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Daily Review 28/03/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 pm, March 28th, 2018 - 87 comments
Categories: Daily review - Tags:

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

87 comments on “Daily Review 28/03/2018 ”

  1. chris73 1

    Cheer up Lefties, it can’t get any worse for Labour

    Or can it…. 🙂

    • Stuart Munro 1.1

      What because Griffin lost his rag and essentially declared himself unwilling to work with the coalition? If he’d meant to keep his sinecure he wouldn’t have made it into a drama. With or without Curran, Griffin is gone. The wails of grief will not reach heaven.

      • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.1

        Yes. As the story unfolds, Curran actually looks increasingly to have acted within the rules. Her handling of it was clumsy and landed Hirschfeld in it, unfortunately. But then Curran is no match for the Nats’ underhand political plays.

        And Griffin is increasingly looking like a dodgy manipulator who doesn’t want to follow the government’s plans for a repurposing of RNZ.

        Griffin in his role should not be playing politics. He should work within the framework put in place by the government.

        For 9 long years RNZ had to work on a shoestring, because the Nats want to give more power to the corroborates owning and running commercial media, while public service media has been undermined.

        Now it’s all change and Griffin and Thompson will just have to suck it up or resign.

        And there’s been some dodgy collusion between Griffin and Melissa Lee – that is unacceptable for a chairman of a state broadcaster.

        • weka

          I posted a Newsroom opinion piece below on the politics of the RNZ revamp. Do you see Thompson as being RW? Jennings appears to be saying that Thompson is supportive of RNZ although nervous about the move to TV broadcasting.

          • veutoviper

            Thompson is currently in the position of having to play the line expected of him by the Board, and in particular the Chair, Griffin. He may well have been walking a tightrope himself and had to suppress his own real views.

            As I reported yesterday on OM at, Griffin’s two year reappointment by Amy Adams in 2016 runs out on 30 April, just four weeks away. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/appointments-radio-new-zealand-board

            I was 99% sure that Griffin would not be rolled over again (he’s done 8 years as RNZ Chair) because of the change of government; now my bet is 100% that he is gone. Griffin has always played politics; he know no other way and does know all the tricks in the book. He’s now in his mid 70s, semi-retired, and knows he is unlikely to get any appointments under this government. He’s got nothing to lose re ‘feeding’ Lee etc at this stage.

            In fact, having seen how he operates, my bet is that he may have been the one who ‘fed’ her right back on 7 December – the day that Curran met the Board of RNZ and two days after the Curran/Herschfeld meeting on 5 December. December 7 was also the same day that Lee filed her first written question No 19129 (2017) to Curran re her meeting with Herschfeld. The next day (8 Dec) Lee filed 24 more Written Questions on various matters relating to RNZ directly or indirectly via ‘fishing’ questions as I reported in my comment at 13.3 in OM 27 March: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27-03-2018/#comment-1466525

            IMHO Lee did not pull those questions out of thin air.

            And re your below, I really don’t think CH would want the Chair job. Obviously under Griffin it has essentially been a part time job, but also it is a “governance” strategic/overview position, not a hands-on management/operational position. CH appears to someone who is an ‘in there doing it’ type of person.

        • Johnr

          Was Curran meeting Hirschfeld to sound her out about Hirschfeld replacing Griffin.

          Works for me.

      • chris73 1.1.2

        Well I was thinking more along the lines of:
        Shane Jones blatantly ignoring Jacinda,
        Sexual assaults at Labour affiliated camps,
        Ron Mark treating the air force as his own personal taxi service,
        the Greens giving their share of questions to National (powerful symbolism), NZFirst attempting to bribe/blackmail/threaten Mark Mitchell (not sure of the correct terminology),
        Claire Curran being well Claire Curran

        But hey on the bright side


        • Draco T Bastard

          Shane Jones blatantly ignoring Jacinda

          And? He’s not in her party and she doesn’t have control over him.

          Sexual assaults at Labour affiliated camps

          A well handled situation it seems. Labour did everything right on it.

          But, then, there was John Key’s ongoing sexual assault of a waitress that got… nothing.

          Ron Mark treating the air force as his own personal taxi service

          You mean like John Key?

          Claire Curran being well Claire Curran

          Have to agree with that – she doesn’t appear to have ministerial capability.

          • James

            “Sexual assaults at Labour affiliated camps

            A well handled situation it seems. Labour did everything right on it.”

