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Dear advertisers, ditch Paul Henry

Written By: - Date published: 1:17 pm, December 8th, 2009 - 133 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Rather than start facebook groups and make complaints to TVNZ or the BSA about Paul Henry, someone has decided to hit them where they really hurt: in their back pockets.

Good. Expressions of outrage do nothing but generate media for this little sh*t and confirm to TVNZ that they’ve got a ratings winner. And higher ratings mean more advertising revenue.

Which leaves us with two options. Either ignore him and hope he goes away (which simply isn’t happening) or short-circuit the ratings game and directly attack the revenue. No money. No Henry. It’s that simple.

And it’s already started to work. FreemanX has already pulled their TVNZ advertising.

With that in mind please make sure you take some time today to email each of the four following sponsors telling them you will not be giving them your money while they continue to sponsor this clown:

Heritage Hotels – susang@heritagehotels.co.nz
McDonalds – kate.porter@nz.mcd.com or mark.hawthorne@nz.mcd.com
Village Roadshow – info@roadshow.co.nz
Visit Britain – newzealand@visitbritain.org

Hat-tip (and more details at): The Hand Mirror

lprent: Making this post sticky to the top of the site for a while…

133 comments on “Dear advertisers, ditch Paul Henry ”

  1. fizzleplug 1


    Yet another post about Paul Henry is an extension of the time people focus on him.

    [lprent: Yeah – well we realize that you’re pissed. Perhaps we should shut the booze shops for vidiots like you.
    There are about 20 people who have post access to the site. What you’re looking at is posts by different people annoyed by Henry. The previous one was by me, and this is by Irish. Now I’m sure you have the intellectual ability to understand that there are at least 2* people that have written a post on Paul Henry.

    * the number ‘two’ – comes after ‘one’ – perhaps you’d better visit Sesame Street again..

    This message was brought to you by Paul Henry and his retarded social development. ]

    • fizzleplug 1.1

      Heads up – I never identified the author in pointing out that this was another post about Paul Henry. All I said was “yet another post about Paul Henry”.

      Reading comprehension FTW?

      [lprent: Apologies. I just finished lambasting vidiot and made an assumption.
      Reading comprehension FTW? I’m trying to get as ‘funny’ as Paul Henry. It is harder than I expected to debase yourself downwards to that level of humor. I keep showing too much intelligence – like Sesame street FFS. ]

  2. vidiot 2

    Yet another post from IB on PH – got stalker ?

    [lprent: You name yourself well – I’m pretty sure I wrote the last post on Henry.
    If you’re mistaking Irish’s style for mine then I think that as well as being a (v)idiot, you may need to get your eyes or brain stem checked.
    This message is brought to you by Paul Henry and his retarded social development. ]

    • IrishBill 2.1

      This is the first post I’ve ever written about the creep. You’re banned for six months.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Oh damn. I was just setting up a “I want to comment on all your comments” for vidiot. You’re letting him off lightly.

        • spot

          Ratecard for those spots probably somewhere between $1200-2000 a go across a couple of hours, in theory, pre discounting.

          Anything you can do to let the agencies/advertisers know you’re in the target demographic can only be a good thing.

          For starters – household shoppers with kids and All People 25-54.

          He’s a twit, but a rating one, and TVNZ will very sensitive to revenue on a ratings earner like Breakfast.

          • lprent

            What would be interesting is if NZ has rating periods and if the offensive comments are at or just prior to those. Does anyone have any idea where I’d find out what those periods are?

            • Rex Widerstrom

              Television ratings tend to be taken fairly constantly because Nielsen have their “peoplemeters” feeding data back every day and sell the television execs that they will know whether that evening’s hoped-for blockbuster flopped or flew by 9.30 am the following morning.

              Unlike, say, radio, where they still rely on a “diary” system and so the ratings phases are fairly well known.

              You’d probably best check with Nielsen Media in NZ though (and while there, laugh at their website which, aside from looking like it’s been designed by a high school kid using Frontpage, has up-to-date ratings info for May.

              May 2008, that is).

              If they’re coy, then some academic institutions provide access to the database used by the industry, though of course you have to have the right credentials. It seems Auckland University is one of those so if you have any arms to twist there, you can probably tell from the dates on the data what the phases (if any) of data collection are.

            • spot

              There’s week-by-week stuff published out of the FTA broadcasters, but it’s mostly “Top20” stuff and dominated by News, Current Affairs and Primetime programming, I doubt Breakfast will be anywhere near those lists by a ratings measure.

              For TVNZ, the number of spots possible say between 0600-0900, the simple ratecard, plus other branding and partnership type relationships – it’s big coin for schedule slots otherwise filled with cr8p.

              They’ll be very aware of the Henry angle, in fact, we can almost guarantee they’ll be especially researching/surveying to keep an eye on the numbers.

  3. Thanks for the promo Irish.

    fizzleplug, ignoring Henry hasn’t worked, he is still there and still saying his crappy stuff. In my experience ignoring a bully of his nature doesn’t work. Getting together with others and saying this is unacceptable does make change.

    • fizzleplug 3.1

      Except that for every viewer they lose, another one turns on to see what all the fuss is about. If you don’t like him, change the channel. The remote has buttons for that express purpose.

      I enjoy watching him. I don’t always agree with what he says, and he sometimes offends me, but at least it wakes me up in the morning instead of putting me back to sleep like Sunrise.

      Toad, I also boycott McDonalds, but probably for different reasons than you. Their food is terrible.

      • felix 3.1.1

        Except that for every viewer they lose, another one turns on to see what all the fuss is about.

        Yeah, this is exactly the point of targeting the advertisers instead of the tv station.

        Their food is terrible.

        Just one of many very good reasons to boycott them.

        • Eric C.

          Haven’t watched TV1 in the morning since Paul Henry’s breakdown over rat balls that left him spewing water all over poor Pippa.

          Thanks for the list of advertisers though. I was able to make my thoughts known without having to watch the rat bag to find out who to blame for keeping him on air.

  4. Pat 4

    Anyone tried changing the channel?

    You have a choice – watch the slow death otherwise known as Sunrise, or simply turn the telly off.

    • A Nonny Moose 4.1

      Pat, you had an entire 5 minutes to read Julie’s reply about how ignoring a bully doesn’t work. It just tacitly implies that they continue.

