web analytics

Media and our National Day

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 pm, February 10th, 2008 - 17 comments
Categories: john key, Media - Tags: ,


The decision of TVNZ’s CloseUp to pay to assist Tame Iti to travel to Waitangi this year was the focus of Media Watch this morning. Ever ready to offer an opinion the PM stepped in with her view that:

“I think it is a waste of public money.” (Dom Post, 7 Feb 2008)

And the Dominion Post also raised criticism, saying:

No amount of huffing and puffing from the state broadcaster will obscure the fact that it has been caught trying to manufacture sensation.” (8 Feb 2008)

But what i find interesting is the suggestion that, as Tracey Watkins suggests in her blog, will Key regret those cosy and comfortable images in the future?

Tracey Watkins: “What message does a picture of a hongi between himself and a man facing arms act charges project to the nation? Imagine the controversy if Clark had shown Iti similar warmth.” (7 Feb 2008)

And imagine the reaction to TVNZ’s generosity should Clark have attended and been snapped in a similar pose! The cries of political interference would be deafening!

17 comments on “Media and our National Day ”

  1. Tane 1

    Good point there from Tracy Watkins – it’s something I’d been wondering myself. I also find it amazing how easy it is to engineer a photo opportunity, and how easily led the media are on these things.

    I do think the PM’s comments were unwise – as much as it may have been politically necessary to criticise TVNZ she should have steered clear of commenting on how it spends its budget. Strangely enough I agree with the Dom Post on this one – the real issue here is one common to all media, and that’s the worrying tendency to manufacture the news rather than just reporting it.

  2. I left a comment on Watkins’ article mentioning the fact that in 2004 MPs were sprayed with bottles of urine and remarking that after that you couldn’t really blame them for staying away. It was very telling to see the kiwiblog right’s response. Including that of “moderate” rightie Craig Ranapia.

    Closer to topic though, the issue of manufacturing the news is not a new one and I’m surprised people found it worthy of passing judgment on. After all a quick comparison of media releases with newspaper stories shows the bulk of our news is manufactured by vested interests anyway.

  3. The Double Standard 3

    Can an opposition politician be sensibly accused of political interference? Surely it is only those in power who can do such a thing.

    As far as Key and Iti goes, I guess just walking away wouldn’t be a good look either. After all he didn’t promise the guy a pardon did he?

    It’s very likely to be less damaging than this picture


    cap: my recovery

  4. AncientGeek 4

    TDS: I don’t know. There are a pile of people I can think of who would view that as being some kind of cool. One of the boys. Redbaiter seems like enough of a …. to thing that way. From your comments, yourself perhaps?

  5. r0b 5

    Can an opposition politician be sensibly accused of political interference? Surely it is only those in power who can do such a thing.

    There are degrees of power, and opposition members certainly have some. Off hand I didn’t find an NZ reference, but here’s one from transcripts of the New South Wales parliament. “The Government sees no reason why that inquiry should be open to political interference by the Opposition.”


    In general I think the American system shows us that no matter which party is nominally in control of senate / congress, individuals from either party can wield enormous influence in some areas.

  6. Having a photo op of a Hongi with Tama Iti is certainly a risk. Ultimately it could go either way and it’s hard to judge right now whether or not it will prove to be embarrassing or not.

    It is clear that Key wants to have a coalition option with the Maori in the bag and taking opportunities like this is one way to achieve it.

    CAPTCHA: grander leaders

  7. Eddie 7

    I remember a similar photo op from Waitangi 2005. Don Brash wedged between and looking very cosy with Tama Iti and Hone Harawera. It’s just what they do.

  8. I do think the PM’s comments were unwise – as much as it may have been politically necessary to criticise TVNZ she should have steered clear of commenting on how it spends its budget.

    More to the point, the news and current affairs budget is meant to be self-sustaining — ie, funded from TVNZ’s commercial revenue — to emphasise editorial independence. So the “public money” thing wasn’t relevant. (Although TVNZ has pooed in the pool a bit now by dipping into charter money for Sunday.)

    The issue was more one of manufacturing the news. To be fair, apparently TV3 was prepared to make a similar offer. And it’s not the first time Iti has demanded a fee of some sort to go on camera.

    The thing about the Key-Iti hongi is that it wasn’t a photo-op for John Key — it was a photo-op for Tame Iti that Key stumbled into. And yes, it might be looking unwise in a few months’ time. The cops will throw every bit of admissable evidence at these arms charges, whether or not it’s very relevant. My sense is that vindication is more important to them than a conviction.

  9. ziuzou 9

    AncientGreek: There are a pile of people I can think of who would view that as being some kind of cool.

    Like who? Adolescent teenagers, immature recidivists, impressionalbe fools or photo oppurtunists? Defending the picture by stating is ‘cool’ is a lame defence.

  10. RANDAL 10

    I think the PM can say and do what she likes without all the fleas jumping on her. When I see some substance in here then I might take notice..otherwise just a pack of undergraduates drinking beer in the union hall…I cant get over all these experts saying she should do this and she should do that as if what they thought mattered… “YOU” should go and jump in the lake!

  11. Billy 11

    Randal. Well done. You found that pesky “caps lock” key. Makes you sound more human. Until, of course, you read what you’ve written.

  12. Billy, for a person who has added nothing but a few snide remarks lately you’ve got some gall.

  13. Billy 13

    What can I say? I’ve been busy. Plus, I happen to think I do snide well.

  14. RANDAL 14


  15. AncientGeek 15

    ziuzou: I was being ironic.

    If you read the comments in Kiwiblog (and others), you will see some people that regularly say what they’d like to do to other people – ie assaulting them. Redbaiter seems to do it an awful lot.

    As a side comment, as far as I can tell, the only person he seems to like is himself. Must have a very lonely life.

    cap: about policies
    who programs that thing anyway.

  16. Billy – yeah, I’ll give you that. I much prefer it when you do funny though…

  17. ziuzou 17

    AncientGreek: Don’t you mean sarcastic? The term irony is misused and misinterpreted in popular culture. In this case, the use of irony is incorrect.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Fast-tracked Northland water project will accelerate economic recovery
    The Government has welcomed the decision to approve a new water storage reservoir in Northland, the first of a number of infrastructure projects earmarked for a speedy consenting process that aims to accelerate New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19.  The Matawii Water Storage Reservoir will provide drinking water for Kaikohe, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago