Helen Clark on BBC’s “Hardtalk”

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 pm, April 5th, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: helen clark, interview, youtube - Tags: , ,

Sarah Montague from BBC’s Hardtalk interviews Helen Clark – starting with a question about whether the time might be right for a New Zealand referendum on republicanism.

I’ve got to admit that I found it thoroughly refreshing to watch an interview where the interviewer doesn’t pull punches but also isn’t competing to be the centre of attention.

The 23 minute interview is split into three parts. BBC publishes content to YouTube but doesn’t allow its videos to be embedded. The screenshot below is linked to part one of the YouTube hosted footage – click it to watch the interview.

You can find part two here and part three here.


16 comments on “Helen Clark on BBC’s “Hardtalk””

  1. gobsmacked 1

    1) An interviewer better informed on our politics than many of our own.
    2) An interviewer who doesn’t let Clark get away with dodging the question (e.g. on methane, or coal), but persistent and professional instead of either chummy or rude.
    3) A longer interview than on any NZ television programme, with the possible exception of Agenda, which is on a stupid time and wasn’t on at all for months.

    And this from a foreign broadcaster on the other side of the world. NZ television should be ashamed of the third-rate crap we get instead.

  2. r0b 2

    What s/he said.

  3. Lyn 3

    Double and triple ditto. And thanks for the link. Once again it’s the electric internet doing what NZ’s media can’t.

  4. ghostwhowalks 4

    But remember, the interviewer probably had a week to prepare, with no other appearances.

    Sounds like John Key !

  5. Lyn 5

    I should probably have added that the electric internet is an avenue for allowing us to consume the better quality public broadcasting made elsewhere with better budgets. We do what we can here, but the way things are set up makes it really hard to make great media.

  6. randal 6

    the meedia here has been whipped into submission by corporate owners and the greybeards choosing wimps for future grooming…besides that they are all waiting for celebrity themselves and a front page on the No Idea to put away for their grandchildren or forever or whatever comes first…and furthermore none of them can actually WRITE!

  7. illuminatedtiger 7

    Heh you’re covering this one too? 😉

    What an intelligent woman we have as our Prime Minister. As I’ve said over at NewZBlog it’s a shame we don’t see this side of her more often in our sound-bite dominated media.

  8. reid 8

    In part 3 she says that if NZ was to trade only with countries they agree with that would limit choices to Switzerland, Ireland and the Scandiavians.

    That’s the second time I’ve heard that line – she also said it on Radio Left Wing last week.

    But I wonder how she reconciles that comment with her total inaction on implementing the Irish economic reforms that turned it from a basket case into the booming economy we see today. Things like a focus on IT and bioinformatics and targeting low-employment regions that offered low tax regimes specifically to overseas companies were a vital part of that revival, according to a talk given by one of the architects that I listened to at AU’s School of Business in 2001. He said he was travelling down to see Helen the next day.

    And nothing has come of it. When Motorola decided to locate its R&D centre in Aus some years ago, I was reminded of the dearth of policies that could have seen NZ placed in a much better position than it currently finds itself.

  9. Pascal's bookie 9

    Another thing that Ireland had going for it of course was that is a member of the EU, no? That comes with a tonne of fringe benefits, subsidies and access.

    But in any case I’m not sure how the failure to replicate any of Irelands exact policies is irreconcilable with what she said.

  10. reid 10

    No it’s not irreconcilable Pascal, just a lost opportunity from the earliest days of her administration which, had we implemented it back then when she had the knowledge to do so, might have, in fact almost certainly would have, made a very significant beneficial difference. And that was foreseeable then and would now with the benefit of hindsight, have actually really truly resulted in tremendous benefit. But for reasons unknown, she didn’t, did she?

    And what have been the downside? Nada.

  11. randal 11

    Irelands transformation mainly came from the establishment of large data processing centres for the eurodollar banks and the rest built on that but it seems that they are not doing so well at the moment

  12. Matthew Pilott 12

    Reid – what, specifically, would you have seen Clark’s government do? I’m assuming there are tangible aspects of the ‘celtic tiger’ transformation you see couls have been applicable here – I’ve yet to see an decent argument for this, but I’m always interested.

  13. fossilgeek 13

    What about the US$8m loan the Labour Government made to RightHemisphere to keep its R & D based in Auckland for 3 years and encourage IT developments in NZ including products for our schools? Adobe’s 3-D platform is being developed right here.

  14. The number one reason for Ireland’s success is that it implemented a low business tax policy of 12.5 % (which lead to a massive influx of capital and business into Ireland)compared to New Zealand’s “punishing success” tax of 30/33%. Now before all the bleeding heart socialists moan “what about health, education and welfare?” … Ireland spends four times the amount that we do on those departments. With its successful economy, it can afford to. New Zealand with its high tax regime is marching blindfolded to the poor house.
    Finally I agree that the hard questions Helen Clark received by the BBC interviewer showed up what a bunch of lapdogs our journalists are when they actually face our politicial leaders. Helen Clark gets a very easy ride here for a leader who economically has achieved virtually nothing, especially when we also have a weak National opposition that appears to be terrified of committing to any policy at all.
    Nick Kemp

  15. reid 15

    Well according to that architect it was a two pronged approach. One was, as Nick and others suggest, an attractive tax policy but that had a twist, which was as I said above, to select specific regions and to give them a specific tax rate that was only available to overseas companies who wished to setup a business there.

    The second equally important prong was to focus like a laser on a couple of very specific areas that the architects carefully selected as being capable of providing great growth. Ireland chose IT and Bioinfomatics, which is basically number-crunching for genetic research. You need about 3-4 Bioinfomatic specialists for every genetic specialist. They decided this in the early 90’s so they were quite prescient. They designed their universities accordingly and the rest is history. At the time, 2001, Ireland was a bigger software exporter than the US. That’s how well it worked.

    Sure they may have issues now, but their strategy turned it from a basket case into the Celtic Tiger, and relatively speaking, Ireland is still doing very well. They found many people who had emigrated returned home, they had good employment stats, huge balance of payments credits, the population was very well educated, etc.

    Now we would have to do things differently, select different areas of focus for example, but the general principles they used are still applicable now, even though we have different geography and it’s now a different time, technologically. The point is, we don’t, we just let it drift. They didn’t. And look what happened.

  16. Jum 16

    Look at the Irish economy a little closer and for all the rich …… you have an ever burgeoning poverty class. New Zealand has already been there. It didn’t work.

    New Zealand is not a basket case now. It is working to carry all people forward.

    I cannot understand some people’s trust in business to deliver best outcome for NZers. The railway is a perfect example of business selfishness in action.

    When will National realise that business philosophy cannot work without equal worker input? Business arrogance continues to astound and disappoint me because it fails time and again, shareholders lose their life-savings and workers lose jobs, because business thinks they have all the answers.

    What has changed about business now that should enthuse me to trust in them?

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