn release, breached standards of balance, accuracy, and fairness.

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