  5. toad 5

    Problem, IB, is that I already boycott McDonalds for other reasons. Mind you, I suppose they don’t know that.

  6. The Voice of Reason 6

    I’m still boycotting Shell for hanging that poet and the only time I go there is to pump their air into my tyres. It doesn’t worry me that they don’t know I’m sticking it to them. Karma will sort them out eventually.

    In fact, my twenty year silent boycott of Macca’s appears to have born karmic fruit, with them having move away from unsustainable beef farming and plastic burger packaging and even introducing vege options to woo back punters cynical about their over hyped crap.

    I’m a big fan of noisy mass protests, but I don’t mind silently rejecting the status quo on a personal level. It’s quietly satisfying.

  7. ben 7

    Free speech anyone?

    • felix 7.1

      Is the government trying to censor Paul Henry again?

      Naughty government.

    • IrishBill 7.2

      I assume you that by “free speech” you’re celebrating our right to use our free speech to let advertisers know how we feel? Good stuff, let us know what response you get from Henry’s sponsors.

      • Tigger 7.2.1

        When has the government ‘censored’ Paul Henry? And what does this campaign have to do with the government. BTW, free speech means also being able to critique the free speech of others.

        • felix

          I was referring to what “free speech” means as opposed to what ben thinks it means.

          It’s the freedom to speak without being silenced by the state which doesn’t apply in Henry’s case.

    • A Nonny Moose 7.3

      Wow, I’m astonished that this has to be spelt out, like a standard 4 class in english critique.

      Freedom of Speech – “I don’t personally like Susan Boyle’s musical style, but I’m sure her plucky story will appeal to others.”

      Not Freedom of Speech – “She’s a retard, tee hee.”

      Freedom of Speech – “I think we should debate how much emphasis our society puts on the delivery of a message.”

      Not Freedom of Speech – “That’s a moustache on a lady!”

      Inciting hatred and ridicule is not freedom of speech, it’s freedom from having a gatekeeper on hate.

      • ben 7.3.1

        You are exactly wrong.

        Speech is not free when it is conditional on saying what doesn’t offend.

        Free speech is the right to offend. Anyone. Politicians. Actors. Musicians. Confused Standard posters.

        • Ari

          Free speech also implies that people are free to object to what you say as individuals, and if you do so in your place of employment, that they can complain to your boss, or failing that, take action against your employer.

          Freedom of speech coupled with freedom of association also implies consequences to unacceptable speech.

    • Ron 7.4

      God – I’m getting bored with that catch cry, “free speech”, Bill.

      Yes – PH has a right to free speech and I have a right to believe he’s pompous, rude and discoutreous and that his contribution to our society is a negative one. I also have the right to spend my money where I see fit and to communicate with the companies I do business with about our mutual interests.

      It seems, Bill, that ” a right to free speech” has come to mean “let me say what ever bigoted, ignorant bollocks I want but don’t criticise me. It’s my right”
      Yup – it’s your right to be a dick and it’s my right to do what i can to point that out to you..

      • ben 7.4.1

        Yes, fair call Ron. And if everybody around here left it there, one could hardly complain.

        But political correctness of the sort others on this thread display denies free speech. Political correctness does not stop at mere disagreement or changing the channel. It is the desire to punish someone for a contrary and offensive opinion. To get them sacked. To organise a revolt against his employer.

        That, I submit, is a disrespect for free speech. That implies a view that that person does not have the right to disagree. I see no respect at all here for Henry’s right to say what he said, offensive as it was. I see every attempt at getting him shut down.

        I do not want to live in a country where 200 people out of 4 million who write a letter to the government can take away the right to say what I think. When you lose the right to dissent without consequences – which is exactly what others on this thread argue for – then you are not free. Not that anybody in our great country thinks that matters.

        • lprent

          This isn’t exactly a new issue with Paul Henry. I dropped a few links for past posts about Henry further down the comments.

          I suspect that it will be somewhat more than 200. We get thousands of people reading this site everyday (apart from weekends), and tens of thousands reading it every week.

          We’ve never done demographics, but if it follows the usual for the net, it will on average be a very high disposable income demographic. More importantly, it will be a very vocal and articulate demographic.

          I suspect that the majority would object to Paul Henry. We certainly don’t get much objection to the past posts on his ‘style’.

          I’d suggest that everyone who reads the site and dislikes Paul Henry even partially as much as I detest him – exercise your free speech – write an few e-mails.

          • ben

            Lyn, how is much of this post relevant? Does it matter if readers of your site earn more? If there are 2000 or 20,000 objectors does that matter? It is still a tiny fraction of the population. I personally think there is no god ,something that probably 60% of the population disagrees with and, say, 15% find offensive. There is no value at all in having the majority rule on whether I can say that in public.

            I’d suggest that everyone who reads the site and dislikes Paul Henry even partially as much as I detest him exercise your free speech write an few e-mails.

            This is patently inconsistent. You’re suggesting, ‘use your free speech to arbitrarily deny that of others’.

            • The Voice of Reason

              “This is patently inconsistent. You’re suggesting, ‘use your free speech to arbitrarily deny that of others’.”

              Firstly, free speech or not, it’s not fair to put words in peoples’ mouths. LP is not ‘suggesting’ anything other than what he has written in his comment.

              Secondly, it is not arbitrary, nor about the rights of ‘others’. The post is a call specific to one person; Paul Henry.

              The question, as I see it, is should the state broadcaster tolerate this sad sack and his bigotry and misogyny?

              And if you want to argue that he has a right to free speech on air, Ben, I would argue that he does not. He is an employee (and bound by a code of conduct he has regularly breached). He is paid for words and his ‘wit’. But that does not grant a right to abuse or humiliate people.

              • ben

                And if you want to argue that he has a right to free speech on air, Ben, I would argue that he does not. He is an employee (and bound by a code of conduct he has regularly breached). He is paid for words and his ‘wit’. But that does not grant a right to abuse or humiliate people.

                You are of course correct. But nobody here is arguing Henry is wrong because they have read his employment contract and found he has breached its terms. The argument is, in essence, saying unpopular or offensive things is correctly punished, regardless of employment or the fact that the broadcaster is state owned, etc.

            • lprent

              Advertisers and advertising agencies tend to obsess about these types of numbers. After all they prefer not to have too many people getting too pissed with them.

              However it was answering someones ideas about how many people read the blog site. From memory they seemed to think that it was a few hundred (TE was as usual suggesting his usual partisan bullshit numbers). There are far more commentators than that apart from anything else.

        • Galeandra

          If speech is offensive presumably it’s coming at some sort of cost to the subject, or the listeners? How then can that be considered to be ‘free’ or a ‘right’?

          What is expected is that adult citizens will be inoffensive ones, mature enough in their judgement to not intentionally offend against someone else’s values or beliefs.
          But that does not preclude people from offering robust criticisms of attitudes or values that they find objectionable.
          Surely you don’t consider Henry’s remarks to be as such? Dissent they ain’t.
          I think that he displays a kind of pathology of puerility. He sniggers at things that seem odd from his worldview and he has no idea of the offense he gives. He doesn’t accept the legitimacy of viewer complaint (itself the exercising free speech, surely?) and his indifference has as much to do with narcissistic self belief as it does with journalistic judgement.
          It seems entirely reasonable that people should oppose him and attempt to shut him down. After all, while free speech is his right in his own domain,it’s not necessarily that way from a taxpayer provided pulpit, surely??

          • ben

            This is exactly the problem. Making bad taste illegal or punishable is dangerous and unhelpful. Is the Left really going to abandon its love for dissent simply because that would allow one Paul Henry to make idiotic comments? Or is it only the “right kind of dissent”, as judged by offending less than 200 letter-writers, that should be permitted?


        • Ron

          No one is writing to the government about Paul Henry, fo Christ’s sake.(or if they are they’re idiots)
          I am exercising my right to shop where I please. I don’t shop at businesses that mistreat their staff, I didn’t use to shop at businesses that did business with Arpartheid Sth Africa, I won’t shop at businesses that choose to support the bigot Paul Henry.
          I can sit back and let him be a destructive bigot or I can exercise my right to shop where I f*#@ing well please.

  8. Santi 8

    I already emailed FreemanX to complain about its lack of balls.
    Yes,I have also e-mailed TVNZ to keep Paul Henry on.

    Freedom of expression rules.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      Good for you. I’m sure they’ll be concerned about losing the valued fuckwit demographic.

    • Ron 8.2

      See above Santi.
      If by “having balls” you mean one ought to be ignorant, arrogant, discourteous and bigoted then I’m happy without them.

  9. The Voice of Reason 9

    Cheers, Felix. I’d thank you properly, but I’m busy polishing my halo.

  10. Monty 10

    Of course some of us (especially right wingers) love Paul Henry and think he should have his own show. I suppose you were not complaining when he took the issues to John Key before the election, or when he is on TV all chummy with helen Clark in New York.

    I suppose what counts is viewers and there must be enough to justify what ever advertising $ organisations and businesses pay. If any business pulled their advertising because of Paul Henry I would have nothing but contempt for that business, and thereafter refuse to purchase products if at all possible.

  11. Swimmer 11

    Paul Henry pretty much does already have his own show.

  12. Craig Ranapia 12

    Had the great pleasure of explaining to a perfectly nice person at City Life Wellington why the better half and I wish to cancel a booking we’d made for next February, and will instead be patronising an establishment that doesn’t enable and fund Paul Henry’s idiocy out of its marketing budget.

    If Heritage Hotels/CityLife can afford to lose around $800 of business during a recession, more power to them. I’m reliably informed that there are plenty of hotels in Wellywood that aren’t in such a good state.

  13. Jim McDonald 13

    I’m writing to TVNZ to say that from now, every time I see Paul Henry on tv, I will switch channels or turn off the tv. If you feel the same, do that and make it widely known among your family, friends, work colleagues, etc

  14. Tim Ellis 14

    Paul Henry certainly does seem to have infuriated a lot of people on the Left. It seems the only response is to try and lynch him out of television altogether.

    • Lew 14.1

      Tim, how precisely is withdrawing support for a product you dislike akin to hanging someone by the neck from a tree?

      I know it’s a tough question … but it seems de rigeur these days to, you know, appeal to crimes like rape and murder and slavery in order to score cheap political points, so it’s a question which can’t be left unasked any more.


      • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1.1

        If it was someone like Pam Corkery, the right would have a thing about to say about her continuing on TV

      • Tim Ellis 14.1.2

        Lew, I didn’t mean lynching in the literal sense and I don’t need to tell you that for you to know that. If you don’t like the use of that term you might also appeal to LP about his use of it at http://www.thestandard.org.nz/i-dont-give-a-shit-about-hone-but-the-lynch-mob-is-interesting/

        I understand that Mr Henry has over 21,000 facebook supporters. I don’t think the threat of a couple of dozen left wing activists who don’t watch Mr Henry and don’t stay at the Heritage hotel anyway is going to have a lot of effect though. He is the most valuable brand TVNZ has.

        • Lew

          Tim, there’s a wee bit of a difference with the Hone case, because there were folks actually calling for him to be subjected to actual violence. Nobody I’m aware of is calling for any action to be taken against Paul Henry at all (and those who are are in the wrong). Only informing his advertisers of the consequences (insignificant as they might be) of continuing to support him.

          It’s peaceful, orderly, positive civil society working as intended — more different from a lynch mob as you’d be hard pressed to find.


          • Tim Ellis

            Fair enough if you object to the term, Lew, but it wasn’t intended on my part to be associated with violence or slavery as you interpreted it.

            Perhaps I should have said that there are some who are intent on “hounding” him out of television.

            Given Mr Henry’s position as the most valuable item on TVNZ, I don’t think it will work though. Mr Henry has some twenty thousand supporters on facebook. A far cry from the couple of dozen who are writing to advertisers (I suspect of products they don’t buy, in the main, anyway) asking they withdraw their patronage.

            • Lew

              And that’s another thing — Paul Henry being TVNZ’s strongest asset? That’s a bit of a worry. Not that it’s germane to the matter at hand.


            • Stacktwo

              Good grief, Tim! I knew things were bad, but has TVNZ really come to this? Henry their most valuable asset !?

    • Armchair Critic 14.2

      TE you are exaggerating – lynching involves death. While this will hopefully result in the death of PH’s career on TV, it will not result in his death.
      There are plenty of other careers he could pursue. Politics, for example. Same clown, different circus.
      Perhaps he could run for a seat just out of Wellington at the next election. Maybe he won’t be such a loser this time.

    • Ruth 14.3

      It’s not lynching – it’s the free market at work.

      BTW I recall quite a few on the Right from Not PC blog hassled Hallensteins CEO about his stores selling Tshirts with Che Guevara’s image on them — to much applause from many commenters…

    • Galeandra 14.4

      Mr Ellis, if you have a soul you will be offended too, right, left or centre. I would hate you to be laughed at as a retard merely because you work in a bank, or lack a moustachio. Your walk sox and grey shoes for the moment I will set aside.

  15. NeillR 15

    Its good to see that the Standard has finally gone blue.

    • lprent 15.1

      I’m getting around to fixing it. It is a failure of your browser to pick up the style sheets.

      Blue is the colour for failure.

  16. Why not just change the channel?

    • Lew 16.1

      Because the purpose isn’t to ignore the problem and hope it goes away; it’s to make the problem go away by making it harder for people to keep ignoring it.


      • ben 16.1.1

        How about letting people just make up their own mind – about what they watch and who they buy from, without running a campaign? What could the objection to that possibly be?

        To the extent Henry really has offended the population, the response will emerge from the choices people make, and you will have your truly democratic answer. What is the objection to this?

        • Lew


          People are free to ignore him, yes. And from the remarks here, they are doing so. But part of freedom is being able to advocate your position in public, so people who object strongly to his actions are free to make their dissatisfaction known. Like in elections; everyone is free to vote; are you saying nobody should campaign?

          The political factor is very much in play here: the channel is owned by the NZ government, and consequently it represents all New Zealanders (whether we want it to or not). Since folk are forced to own a share of it (to adopt the libertarian rhetoric), why should they not make known their wishes as to the content it broadcasts and the values it embodies?


          • ben

            Lew, its the coercion I object to. “Making” the employer come around to your point of view is not an expression of freedom.

            Simply putting your point of view out there, campaigning, are all consistent with freedom and free expression.

            The state broadcaster angle is irrelevant. Had John Campbell said the same thing on privately-owned TV3 there would I think be equal upset.

    • felix 16.2

      That’s the idea. To change the channel for the better.

  17. Terry 17

    The guy can be rude sometimes…so what…its better than being a priggish middle class prude. Some people realy do need a damm good dose of harden the Fu@k up!

  18. Sean 18

    As I pointed out on Hand Mirror, the people most likely to be effected by this campaign are the low-level workers, not Paul Henry and the Breakfast Executive Producer. Less overall advertising revenue = more redundancies.

  19. FreemanX in no way, shape, of form wrote anyone that email. I don’t know what he’s said to annoy you all, I don’t get a chance to see the show as I’m typically working. I don’t have a view for or against because I don’t know what you’re talking about however I have spoken to our solicitor regarding the ‘Idiot’ who made up an email and misrepresented it as fact. Regards, Eddie Freeman

      • Tim Ellis 19.1.1

        LP I’m afraid that all those many links show is a quite concerted campaign against Mr Henry to get him sacked.

        • lprent

          Nope. If you have a look through them, there are quite a few of our authors who think that Paul Henry is probably the worst presenter we know. Most of the posts are reactive when a author got annoyed and had a rip at Henry during a post. That was just a selection from a larger set. Some posts even complimented Paul Henry when he occasionally did an effective job as an interviewer.

          It is only recently (ie in the last few days) that you find any concerted attempt to get rid of the socially inept, biased, bigoted, and outright obnoxious idiot.

          However even I watch Breakfast on the odd occasion. It is disconcerting to see the dork ‘interviewing’ people who’d be quite interesting if they had an effective interviewer.

          In my case I decided that even TV would be better without him after watching the Stephanie Mills ‘interview’. It isn’t like he is a particularly good interviewer except on the odd occasions when he has actually read the background material. However he seems to be too lazy to do that most of the time.

          As I said in my last post about him. He doesn’t belong in in anything except his own bad comedy show. I’m sure he can then find his audience to laugh at his pathetic ‘jokes’.

          • ben

            You know Lyn an important factor in any libel case is whether the offending author was motivated by malice.

            Exhibit 1 for the jury:

            It is only recently (ie in the last few days) that you find any concerted attempt to get rid of the socially inept, biased, bigoted, and outright obnoxious idiot.

            I’ve taken a screenshot of this thread and will forward to Mr Freeman at the earliest opportunity.

            • lprent

              Gee. Do I care?

              You’d probably be better off sending it to Paul Henry as that was whom I was referring to.

              Are you aware of the primary defense against defamation proceedings? It isn’t particularly hard to demonstrate that all of these things are an accurate portrayal of the facts. All I’d have to do is get the tapes from TVNZ as part of the disclosure and select a few minutes.

              • ben

                Yes, truth is a defense. Which, if what Mr Freeman above says is accurate, this site as the publisher of false materials will not have access to.

              • Are you aware of the primary defense against defamation proceedings?

                Truth. I have the email, I have no doubts about its provenance, and so I am not afraid of any lawyers.

                As for FreemanX, they should own their words. And if they want to go back on them and retract that initially very strong statement, then they should be honest enough to admit that that is what they are doing.

    • Tim Ellis 19.2

      Goodness me, this is very serious. If that is the real Eddie Freeman commenting here, and Mr Freeman did not write that email to norightturn, then how did norightturn receive that email? Did he receive an email at all?

      • lprent 19.2.1

        The net being what it is, the probability is that this one is a prank (the english and punctuation in the comment is pretty bad). However it doesn’t match anything in my records for the usual suspects. So I’ll treat it as legitimate for the moment.

        • Tim Ellis

          Yes LP, to be fair you took norightturn’s post at face value, which you had every right to do. You might want to look into it. It strikes me as highly unlikely that norightturn would have made up the email that he received, and yet I can’t see why somebody would post on here pretending to be Eddie Freeman if it isn’t him. One of you is clearly the victim of a prank in my view.

    • Akldnut 19.3

      Eddie FreemanX – looks like someone did you a favor, why aren’t you claiming the email and running with it!

