He’s appointed (on Wednesday with a quiet press release in the middle of hobbit fever) his old mate, and Sky political lobbyist Tony O’Brien to the board of Antarctic New Zealand.
What’s that you say? Lobbying doesn’t have much to do with our interests on the white continent and its surrounding waters? Neither does Pay TV?
Well apparently Murray feels that Tony will be able to “raise awareness”.
This government’s already appointed the other half of Mark Unsworth‘s lobby firm Barrie Saunders to the board of TVNZ, and former lobbyist Richard Griffin as chairman of Radio New Zealand, so they obviously like to keep their National-leaning lobbyists looked after. That’s before you get onto them appointing John Key’s electorate Chair onto NZ On Air‘s board; former English/Brash chief of staff Richard Long onto TVNZ’s board; Kerry Prendergast to the Environmental Protection Agency… So we have a history developing here, particularly among media…
Sky has had a very good ride from this government, as they’ve effectively forced TVNZ to cosy up, and deliver the likes of the Heartland channel Sky only. Broadcast regulation (like so much with this government) is hands-off.
Now Sky will have someone – who was the network’s executive for its election coverage - working on the inside of government (while still very active lobbying).
It just all gets a bit cosy sometimes…