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West Coast-Tasman’s community newspapers are important to our community in times like this and should be allowed to continue publishing, National’s List MP based in West Coast-Tasman Maureen Pugh says.

“The decision that only paid daily newspapers can continue to publish during the lockdown is wrong. It means many of our communities will now be without the news they have come to depend upon and now need during the lockdown.

“These businesses have made changes to the way they operate to follow appropriate social distancing and Covid-19 health and safety protocol. The majority of them are small publishers whose staff are now working safely and completely remotely.

“Many of our most vulnerable citizens rely heavily upon community newspapers for social interaction and access to news and advice. Without access to community-specific newspapers many will have no exposure to what is happening in their community.

“Many West Coast-Tasman residents do not have easy access to internet or social media and are often not subscribed to or buy daily papers. People should not be forced to pay for their news because of a Government restriction.

“National is calling on the Government to revisit this decision and allow independent community newspapers that meet the requirements of social distancing and Covid-19 health and safety protocols to be allowed to continue publishing the news.”

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