      What have you got to gain from sponsoring a rude, arrogant, obnoxious little jerk who uses his position to ridicule and bully innocent people.

      Pray you don’t have an accident and endup talking on TV with a lisp or deformity
      cause this Pratt will just take the piss out of you!!!

    • FreemanX: The email was sent by your employee David Noble on December 7. If you disagree with its contents, then perhaps you should take it up with them.

  20. Rex Widerstrom 20

    Might I propose a solution that preserves all the “freedom of speech” concerns supposedly preying on the minds of Henry’s supporters?

    Take him off the news so those who want their information delivered without the wit and humour normally found during playtime amongst Year 3s don’t have to endure his puerile nonsense.

    Preserve his “freedom of speech” and give him a platform to talk to his “fans” (many of whom, I suspect, are just of the contrary mindset) via, as has been suggested above, his own show wherein he gets to voice his opinions on anything he likes.

    Divorce the egotistical preening and bullying from the delivery of news and see how long it stands alone, and how many advertisers want to support it (as opposed to wanting their message in a newscast and reluctantly accepting it’s delivered by a gibbon).

    In the meantime, I fully encourage these full-throated expressions of support for Henry. It helps identify the kind of people I want to avoid meeting. Ever.

    And for the record I did have the same aversion to Pam Corkery. I recall once when I had a role in establishing NZ’s first phone-based job board (this was before the net).

    Because Telecom wouldn’t come to the party with free calls we had to make it a 900 number and charge the 55 cents a call Telecom charged. Corkery interviewed me and her first “question” was to accuse me of “exploiting the unemployed for my own profit”.

    When I explained to her we didn’t make a cent from callers (we made our money from advertisers) not only did she deflate immediately but she couldn’t think of another intelligent question to ask. Clearly all she’d ever intended to do was set up some “capitalist” to make herself look good.

    I’ve no time for any broadcaster, on any side of the political spectrum, who thinks their role is to massage their own egos while taking cheap (and ill-informed) shots at other people. If they belong on air at all, it’s within the confines of an opinion show and not as a news presenter.

    • ben 20.1

      Rex, who said anything about being a Henry supporter? One can without any contradiction object to constraints on freedom of speech for the unlikeable for the simple reason that if the state is going to shut down people we don’t like, it can also shut down those we do.

      Is free speech really something to be discarded whenever somebody you happen to disagree with says something on television? Is that really the sort of world you want to live in?

      What does your Corkery story have to do with anything? Are you suggesting Corkery shouldn’t have the right to be uninformed and loud?

      Frankly I would prefer the state protect me from people like you.

      • lprent 20.1.1

        What does the state have to do with anything. Paul Henry has offended citizens who are the people acting against him….

        Do you think we are the state? Are you permanently deluded or is this just a phase? Do you think you have brain damage or is this natural?

        This message was brought to you because of Paul Henry and his strange sense of ‘humor’

        • ben

          I see we’ve slipped into the personal abuse again, Lyn. Unbecoming.

          Freedom of speech is the right to offend.

          There is irony here. In the comments thread on a post denouncing one person for his offensive public remarks, you stoop to the use of public insults on your contributors. And simply for disagreeing with you.

      • Armchair Critic 20.1.2

        What does freedom of speech have to do with Paul Henry? He can express his narrow minded idiotic views in a wide range of other places. Are the other four million or so other inhabitants of NZ denied their freedom of speech because they are not hosting a show on TV? I don’t think so.
        I will continue to exercise my right to not watch him.

      • Galeandra 20.1.3

        Well done Ben. You sound more & more like Mr Ellis all the time.

      • Rex Widerstrom 20.1.4

        Read the last paragraph ben. The Corkery story has to do with this…

        People who wish to lounge about offering up their own uninformed prejudices may or may not have a place on television. That is for the viewers and the broadcasters to decide.

        They do not, however, have any place presenting or reporting the news, which demands that those who do so are informed, intelligent and possess a certain skill set including an ability to conduct interviews which elicit information.

        This isn’t a freedom of speech issue (for me, at least) it’s about seeing the utter decline of the profession I began in and which I still list on my passport and other places that force me to pigeonhole myself.

        It’s about, as Lynn says way up above there somewhere, wanting to hear what interesting interviewees have to say and being denied that right (and them having their rights of free speech denied) by an incompetent concerned only with his overweening ego.

        Corkery is just another example of another person, but from an entirely different perspective, who lacked the skills to be an effective news and current affairs broadcaster, and I used her to point out that ignorance can manifest itself as moustache and retard jokes or as sham advocacy journalism but the end result is a viewer- or listenership that is poorly served.

        I’m not suggesting Henry be removed from television, just from television news. That’s motivated not by his unlikeability (though he is eminently so) but his incompetence.

        • ben

          Rex, I am trying to keep track of all the principles you seem to believe in:

          a) viewers and the broadcasters should decide who gets on television

          b) viewers and the broadcasters should NOT decide who reads the news? Well who should?

          c) you have a right to hear from interesting interviewees

          d) interesting interviewees have a right to be broadcast

          Are you making this up as you go?

          • Rex Widerstrom

            a) Broadcasters decide, viewers can influence that decision through ratings and direct action such as protests, which they’re perfectly entitled to do.

            b) To some degree, yes. News is too important to too many things (from the functioning of our democracy to knowing whether to carry an umbrella tomorrow) to permit it to become just another ratings-driven reality show.

            The problem is, there’s no alternative on offer in NZ. See, I don’t care what monkeys Seven, Nine or Ten hire to “report” the news and read the autocue. I don’t care that Today Tonight and A Current Affair are packed with “weight loss miracle” and “dodgy tradesman” stories because I can watch the ABC News and the 7.30 Report.

            But all NZ viewers are offered are different flavours of s**t and when more people consume the chocolate flavoured excrement it’s declared a “ratings winner” and this is the justification for keeping it on.

            Who should? Well it seems the only answer is that there should be a wider range of broadcasters and at least one should be government funded (or subsidised, as is the case with the excellent SBS) and dedicated to quality.

            That way, with a choice of watching news on one channel or a gibbon (sorry, Ari) on the other(s) everyone gets what they want.

            c) Me and everyone else, yes.

            d) If they’re invited onto a show, presumably it’s to hear what they have to say and not, for instance, to have their appearance mocked. Or have you mistaken ‘news” for “freak show”?

