web analytics

NZ Herald: Damning report rewritten after ‘war-room’ meeting

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, November 14th, 2015 - 17 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, newspapers, spin, uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

The Herald seems to have accidentally deleted the online version of yesterday’s big story from Kirsty Johnson on how the government manipulates media perceptions. However could that have happened?

The original link is now 404 (as of last night). Fortunately various web sites have archived this very interesting piece. Education Aotearoa have the best coverage, see also Pastebin and The Herald on Facebook.

As a public service we’ll archive it here too. Required follow-up reading on No Right Turn.


DAMNING REPORT REWRITTEN AFTER ‘WAR-ROOM’ MEETING
NZ Herald 13 November 2015

A damning report by an education watchdog about babies and toddlers was partially rewritten after high-level meetings about its “risk” to the Government.

Documents show Ministry of Education advisers also tried to mitigate the impact of the Education Review Office report by planting good-news stories to balance negative media coverage, and carefully crafting a communications “narrative” during “war-room” meetings before its release.

Politicians and sector experts say the behaviour is concerning, and have raised queries about potential political interference in an independent body, plus a lack of transparency at the agencies.

The departments involved have rejected allegations of interference. The ministry said any changes made were a “decision for ERO”.

The ERO said “neither the Ministry of Education nor the minister directed or influenced the report in any way”.

The circumstances surrounding the release of the ERO report, “Infants and toddlers: competent and confident communicators and explorers”, were revealed in emails between ministry staff that the Herald obtained under the Official Information Act.

They show staff frantically planning for the release of the study – which found almost half of early childhood centres were not doing enough for under-3s in vital developmental areas, and therefore not meeting their curriculum requirements.

The finding followed a series of other reports that highlighted issues with the quality of early childhood education, and urged the Government to raise standards. The worst of those pointed out that poor-quality early childhood education can be harmful for children.

The most recent study was undertaken in early 2014. ERO sent it to the ministry in February this year, after peer-review and consultation. It initially recommended the ministry use the findings of the evaluation to “form policy development impacting on the education and care of infants and toddlers”. This then changed, with ERO suggesting the report be shared with the Advisory Group on Early Learning, with emphasis on the curriculum. Initial communications plans were drafted, but it then sat in limbo until July, when ERO decided to make it public. The report was sent to the minister’s office on July 31.

**********************************

Here is the response to an OIA request Herald reporter Kirsty Johnson received from the Ministry of Education.


damning report disappeared

17 comments on “NZ Herald: Damning report rewritten after ‘war-room’ meeting ”

  1. Paul 1

    So clearly the Herald’s editors obey the government and big corporations orders.
    John Roughan’s obsequious biography of Key shows he is a sycophant, not a journalist.

    Chris Hedges, in his book ‘Death of the Liberal Class’

    “The liberal class refuses to recognize the obvious because it does not want to lose its comfortable and often well-paid perch.”

    Sums up the leadership at the Herald..

  2. Sirenia 2

    That is such an interesting paper trail. It shows how the system works when public servants work for the government not the public. There are some good people in the spin team and in the Ministry generally. I would suspect that they don’t like doing this type of cover up.

  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    Kirsty Johnston….Wahine toa!

    She will probably lose her job at the Herald after this.

    You know….if we could be confident of sound, unbiased and reasoned journalism and reporting…would we be happy to pay a subscription?

    Scoop is good for press releases, but are they doing this kind of work?

  4. David H 4

    It makes you wonder what’s next. A months Notice for rocking the boat?

  5. Ch-ch Chiquita 5

    Just a reminder why we so desperately need an honorable source of news. I hope Scoop will succeed in the quest to do it.

    Am I too hopeful that if the Herald managed to get its hand on the report so did the opposition?

    • greywarshark 5.1

      ***As to scoop***
      This came on my email Thursday 12 November 2015.
      As 10pm we have had 518 incredible pledges and a total of $40,405 in donations pledged.
      It’s been a wild ride this week, and lots of fun for the Social Media team. On Wednesday PledgeMe asked Scoop’s editor Alastair Thompson some questions about the campaign and featured the answers in their crowd-funding blog!
      http://blog.pledgeme.co.nz/the-scoop-foundation-for-public-interest-journalism/

      You can follow what we are up to on our twitter accounts @ScoopTrust and @ScoopNZ (with support from @althecat and @newzealand ) and on the Scoop Independent News Facebook Page

      Scoop Hui Postponed Till 22nd November
      Some of you will have received emails from us with details of a “Public Meeting and Scoop Members and Contributors Hui” on Sunday 15th November. We have postponed this meeting for a week till 22nd November. It will be at the same time 2pm and same venue St Andrew’s on the Terrace Parish Hall.

      edited

  6. I have been told by two totally unrelated people with contacts in the News industry that NZ news professionals have been under D-Notice since 9/11.
    This is an official request to news editors not to publish or broadcast items on specified subjects for reasons of national security. In practice this means that there is a lot of scrutiny and control over what is being published in our MSM!
    And of course the fear of publishing anything deemed of national security makes for a powerful self-censuring mechanism even when it is in the public’s interest to know!
    I’m not saying it was used here but it says something about our freedom of the press if this is true!