            Even you couldn’t believe that.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I’ve read the expert stuff – Labour did everything right.

              You don’t like it because it’s Labour doing everything right.

              • James

                It’s not worth going over again – but I think you are on your own with this view after reading a lot of comments on this.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Being right is more important than hanging with the crowd.

                • reason

                  So your still being two faced over this James ….. you intrepid defender of Rugby players who sexually assault

                  • james

                    No not at all.

                    So reason – as opposed to trying to deflect and start a flame war – Do you agree with DTB that Labour did everything right?

                    “We understand we failed in our duty of care during the event…and in support we’ve offered since then,” Haworth said.”

                    ^ That is doing everything right according to DTB.

                    • reason

                      I’ll answer your question James …. when you answer mine and Tracys …. which were made well over a week ago just as you were being banned for being an arse.

                      Its very discourteous and arrogant to ask questions without having the decency to address ones made to you ….

                      So you first.

                      In the meantime I recommend this comedian who makes more appropriate comments about sexual assaults than those who seek to defend it ….

                      David Cameron …. the masculine version of theresa May, gets a good mention over the pigs head rumor that Lord Ashcroft started
                      5 minute mark approx

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      “We understand we failed in our duty of care during the event…and in support we’ve offered since then,” Haworth said.”

                      Which was really stupid of Labour. They’re buying in to National’s rhetoric which is a lie.

                      Labour did everything right. Shit happened. They learn a few lessons and move on.

                      It is impossible to plan for every possible eventuality.

                      And demanding that people do so is demanding the impossible.

          • Monty

            The Shane Jones. I believe he was speaking as a minister with his regional hat on. I would have thought the MP Adern would have some influence in that regard.

          • The Pink Postman

            perhaps it need to be stated That the fellow that misbehaved himself at the Youth camp was not a Labour Party member .Was he a Nat mischief maker?

      • ScottGN 1.1.3

        The Radio NZ carry on is small beer, beltway stuff. No one really cares about the ins-and-outs of Curran and Hirshfeld meeting in a Wellington caff, though both of them should have known better.
        Ardern and Peters frankly weird response to the Russia spy/poisoning though has the capacity to really undermine her premiership. She needs to finetune that sort of stuff pretty smartly.

        • chris73

          On its own it is but when you add up everything thats gone wrong in the first 6 months its eventually going to catch up with you

          • ScottGN

            Actually I think less has gone wrong in the first 6 months than you would have liked. And a lot has gone right.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Almost nothing has gone wrong. What we have is the RWNJs trying really hard to make it look like things have gone wrong.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          The Russian Spy thing is also an exaggerated beat up. My guess is that May has used the Skripal poisoning as an excuse to stir up popular sentiment against Russia. It was all done too hastily without all the evidence being in.

          There’s various elements of uncertainty about what has been stated publicly.

          I think NZ should not jump on the bandwagon at this point. Ardern expressing certainty about the origin of the Skripal attack seems like appeasing allies, while not getting sucked into reprisals.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Ardern says there no plausible alternative explanation other than the attempted murders were committed by the Kremlin. Sorry to burst your bubble.

            Daily Review 27/03/2018

            • Carolyn_Nth

              Yeah. Well, she’s just repeating the UK government line. And I was aware of Ardern’s statement on that when I made my comment @ 7.22pm.

              So, why not just wait and see when all the evidence is in and fully published?

              There are questions to be asked – though I think this article is stretching it a bit (or more than a bit) to make it 30 questions.

              But the UK and US governments have a track record of stretching evidence to fit their foreign adventure plans.

              But some of those questions are worth asking.

            • Draco T Bastard

              ‘Plausible’ explanations aren’t evidence.

              Ardern saying that reduces my respect for her – and it wasn’t that great anyway.

            • mikesh

              Jacinda claims to have been briefed by the SIS. The SIS have no doubt been briefed by MI6. But MI6, whatever their actual beliefs, would not wish to be seen to be contradicting their PM, so how much is Jacinda’s reason for supporting Britain (TINA) really worth?

              Can it really be true that no other country possesses the chemistry smarts that the Russians possess?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Can it really be true that no other country possesses the chemistry smarts that the Russians possess?

                Has anyone made that claim? No. Funny how all the Kremlin’s “arguments” are strawmen.

