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Back Benches

Television, 2008–2017

Back Benches was commissioned in 2008 to screen on TVNZ’s publicly funded digital channel TVNZ7. The political review show normally broadcast live from the infamous Backbencher pub, across the road from Parliament. It was hosted by Wallace Chapman with co-host Damian Christie (and later Hayley Holt, then Charlotte Ryan). Back Benches attracted politicians of all persuasions to debate the topics of the day. In 2012, when TVNZ7 was shut down, it was picked up by Prime TV and, with funding from NZ On Air, it ran until 2017.