      • Rex Widerstrom 20.1.5

        [Lynn I wrote a much longer reply and it disappeared!]

        You need protecting from people who lament the decline of standards in news gathering and presenting?

        You’ve clearly missed the point entirely, ben. The reason I referenced Corkery was to make the point that, regardless of the host’s political persuasion or the way in which their ignorance manifests, incompetent people with little or no grasp of the topics on which they are presenting do not belong in a news / current affairs studio.

        It’s about, as Lynn said above, the audience missing out on information because the host is more concerned with their overweening ego.

        If he wants to sit in a studio and make moustache, retard and ball jokes and people want to watch him – and people want to have their ads run during that – then you won’t hear a peep out of me (other than an opinion as to how puerile I personally find it).

        But when this sort of malarky stands between the news and the people who deserve to hear it, then it’s time the obstruction was removed.

        [lprent: Nothing I can see. Usually it is the browser failing to send it in because of connection problems. Using the back button on the browser will usually display it again so you can resend. ]

        • ben

          You need protecting from people who lament the decline of standards in news gathering and presenting?

          I need protection from people who would lobby the state and not merely shop elsewhere but organise against advertisers who support people they disagree with. I do not want to live in a world where you are not allowed to broadcast things that some people find offensive – even if I am among the offended.

          I am pleased and agree with you that what gets on television should be, ultimately, up to viewers. But defining an exception to news is absurd, and even dangerous. It is hard to see how defining a role for the state in deciding what is acceptable in news delivery (and, presumably, content) is helpful. The danger is obvious.

          And I am quite sure One Breakfast does not have a monopoly on news. Nobody does. Letting viewers vote with their feet on both entertainment and news is both safer and, I suspect, delivers a better product than any state mandated alternative could. Nobody thinks news is any good, it seems, but that is probably a product of it not being possible to be all things to all people, least of all ex-journos like yourself who know a good news story when they see it. People are voting with their feet away from traditional media anyway. What is the problem that state mandated anything is meant to solve (if that is what you are meaning)?

          • lprent

            It is hard to see how defining a role for the state in deciding what is acceptable in news delivery (and, presumably, content) is helpful. The danger is obvious.

            There you go with the ‘state’ again. What does it have to do with the discussion that is going on here.

            This is private citizens deciding that they’ve had enough of a dickhead in a proported ‘news’ and current affairs program. The only thing the state has to do with it is that they happen to own the station. It could have as easily been TV3.

            Once you remove the ‘state’ part of your statement, then you are correct. If we don’t work against f*ckwits on our news shows then we will wind up with crappy entertainment proporting to be news. Fox ‘News’ is a case in point.

            So citizens should act against the f*ckwits on news programs denigrating people to prevent the even worse ones (eg Fox) from getting a foothold.

            • ben

              As I made clear I am not certain what Rex is advocating is state intervention. But he seems not to trust consumers to vote with their feet when it comes to news. So if not the state intervening, then what?

              As I have said, if this thread was about letting people vote with their feet, then I can have no complaint. But it’s not. Its about coercion, about organising against advertisers in place of a well-functioning feedback mechanism, which is peoples’ willingness to watch Paul Henry in the morning. I can hardly imagine a more democratic system that the one currently in place. Yet the desire of some on this thread is to organise to override that system and force their own views on others, whether via the BSA or by organising to boycott advertisers. It is a use of freedom, yes, but it is done to deny others their freedom to say what they want, however offensive. And in that important sense it is coercive and therefore repulsive and dangerous.

              Let Henry say whatever stupid sh*t he wants, and let people vote with their feet. What could be simpler or safer or more fair?

              • Pascal's bookie

                No one is in a position to force any one to do any thing Ben. They are asking.
                How can anyone here coerce TVNZ or advertisers?

                Short answer; they can’t.

                They can make their feelings known, and ask for actions to be taken. You however seem to think that they shouldn’t be allowed to do this. In fact, Henry has a legal right to his freedom of speech, (which does not extend to a platform on tvnz). By trying to conflate that right with his job, you are trying to say that it should be illegal for people to do anything more than change the chanel.

                If the ratings system is so fine, then what is the difference between a boycot and chagning the chanel?

                Both are aimed at making the programme less viable to run in it’s format.

              • ben

                Pascal 12:09pm

                No I’m not saying that. I do support people’s right to protest and organise against TVNZ and, of course, to say their opinion about it. My point is that response implies a disrespect for the rights of others to have their say. If others on this thread were content to say, “I disagree” and not watch Henry, I could have no complaint. But an active campaign to get him removed (or “corrected”) implies a disrespect for the right of others to say disagreeable things. The attitude seems to be, let’s make them do something about Henry. It is the coercion, or the desire to coerce, that is objectionable. Why is any action beyond voicing your opinion and leaving others to make up their own minds necessary? It looks to me like an attempt to circumvent a strongly democratic process already in place, which is peoples’ right to vote with their feet. Which, by the way, they overwhelmingly do in favour of One Breakfast, at least for now.

                Of course, as I have said repeatedly, Henry is bound by his contract with TVNZ and by their policies. But that is between Henry and his employer.

              • Pascal's bookie

                “But an active campaign to get him removed (or “corrected’) implies a disrespect for the right of others to say disagreeable things.”

                No it doesn’t. You are inferring that. No one is objecting to Henry’s right to say whatever he likes as a private citizen.

                He doesn’t have a right to say whatever he wants on TV though, that’s up to TVNZ, and people have every right to try and influence that. That’s part of their free speech rights.

                Where is this ‘coercion’ exactly? No one can actually make TVNZ do anything about it, but they can say that they should do something about it. It is a normative case. No one is suggesting a law change or anything of the sort.

                The fact is that we have a right to FoS protected by law. It is illegal to stop anyone using that right. You are claiming people are trying to do that. Ergo you are claiming that what people are doing, by simply writing letters expressing their feelings, should be illegal.

              • Rex Widerstrom

                We seem to agree on the principle of people voiting with their feet, ben. But (refer my comment above), they have nowhere to go.

                Like it or not, TVNZ is a state (read taxpayer) owned broadcaster. I personally don’t think TV1 ought to be this “neither fish nor fowl” conflation of “public” broadcaster and commercial entity. It can’t work and it isn’t working.

                My preference is to sell TV2 and fund a single public* broadcaster (a main channel and maybe some low-cost digital specialisations) modelled on the ABC (fully public funded) or SBS (partly public subsidised).

                Then people do have a place to turn. At present the choices are Breakfast, Sunrise, or nothing (assuming you want TV news in the morning). That’s no choice at all.

                Removing Henry from news is an imperfect solution and it won’t fix everything that’s wrong with it. It’s tinkering at the edges of a much bigger problem.

                But anything that improves the quality of news is worth doing.

                * Independent, protected by charter from state editorial control.

    • Ari 20.2

      Rex: Gibbons are graceful and intelligent animals that do not deserve to be compared to such base behavior. 🙂

      • Rex Widerstrom 20.2.1

        Ya know, as soon as I posted that I thought, “some smart arse is going to berate me for insulting gibbons”. Thanks for being that smart arse 😛 😉

  21. vto 21

    Do you think the fuckwit can walk down the street without copping from the public the abuse he dishes out himself?

    I would suspect not.

    I know I would be very tempted to make things very uncomfortable for him if I saw him. After all, he publicly abuses people himself.

    He is just a c..t

    attack those advertisers to get back at him.

  22. Steve 22

    Amazing that Paul Henry pisses a lot of people off, the same people that tell us about using the remote to change channel or switch off.
    Some people like Paul Henry, so stick it where the global warming sun don’t shine

    • Ari 22.1

      If you like Paul Henry, you can always write your own letters. Not sure how you justify defending misogynist race-baiters though.

  23. Sean 23

    Could I suggest that rather than indirectly target the workers at TVNZ, that those who want to express their disgust at Paul Henry do so in a way that directly affects him. Target your sanctions at the individual, not the workers. Thanks for your patience, transmission will resume shortly.

    • Ari 23.1

      I think that’s what people have been trying for some months now, Sean. Clearly it’s time to escalate, given that Mr. Henry has, too.

  24. Sean 24

    I do find it a little bit on the nose for a site that has heavy links with unions and has triumphed the rights of workers is suggesting a course of action that will work against the various members of the EPMU and PSA at TVNZ (myself included). I’d hate to think my rep was putting my job at risk.

    [lprent: Talk to your union rep. This site is very independent, some of us are unionists, some are not. In fact I’ve never been in a union.

    But I find it interesting that you want to support a puerile fool like Paul Henry. Do you have anything to say about the substance of his comments?

    I suspect that losing him will increase the number of viewers. I certainly avoid watching because he is such a dork who likes laughing at his ‘jokes’ that only seem to be amusing to him. At least that is what I see in the faces of the other people on camera. ]

    • IrishBill 24.1

      I’d suggest that the people putting your job at “risk” (although I don’t believe this campaign risks anyone’s job but Henry’s) are the managers that have refused to pay any heed whatsoever to the complaints about Henry thus far. I’d also suggest that the minister calling for a $30m profit from this particular COC in the midst of a recession might have some small blame to bear.

      I’d further suggest that fighting for the rights of workers should not extend to protecting their employers from their own repeated stupidity.

  25. handle 25

    “Free speech” is not an absolute thing and having a television show is more influential than a chat in the pub. Broadcasting licenses come with conditions including not denigrating or demeaning people.

    Henry is a bully so he picks on groups that have always been socially weaker like women and the disabled. Him and his employers have had more than enough chances to behave responsibly. Time for justice.

  26. Who decides where to draw the line in the sand?

    Wanting someone fired or banned is pretty right wing if you ask me.

  27. Rodel 27

    I’m left wing and I turn to another channel when I see Henry’s face. My beloved sister who is right wing- a tory also changes channel when she sees his face.Mainly because she says he offends her as a woman.

    He is the antithesis of what we both regard as a decent kiwi.

    When will TV1 learn what the real New Zealand audience really wants to watch?
    Congratulations on your campaign.

  28. Sean 28

    At no time did I say I support Paul Henry (or not), and I challenge you to show where I did. I do support all the individual workers. All I asked for was a smarter strategy that addressed the individual concerned rather than the workers who have absolutely no say in what happens.

    Irish Bill. With respect to your comments that this action isn’t putting people’s jobs at risk, I ask the following question – if a downturn in advertising revenue resulting from this campaign results in the loss of one workers job, do you feel the campaign has been successful? Cos, to be honest, things are that tight at the moment. I know its easy for me to spew forth anonymously, but I prefer to keep my head down in such an environment. It’s very easy to rail against “TVNZ” and think of it as some monolithic Borg structure.

    • Wayne 28.1

      Targeting the advertisers is a last resort. Everything else has been tried and it hasn’t worked.

      If you’re worried that Henry’s behaviour is causing a public backlash that could put your job at risk then for god’s sake grow a spine, get your workmates together and demand TVNZ management takes action on Henry. It’s that simple.

      Don’t just sit there and demand no one does anything while that bigot continues to break every journalistic ethic by abusing his position and attacking the vulnerable.

      • Sean 28.1.1

        “Everything else has been tried”. No it hasn’t. There are plenty of other options that haven’t been tried, and they are much more specific and targeted. I’m not going to spell it out for you, but they do involve a little more than sending off an email.

        “If you’re worried that Henry’s behaviour is causing a public backlash that could put your job at risk then for god’s sake grow a spine, get your workmates together and demand TVNZ management takes action on Henry. It’s that simple.” Great idea. You’re right, I need to grow a spine. After that, can I have your job?

        Again, I’m not demanding that you do nothing, I’m just saying be a little smarter about it. Please.

        To be blunt, people only survive as commercial on-air broadcasters if they bring in ratings. And all tv stations do a lot of very indepth analysis about individual presenters. They know, down to the minute, what viewers do when watching on-air talent. If the numbers stack up, then you are pretty much bombproof.

        • Wayne

          What are these options? Targeting the advertisers seems the most effective to me. If you don’t like it, give us a better alternative. If you can’t come up with a better alternative then do something yourself to remove Henry, don’t demand we just sit here and take it.

  29. handle 29

    It is not as if viewers have a lot of choice. They will still watch tvnz’s breakfast show without a total tosser fronting it.

  30. Jenny 30

    There has been a lot of talk from Henry’s supporters, about his right to free speech.

    To bad, that this right wing shock jock can dominate the airwaves, yet TVNZ reserves the right to silence the free speech of someone who tries to distance themselves from his behaviour.

    From stuff.co.nz 06/12/2009


    “At Thursday night’s Attitude Awards, which honoured New Zealanders with disabilities, Williams received a round of applause when he said: “I completely disassociate myself from Paul Henry. I only wish he could be at nights like tonight, to be inspired by people with amazing attitudes.’

    “TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said the comments would likely be cut from the televised version of the awards (on TV One at 8.30am today) because the four-hour event would be “hard edited’ to fit the timeslot.

    By CATHERINE WOULF Sunday Star Times

  31. handle 31

    “I’m not going to spell it out for you” – well that’s big of you. And Sean – *boom!*

  32. Lew 32

    Incidentally, if any of you caught Willie Jackson’s new publicity vehicle NewsBites on Monday night you’d have seen an excellent segment (Half Caste Broadcast) in which Toi Iti mocks Paul and Pippa quite mercilessly, although still in pretty good fun. http://www.maoritelevision.com/Default.aspx?tabid=224&progid=1861 — last segment. Worth watching.

    Pity about the rest of the show, which was mostly taken up by a wimpy softball interview with Pita Sharples and a shouting match between Derek Fox and Barry Soper.


  33. pagantango 33

    Paul Henry ain’t too bad for a morning show (I have laughed at times, at least he makes me listen to his shit, because I know it will be ‘idiotic’ and on TV- he may be all ‘cheese’ but at least he isn’t dull), he is just a bit ‘dufus’ and he ‘spoofs off’ and sometimes takes it too far without thinking of the consequences, I’m sure he has freaked out now with all this blog waste-of-time-crap. The moustache thing- he just didn’t shut up, if he had said it once sweet, but he went on and on. Well at least what he has done is better than what others have done before. He just gets a bit desperado pulling the jokes- and goes a bit far. God what is it with aging men when they get on TV, having to use ‘phony’ charm to make up for- no charm I suspect. He needs to just ‘mellow out’ a tad, respect others, look from a wider perspective I believe.

    For Paul Henry love from ‘pagantango’- hang in there,

  34. tsmithfield 34

    I think those of you wanting to pressurise advertisers to ditch Henry are being quite hypocritical IMO. On one hand you accuse Henry of being a bully, but on the other hand, aren’t you engaging in bullying behaviour yourselves by the campaign you are waging?

    What basis do you have to set yourselves up as moral police to decide what can and can’t be said on TV?

    If Henry is causing such wide spread offence, he will lose ratings. Then TVNZ will act and remove him. This is the beauty of freedom of speech. Give someone enough rope and they will do the job themselves.

    • lprent 34.1

      No I’d say that he is a puerile obnoxious dork who is pretty useless in his news role. I never said anything about him being a bully. He just screws up interviews with trivia and is offensive to people behind their backs in a rather cowardly manner – which i find quite obnoxious.

      Paul Henry and his supporters argue about free speech. However they apparently mean for Paul Henry – not for the people who despise him. They are simply communicating their displeasure. Last time it was to TVNZ and the TV complaints. That got a result. However TVNZ and Henry paid lip-service only to that. So this time it will go for something that is more effective.

      The ratings are pretty meaningless. He is causing offense. So we intend to offend him in turn more directly than a ratings systems that is archaic, not transparent, and not actually representative of the viewing populations

  35. Pascal's bookie 35

    “What basis do you have to set yourselves up as moral police to decide what can and can’t be said on TV?”

    No one is doing that. They are letting TVNZ’s advertisers know that they personally won’t be using their services because they support something that offends them.

    All they are ‘setting themselves up’ as is arbiters of what they personally find offensive, and what they support with their spending decisions.

    “If Henry is causing such wide spread offence, he will lose ratings.”

    Not necessarily. The ratings system itself is imperfect, people may well choose to watch things that offend them (it’s exciting!!), or may put up with Henry’s offensiveness to get whatever other benefit they get from the show.

    This is the beauty of freedom of speech

    As noted many times above, by many posters, unrebutted; Henry’s freedom of speech is unquestioned. That freedom does not gaurantee him a platform to say whatever he wants on TVNZ’s breakfast show, any more than it grants you or I such a platform.

    What he says on that show is an employment matter. When you sign up for a job which entails speech, your speech in that job becomes potentially restricted by your employer without any connection to your political rights to freedom of speech. This is not difficult.

  36. There was a reason that I called the title of the post suggesting people email the advertisers “Paul Henry must change or go”.

    I could have just as easily ditched the “change or”.

    As an employee his employer has a responsibility to support him to address concerns about his performance. If he can stop blurting out these offensive and unprofessional statements then as far as I’m concerned he doesn’t need to go, or be banned, or whatever other thing some people on this thread seem to think I mean, which I don’t.

    I note that Henry’s behaviour is not nearly as bad on Close Up, so he can do it. He just chooses not to on Breakfast. I generally think he is a poor interviewer in both environments, but that’s another issue entirely.

    Sean I can see that for some reason you are not comfortable sharing in this forum your ideas for addressing the issues with Paul Henry’s behaviour. I’d really appreciate it if you could email me about them, which you can hopefully do by clicking on my name, and we can discuss them further in confidence if you like.

  37. Sean 37

    Your name appears to link to Hand Mirror. Tried to find an address there – still searching! Please excuse my technical ineptitude 🙂

    [lprent: People can’t see each others e-mails (for good reason). I’ll send you Julie’s e-mail (as she has offered) which you should get if your e-mail is valid. ]

  38. Haven’t heard from Sean, my email is firstname dot lastname via gmail.

  39. He has now emailed me.

    On the FreemanX thing, Idiot/Savant emailed me a copy of the email he received and it looks genuine. Neither he nor I have heard anything further from FreemanX, despite the threat in the comment regarding legal action. I/S has a strong history of straight dealing on the blogs, despite using a pseudonym.

    I leave readers to draw their own conclusions from that regarding the veracity of Eddie Freeman’s comment.

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    5 days ago
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  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
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  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
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  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
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  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
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  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
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  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
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  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
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  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
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    1 week ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
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