TV3 has announced broadcaster and lawyer Linda Clark will referee for The Vote, a monthly series of entertaining and informative national debates on the big issues facing New Zealanders, which premieres at 8.30pm, Wednesday 27 March.
One of the country’s most respected journalists, Clark is charged with keeping two teams led by hosts Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner in line as they go head-to-head each month in the innovative new TV3 programme. As referee, Clark has the power to interject, and a mandate to keep things moving – and keep the potentially unruly teams in line.
Linda Clark says she is looking forward to working with co-hosts Garner and Espiner and producer Tim Watkin on a programme that is different to anything else on New Zealand television.
“Duncan Garner and I worked together for many years in the Press Gallery and I have always admired Guyon’s work. So when I was asked to join the two of them it was too tempting to resist,” she says.
“The programme offers something very different – a whole hour devoted to debating one issue. Plus, of course there is the added dimension of the live audience. I think it will be lively and informed.
“New Zealand faces some very crunchy issues and this programme is going to give viewers a chance to debate them – intelligently but entertainingly. I’m looking forward to it.”
Presented by 3rd Degree, The Vote is competitive current affairs, designed to inform and entertain. Each team – one affirmative, one negative – is given the opportunity to make its case and be cross-examined by the other in a distilled debate, all recorded ‘as live’ in theatres in front of an audience.
At the end of the debate, the audience will vote on the issue, and throughout New Zealand viewers at home will be invited to have their say via text, Facebook, Twitter and online, giving a snapshot of the nation’s opinion. A winner (and a loser) will be declared.
Director of News and Current Affairs, Mark Jennings says The Vote is a chance to hear what the country thinks.
“I believe there is a large chunk of the population that currently doesn’t feel it has a voice,” he says.
“Yes, people can organize referenda but they are extremely time consuming and difficult. The Vote shortcuts that process and has the potential to deliver an instant message to politicians and other decision makers.”
The Vote is part of new current affairs programme 3rd Degree (premiering 6 March), and will screen once every four weeks in 3rd Degree’s 8.30pm Wednesday timeslot. It is funded by NZ On Air
3rd Degree presents The Vote – 8.30pm, Wednesday 27 March on TV3
Linda Clark - Biography:
One of New Zealand’s most respected journalists, Linda Clark retired from journalism in 2006 to retrain as a lawyer and now works for Chapman Tripp.
Linda’s 20-year journalism career included seven years as TVNZ’s political editor, hosting current affairs shows Crossfire and Face the Nation, National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme and editing Grace magazine.
She has covered eight elections, most recently as part TV3’s election specials in 2008 and 2011, and hosted TVNZ7 legal show, The Court Report.
Linda’s work has won numerous awards in print, television and radio, including the Qantas Award for Best Current Affairs Story, the Qantas Award for Best News Reporting, the Asia 2000 prize for journalism, and in 2000 she was named Magazine Editor of the Year.
Linda is Deputy Chairperson of the NZ Organisation for Rare Diseases (NZORD).