                • mikesh

                  Once again you miss the point. You really are a hopeless case.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Once again you’ve produced a comment with no substantive material, other than a personal attack. Did your father enjoy the movie you made with him and your pet goat?

        • Anne

          Ardern’s announcement yesterday that MFAT had advised her there were no ‘non declared’ Russian spies in NZ took me by surprise. Spies, be they of the western or eastern variety, are the province of the NZSIS.

          She corrected it today but it suggested a lack of knowledge on her part.

          Btw, why has this government not looked into the circumstances surrounding the National MP, Jian Yang who was discovered to have had close ties to the Chinese military intelligence?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Because that’s a job for the SIS, not the government.

          • veutoviper

            Who said they aren’t? Or rather that the new government has not asked the NZ SIS to do further investigations?

            It is not something that would be splashed all over the media while it is under investigation.

          • veutoviper

            Sorry Anne, I meant to include in my comment at this link to an article by Matt Nippert in the Herald in Dec 2017 where Winston Peters was calling for an investigation into Jian Yang. Considering Peters’ position in the new govt, it would not surprise me if there was an investigation in progress.


        • Tamati Tautuhi

          So ex Chinese spies working for the National Government is okay ?

          We have to find the Russian spies b4 we can expell them duh ?

        • Tamati Tautuhi

          We have to find the spies b4 we can expell them ?

        • reason

          Scott Watson did the poisoning Scott ….

    • weka 1.2

      Cheer up chris, only 12+ years to go 🙂

      • chris73 1.2.1

        I was going to reply with something like it being closer to 2 years nine months but at the rate its going even that might be pushing it 🙂

        • weka

          weren’t you one of the righties utterly convince National were going to win the election? 🙂

        • Bearded Git

          Dream on troll.

          The Nats pathetic, tissue paper thin strategy of claiming this government is incompetent is laughable.

          If you want incompetence, look at the mess the Nats have left the public health service in-John Campbell covered this on Checkpoint tonight. Oh but that’s right, only the plebs use the public health service so that doesn’t matter when you can afford to roll up to Coleman’s private health service.

          • chris73

            Yeah I’m sure you’re right, not likely to be any more scandels for a while 🙂 at the very least its going to be interesting to see what happens when Jacinda goes on maternity leave on Winstons running the show 🙂

    • Ffloyd 1.3

      Feel better? I’m so glad.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    The final terms of reference for the government’s inquiry into the electricity sector goes further than draft proposals to include examining whether power companies can make “excessive profits” and “whether the costs of providing electricity services are or should be socialised or spread evenly across different classes of consumers”.


    That’s more than I expected from this government. The inquiry members are yet to be announced…

  3. weka 3

    This story got posted in twitter about an Aussie guy who nearly got shot by the police in the US for getting out of his car, walking towards the police and reaching for his wallet after he had been pulled over (tweet is a decent warning about how to behave in the US).

    I’m curious how many people in NZ get out of the car and walk towards the police when pulled over?

    • chris73 3.1

      I’ve been pulled over twice and stayed in my car both times because walking towards someone is generally considered threatening (I’m guessing from the polices point of view)

      Much better to stay in the car and follow the polices instructions

      • weka 3.1.1

        I stay in the car too, not sure why. Sometimes a safety thing, mostly probably laziness. Might be about changing the power dynamic though.

    • James 3.2

      I used to work on the states a lot.

      I often preferred to take a day and drive than flying on the wee commuter fights.

      Was warned about this several times by people I work with. Sadly the risk is real.

  4. weka 4

    Opinion piece from Mark Jennings at Newsroom,

    There are some things about the Carol Hirschfeld RNZ saga that just don’t add up.

    Why would a highly respected, experienced broadcasting executive like Hirschfeld repeatedly lie to her boss?

    Especially given that she had enjoyed a highly successful partnership with that boss?

    Hirschfeld and RNZ CEO Paul Thompson are widely credited with pulling off a remarkable revival of RNZ in the face of a funding freeze and a somewhat staid culture.

    Thompson’s digital and strategic skills married with Hirschfeld’s style and TV experience seemed to be the perfect combination.

    He suggests that the meeting was a relationship building one, and that Hirschfeld’s lying about its planning was around the politics of Cullen’s plans for RNZ to do public television. Still doesn’t make sense of Hirschfeld lying to Thompson though.


    • Graeme 4.1

      Maybe a management / board directive that only the CEO and Chair were to meet with the Minister or MPs. We haven’t heard much about the culture within RNZ, but I’m wondering what went on too.

  5. weka 5

    That’s a great photo. One of my favourites from the other day.

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.1

      This bit suggests that Thompson doesn’t want to go with Currran’s full plan, and is more in step with Griffin:

      Since the policy announcement both Thompson and RNZ’s chairman, Richard Griffin, have played down expectations of what RNZ+ will be – suggesting it is an extension of what they are already doing rather than something new.

      It’s possible that anything that Hirschfeld said to Thompson about Curran’s planned changes would be relayed directly to Griffin.

      • weka 5.1.1

        True, but we don’t know what the meeting content was, and the lie was about whether the meeting was planned or not. Why lie about that?

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Yep. It’s the lie that’s the problem. It may have been their way of trying to hold off the manipulations of Griffin. But, if so, it backfired and was not the best way to go about dealing with Griffin’s resistance.

          • weka

            if it had been formally planned then CH would have had to inform her boss?

            If your theory is correct then that’s even more damning of CH. I get it, but it was still a daft move. I had been thinking she had just told a stupid lie at the start and then needed to keep telling it, but if it was part of an intentional strategy that’s way worse.

            • Carolyn_Nth

              There’s always stuff going on behind the scenes that we don’t see.

              My impression is that there’s been a lot of right wing maneuvering behind the scenes to undermine public service media. I think that’s why Hirschfeld and Mihingarangi Forbes left Maori TV, and also probably why Forbes and Campbell left TV3. Their experience was probably of some pretty dodgy dealings.

              However, it sounds like the pre-meeting texts shows that Curran initiated the meeting. A better minister would have been more aware of what she would be leading CH into, and would have managed the whole situation better.

              Drawing a public sector employee into discussions that lead to self-destructive behaviour does nothing to help implement the changes Curran is after.

              • ianmac

                The Cabinet Manual tells what is expected of Cabinet Ministers. Claire Curran has done nothing wrong according to the Cabinet Manual. Its a beat-up like the Russian spy story.
                Australia with over 20millon people could find only 2. NZ with 4 million nil. And the members of the Five Nations agree and accept that.

                • Roflcopter

                  Except this part of the Cabinet Manual….

                  If an employee wishes to communicate privately with a Minister about a matter concerning the agency by which he or she is employed, the Minister should ensure that the employee has first raised the matter with the agency’s chief executive.

              • weka

                god, what a mess. A whole lot of behind the scenes stuff does make the most sense.

  6. Jilly Bee 6

    I’ve have been wondering to myself for the best part of the day about Jacinda Ardern’s comment about the general lack of Russian spies in Aotearoa presently. I would presume she is going on advice from – well, whom, exactly. If this advice has been proffered by the GSCB via the Five Eyes network are they bumbling nincompoops or deliberately undermining her.

    • ianmac 6.1

      2 in big Australia. Nil so far in NZ. She gets her information from the NZ SIS whose job it is to Know. She cannot just deport someone/anyone who looks Russian can she?

      And although it was a Russian missile that brought down the airliner, they are still trying to find out who fired it. An international Tribunal is still deciding.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 6.2

      On the other hand if we want to deport some Chinese spies, don’t go to the embassy, go to the National party office.

    • Brigid 6.3

      She’s getting advice from the spies that are not here. 🙂

      If there are any here anyway they’d be damned bored, albeit highly amused.

    • veutoviper 6.4

      “Jacinda Ardern’s comment about the general lack of Russian spies in Aotearoa presently.”

      She did not really say that but her wording was a bit off. The action taken to expel Russian “spies” by other countries is in relation to only one small category of intelligence operatives – namely what are known as “undeclared intelligence staff”.

      Andrew Geddis on Stuff and on the Pundit Blog has done the best job I have ever seen of explaining this category of intelligence operatives I have ever seen.

      Here is the link and an excerpt


      And so the action that obviously was agreed behind the scenes was to kick out the “undeclared intelligence agents” that each country has identified as working out of its various Russian diplomatic posts. Exactly what is meant by an “undeclared intelligence agent” is then very important, as it is the key to why NZ acted (or, didn’t act) as it did.

      An undeclared intelligence agent is not an ordinary diplomat who gathers gossip, monitors news media and attends cocktail functions in order to report to their government at home what is happening in NZ. All diplomats do this – our embassy staff overseas just as much as Russian embassy staff here. So “collecting information for your government” does not make someone an undeclared intelligence agent.

      Instead, an undeclared intelligence agent is a member of a country’s secret service who pretends to be a diplomat in order to actually undertake covert operations in the country to which they are posted. They are really spies who are pretending to be diplomats so as to get the benefits of diplomatic immunity should they get caught spying.

      Because these two things are not the same, they are not viewed the same in diplomatic interactions. A country kicking out a diplomat because they actually are an undeclared intelligence agent is a lesser deal than is kicking out a diplomat proper, because the “diplomat’s” country knows that they’ve basically been rumbled misusing their diplomatic privileges.

      So, that’s the level of response that the UK’s various friends collectively decided was warranted – not kicking out “real” diplomats (which is a major step) but kicking out spies-in-diplomats-clothing (which is a lesser step). Which then is a problem for New Zealand.

      Because it appears that we don’t have any Russian undeclared intelligence agents on hand to kick out. This claim has, I know, been met with ridicule by many. I mean, it’s Russia! We all know they spy all the time on everyone!! And New Zealand is so very, very important that they must spy on us, too!!! Please? We need the validation … .

      Except – maybe there just aren’t any down here at the bottom of the world. And even if there is some undeclared intelligence agent kicking about in the Russian embassy, our SIS doesn’t know who it is. Nor do our overseas intelligence partners, apparently, because we asked them and they couldn’t finger anyone either.

      I hope that helps but I also suggest that you read the whole article to put the above into context.

  7. joe90 7

    Apparently the man directly responsible for the post invasion insurgency, the ongoing violence and the deaths of perhaps 100K or more Iraqis is much more at peace now.

    Gradually, Bremer appears to have come to terms with the vitriol. “He still answers hate mail,” Francie told me. “People will say, ‘Do you consider yourself a war criminal?’ Or ‘Why don’t you go commit harakiri?’ Nice things like that. But I think he’s much more at peace now. We both are.”

    Still, it’s quite a comedown for a man who, back in the summer of 2003, was being talked up for a top cabinet post himself. At a high point of his CPA tenure, Bremer received a note from Colin Powell joking that he was probably measuring the drapes in the Secretary of State’s office. The viceroy’s reply: “‘When I get out of here — if I ever get out of here — I’m going to Vermont and I’m going to show you a Rip Van Winkle act like you’ve never seen,” he vowed. “I’m going to sleep for years.”



  8. Keepcalmcarryon 8

    Adern risks being a one term prime minister according to Hooton.
    Ominously possible but not for the reasons he is stating. This is death by a thousand cuts from every single branch of commercial media which is arrayed against the government. Relentless antigovernment propaganda.
    This has to be aggressively countered.
    If National can fund friendly media, shut down their detractors and stack boards then it’s time to get cracking.


  9. One Two 9

    That photo is hyperbole…

    Managed hyperbole…

  10. Tamati Tautuhi 10

    There is obviously a clash of cultures at RNZ, an intelligent attractive indigenous woman vs an aged white man, ex National Party PR man, who is past his best b4 date ?

    • Anne 10.1

      In broad terms that imo is exactly what is happening and it explains why she felt she couldn’t tell him the truth.

      Veutoviper on open Mike (I think) had past dealings with Griffin and she described him – among other things – as a misogynist.

    • bwaghorn 10.2

      so brown woman breaks the rules and it’s a white mans fault , got any proof, or was she trying to climb the ladder behind his back ?

      • mpledger 10.2.1

        It would be interesting to know what CH thought the meeting was going to be about. She might have initially thought the meeting was about things besides RNZ – the minister wanted a run down on the media sector based on her experience or maybe she thought the minister was head hunting her for a job. She might not have thought she needed to get permission if those were the topics and it was only during/after the meeting that she found that she had been dropped into it. The only safe way was to lie because telling the truth would have got her fired sooner.

  11. Tamati Tautuhi 11

    I am just guessing but I would politely say “she has probably just had a guts full of working in a toxic environment with not particularly nice people” ?

    Hopefully the worms will come out of the woodwork ?

    MSM in NZ and Worldwide are a disgrace to journalism and accurate reporting, and that is a fact ?

    • Anne 11.1

      MSM in NZ and Worldwide are a disgrace to journalism and accurate reporting, and that is a fact.

      Hear, hear.

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