    • Incognito 6.1

      This might be the case but the article did get through the ‘filters’ and did get published only for it to be pulled afterwards!? It was also based on information obtained under the OIA so anything ‘damning’ would have been edited, we can be sure of.

  7. ropata 7

    The saga continues…

    Good morning @nzherald – where is this story? https://t.co/KYpEQjfoYn— Lamia (@LI_politico) November 13, 2015

    .@LI_politico I went out and bought today's @nzherald to find out for you! This appears on page 3. pic.twitter.com/PSii3cNbNw— Graeme Edgeler (@GraemeEdgeler) November 13, 2015

    @GraemeEdgeler @LI_politico @nzherald so her editor got lawyered, in other words— Sacha Dylan (@kaupapa) November 13, 2015

    If you're keeping track at home, this is one more apology than the Herald thought Amanda Bailey deserved. And this is how power works.— Giovanni Tiso (@gtiso) November 13, 2015

  8. Mr and Mrs Brillo 8

    We are picturing a dire epidemic at the Herald.
    There seems to be no one on duty today.

    Two stories critical of John Key – an Editorial “Why John Key Should Say Sorry” , and Audrey Young’s column “Key Attack Leaves him Offside with Women” both invite us to Have Your Say underneath. Both are datelined 5am. Here it is 12 hours later and there are NO comments shown. Apparently NO ONE has commented on either story. Yet this household did, on both, this morning.

    We expect we will have to wait till Monday again before they run any comments. That’s what the Herald usually does when people criticise this government. Another tactic is running the comments made by Key’s admirers (or hirelings) and dropping the critical ones.

    • veutoviper 8.1

      I have heard that the delay in putting up comments on Herald opinion pieces is also a ‘click-bait’ tactic – the more clicks on an article, the greater the advertising revenue and/or payment to the writer of the article.

      I have watched this closely over the last year or so, and the delays in putting up comments are getting increasingly slower for most but not all opinion pieces. Often, on the main Opinion page they will show (X comments) but then when you click on the actual article, there are no comments and these do not come up for some hours. Again, a click-bait tactic presumably.

      Yet, comments appear very quickly on a few other articles. Usually, non-controversial ones, but not always. And comments on some author’s articles appear much more quickly than others. For example, my perception has been that comments on articles by John Armstrong, Fran O’Sullivan and Audrey Young articles take forever, whereas comments appear much quicker on articles by Toby Manhire, Bryce Edwards – and Rodney Hide!

      • Mr and Mrs Brillo 8.1.1

        Update:
        The comments sectons on both the stories we mentioned eventually appeared on Sunday morning. Our comment on the editorial was published, but our comment on Audrey Young’s column was not. There was nothing defamatory or vulgar about our comment, but it was very definitely anti Key’s behaviour.

        On the other hand, several comments each were allowed through that were made by a team of commenters from the far right who comment on each and every NZ political story, almost as though it was their job to do so. The same four or five names turn up under every story, attacking “loony lefties”, women, and anyone who criticises National.

        (We don’t agree about comments being published quickly on Toby Manhire’s pieces, however – sometimes these take till Monday to appear, as well. )

  9. greywarshark 9

    Scoop is coming up the straight, passing NZ Herald, DimPost is falling behind and the punters are stuffing their hands in their pockets and saying it’s Scoop for me!
    https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/4175-scoop-is-seeking-1000-kiwis-who-care-about-the-future-of-nz-news-media

    $50,000 Pledge Target
    578 Pledgers
    $45,194 Dosh pledged

    3 days TO GO (think 17 Nov Before …11 pm – see below.
    90% Complete
    Make a Pledge

    Pledges will only be confirmed if the target is reached by: 17/11/2015 at 11:00 PM
    Rewards

  10. veutoviper 10

    There was considerable discussion yesterday on Twitter about the disappearing Kirsty Johnston article, prior to everything else being overtaken by the dreadful news out of Paris.

    It seems that the Herald deleted the article from the website, and then issued a short correction notice in the print edition of the Herald yesterday but not on their website. The notice is as clear as mud.

    The correction notice can be viewed in this tweet conversation –

    Further discussion on the possible reasons (eg legal action) is in this further Twitter thread.

    Kirsty Johnston also tweeted briefly, but is unable to discuss the matter.

    So whether more will come to light or not remains to be seen.

  11. Mrs Brillo 11

    One thing I do not understand is how a commenter called “Undecided Voter” gets three or four comments published under every political (and many other sorts of) article in the Herald, even articles which are so overcrowded by comments that my own comment does not get published.

    Nothing “undecided” about him, he’s a rabid National supporter with a very ugly turn of expression.

    The thing which you and I can be undecided about is whether he is a member of the Herald’s staff, or National’s staff.

    And I’m making this comment here rather than to the Herald, as here it may actually get a chance to be read.

    • Anne 11.1

      Mrs Brillo, I’m obviously banned from commenting on TV3 online articles. After the axing of Campbell Live I had the temerity to criticise Weldon and Christie, since when I can’t even open the comment section to read them. I’m no radical or online subversive raver, so goes to show how authoritarian and psychopathic TV3 has become under the stewardship of said individuals.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago