NZME is on a mission to change the Government

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, February 7th, 2022 - 133 comments
Categories: covid-19, jacinda ardern, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

It is beginning to feel like the media, or at least New Zealand Media and Entertainment, has it in for the Government.

They have never been supportive. Just listen to or read Mike Hosking on a good day.

But the wall to wall noise recently emanating from NZME outlets is something that Rupert Murdoch would be proud of.

Clearly there is a culture crash, between a Government wanting to do its best for the country and loud aggressive rich people insisting that business interests have to be priortised.

If you think this is far fetched then consider this recent interchange between Chris Hipkins and Mike Hosking:

Hipkins – We have the lowest mortality rate in the OECD.

Hosking – Correct. BUT AT WHAT COST?

Let that sink in. If New Zealand had matched the United States or the United Kingdom’s performance over ten thousand kiwis would now be dead. If we had matched the performance of even advanced nations with good health systems such as Denmark that would have cost three thousand kiwi lives.

And the cost?

Significant disruption to the Tourism industry but these are low paying jobs that do not contribute heavily to the country’s economy.

The fact that unemployment is at 3.1% and tax takes have increased beyond expectations suggests that the economy is doing fine.

Recent publicity concerning Charlotte Bellis has been used to bludgeon the Government but when you think about it this was strange.  Within days and with Ministerial intervention the story went from an urgent application could be considered but normally she should be trying to leave the country of origin within 14 days to MIQ slot found.  Allegations of cruelty are completely overblown and some gratitude on her part would be welcome.

The change in MIQ policy should come as no surprise. It was announced last December and only put on hold because of the threat of the Omicron wave overwhelming the country’s health system.

But the wall to wall sound this week has been unmistakable. And the problem is that the opinion pieces are not only things that invite disagreement but they are each factually wrong.

Like the Heather Du Plessis Allan piece that said that the Government’s announced unemployment insurance scheme was a breach of their no new tax policy. The problem with this is if she had actually read Labour’s policies she would have seen that they campaigned on introduction of this scheme.

Or Kate Hawkesby’s latest hit piece which is beyond embarrassing and is tragic.  Imagine thinking that a well choreographed gradual change to the border policy was awkward for the Government.

Or Barry Soper’s claim that Covid will be the Government’s undoing, and especially his claim that Omicron was “little more than a bad cold at worse [sic]”.  If Omicron is less severe then why is the world’s Covid death rate increasing?

Or Mike Hosking’s claim that our inflation rate of 5.9% is way worse than most countries. According to the latest OECD comparison it is eighteenth out of 38 OECD countries but what role do facts have in Mike’s interviews?

One aspect of the Herald that particularly irks me is not the use of National Party propagandist and occasional Standard reader Matthew Hooton whose latest efforts, to equate Jacinda Ardern to Rob Muldoon is that comical, that I struggle to understand how they could ever print it.

But the past twelve months it has printed repeated attack opinion pieces by Ian Taylor  He has that uber confidence born of the privileged wealthy vibe about him and he clearly thinks that his talent in doing the graphics for Hobbit movies somehow makes him an expert on pandemics.  Only rich white males would be that out of touch with reality that they would think this.

His posts have continuously criticised the Government’s Covid response, world beating it may be.

He said in November:

In my next column I will address the question of trust. We gave you [Jacinda Ardern] that trust when this began, have you done enough to keep it?

Fancy thinking that the Prime Minister had to account to him and his mates and not to the country.  This article also suffered from that rather major problem in that it was factually inaccurate.  He said about the emergence of Omicron:

[A]re you still confident that your single focus on vaccination as being the answer to keeping us safe is going to see you adhering to that April deadline, or will we see another shift in plans because you haven’t addressed our best line of defence – testing?

I wish he would make his mind up.  MIQ has been an integral part of protection from an early stage and the traffic light system is firmly in place.  And public health recommendations on mask wearing, hand washing and maintaining distance have been accepted by the population at large.

He thinks that RAT tests are the perfect response to a Covid outbreak.  That everything will be fine as long as we have lots and lots of tests, even though their accuracy is often not great and even though this requires all humans to do the right thing, something which the history of humanity suggests is an overly optimistic assumption.

The past week things descended into pathos.  In an as yet unknown way Taylor may have facilitated the ordering of RAT tests from Kudu Spectrum.  The orders are in place and the tests are being delivered.  But he clearly thinks that he is the Bilbo Baggins of the story.  I presume that he thinks that Jacinda Ardern is Sauron.

Things became comical this week when using all the extraordinary publication resources of the Herald he accused the Government of trying to muzzle him.

He said this:

On Friday in a conference call to discuss a self-isolation programme that I had sent to MBIE two weeks ago, I was stunned by Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall’s opening line that only the Government or a Government-approved agency could communicate anything to do with the proposal from here on, and that “Sir Ian” was to refrain from writing “bad faith” articles for the Herald.

Given that everyone else in the meeting was either a government official or already part of a government group, it was clear these pre-meeting conditions were aimed solely at me.

Wow who would have thought that the Government would have wanted to keep confidential commercial details involving potentially the expenditure of tens of millions of Crown dollars?

Minister Ayesha Verrall has said in response:

“On Friday I met with Sir Ian Taylor and Air New Zealand to discuss pre-departure testing.

“As is routine with commercially sensitive discussions, and reflecting the fact that future Government decisions may need to be made, it was agreed by all parties, other than Sir Ian that confidentiality would need to be observed.

“I made it clear to Sir Ian that within those bounds he was free to continue to publicly question and criticise the Government.

“Our work with Air New Zealand on this matter is ongoing.”

Taylor’s output has been voluminous and placed prominently by the Herald.  It has similar characteristics to Chris Bishop’s output, is completely negative and not once has it celebrated that our death rate is a four thousandth that of England’s.  And the underlying assumptions, that business knows best and should have greater say is a recipe for disaster, as the performance of Australia, the United States, England and Brazil amongst others shows.

The overwhelming impression is that NZME is on a mission to change the Government and is engaging in completely overblown hyperbole to create a feeling of despair.  How the Government responds to this will be a measure of how well it does in the next election.

133 comments on “NZME is on a mission to change the Government ”

  1. Sabine 1

    So an independent media is now also a thing that was nice to have, and Media outlets are just allowed to say and print what is good for the Labour Government?

    You mean they did not manage to just buy a good review of their actions and accolates galore? Oh boy.

    All up, the Government’s own TVNZ was the biggest beneficiary, getting more than $5 million from the package. Stuff Ltd., publisher of this website, followed on $2.37 million, almost equal to rival media company NZME, which got $2.19m.–who-got-what

    don't the guys in the Media know their place?

    Never mind that most Kiwis do not need the media to help them decide whom or whom not they are going to vote for. Government either does good and it trickles down to their communities or Government does not good and its not trickling down to communities and then people won't vote for Government but rather vote for the opposition. Maybe this government did not too good on housing, poverty, education, gender woo and legal right for men to appropriated womanhood at hte expense of the things formerly known as women, two tier society based on a 'vaccine' that neither prevents getting ill nor prevents the spread of an illness but maybe maybe keeps on alive, and so on and so forth.

    Its not the media that wants change, its the public. And hte media knows that in the end any government will come and go. And this Labour government will go at some stage and will be replaced with a different one.

    • AB 1.1

      So an independent media is now also a thing that was nice to have…

      At no point did Mickey say that – he was pointing out factual inaccuracies in NZME news coverage and their one-sided platforming of people with a negative view of the Government's Covid performance. I am sure that Mickey (like all civilised people) believes in an independent media with a diversity and balance of voices, and the sort of widely dispersed ownership that prevents those with money/power from buying the loudest voice.

      Your intellectual dishonesty is becoming a stain on this site. And it's one of the reasons I am slowly giving up on it.

    • Patricia Bremner 1.2

      Once again, no Sabine. Sir Ian Taylor has written freely and been critical. To say grants are buying the media is ludicrous. Media asked for the support in hard times.

      This meeting could not be reported as it was by agreement "In Camera" to protect Air NZ and Commercially sensitive information. When asked to respect that, he chose to walk and accused the group of trying to muzzle him.

      The group had agreed with the Chair, Public discussion and articles should be after the decision of the meeting and Board. He balked at that. Now why? Air NZ had every right to expect Commercial discretion, so did the Government. No one else complained or made the claims he did.

      • My goodness, perhaps I shouldn't say this, but Sabine is coming across as increasingly bitter and twisted, and a little detached from reality.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Column in the Herald coming up.

          The media 'bailout' was for non news areas including not having to pay NZ on Air levies and I think it might have included a waiver of the spectrum license fees for that year.

      • Matiri 1.2.2

        Ian Taylor comes across as unprofessional to say the least!

        The right way to behave in cross organisation business meetings is to always act in good faith. Whether it's public or private sector (and especially if a mixture of both) the same principles apply.

        • Patricia Bremner

          yes agreed Matiri. Spot on.

        • Patricia Bremner

          yes agreed Matiri. Spot on.

        • Anker

          Actally Ian Taylor is not all that privleged as you claim. I am not sure he did any work on the Hobbit. If he did it was not his most significant work.

          I know as a relative of mine works for him. The company delivers extremely high tech grapics and have been very innovative (remember the graphics for the first America's Cup Race). They have a lot of contracts with sports in America to provide graphics. Taylor has a can do attitute and really stretches his exceptionally talented team. He gave them credit when he was knighted. Oh and as someone else mentioned, he is Maori.

          Taylor is not about the money, he's about the challenge……..he's provided very skilled people with work and probably earnt the country quite a bit of money. He's a innovator, so probably has a lot to offer.

    • mickysavage 1.3

      NZME is not part of an independent media.

    • Ben 1.4

      Spot on Sabine. Some balance coming at last from a MSM media off by government largess ($55 million and counting). Yes Tova, Yes Jessica, no more questions Barry.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    A report on abc Australia by McKinsey and Co should be widely published.

    It showed that countries with tougher lockdowns and tighter restrictions did much better economically as well.

    The Australian conservative states who opened up early suffered economically while Western Australia with tough restrictions and tight borders boomed and iron ore exports kept the Australian economy afloat.

  3. mpledger 3

    Right after the govt had laid out the new plans for opening the border with self-isolation, the hospitality industry were on stuff moaning that arrivals self-isolating will kill the industry.

    It's a continual push, push, push in the media of business interests over health interests.

    • Leighton 3.1

      Indeed. I wonder what those hospitality advocates think will happen to local patronage when their demand that infected tourists be allowed to enter NZ freely causes a massive Omicron spike and Covid-risk-averse Kiwis (the majority of our middle class from my experience) go into self-imposed lockdown until things settle down?

  4. alwyn 4

    Did you not think the smear job by Mike Munro in the Saturday Herald was adequate payback for the millions NZME has been paid by the taxpayer?

    Totally impartial, factual and so on of course.

    Still when one sees that the author was Chief of Staff to Ardern and Press Secretary to Helen Clark one does get just a trifle suspicious of his neutrality.

    What caused him to be dumped as Chief of Staff by the way? He certainly appears to still be adequately brainwashed.

    • lprent 4.1

      Probably help if you provided a link, and probably specified if it was a premium article and therefore not readable by most people – including me.

      In the absence of that, or any quotations from it, your comment is probably meaningless to most on this site.

      Your comment about the millions being paid to NZME by the taxpayer is also meaningless unless you explain it. As far as I am aware NZME hasn't had any handouts that haven't also been provided to support employees many other media of companies. I am making an assumption that you are talking about the 2020 media support package

      Basically your comment just reads to me as simply ignorant spite. It just reads like the current editorial policies of NZME.

      Which is why I dropped my subscription to the NZ Herald last year. My daily morning online read of it started to get to being about 70% spiteful self-entitled opinions by fools who hadn’t looked at the problems outside of their own wishes. It wasn’t worth reading if I could pick up a subscription to a publication that concentrated on journalism rather than the opinions of moaning parasites.

      It is also why I dropped my subscription to Businessdesk last month. After their purchase by NZME last year, there feels to me to be a shift towards the same editorial direction. It was a pity, because they do have some good journalists still there.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1

        This is the factual claims on 'Mr Lux' Luxon behind the paywall referred to as a 'smear'

        He appears to enjoy the giddy sensation of being in the spotlight and doling out quickfire opinions. This can sometimes get messy. Luxon called for a green light setting for Auckland, then fell silent on the idea as Omicron loomed. He demanded twice-weekly rapid antigen tests for all school children without knowing that would mean getting 1.6 million tests per week into schools. He claimed Australia has 60 approved suppliers of "RAT" kits, when the actual figure is 23.

        And in parliament

        The reality was that his performance was mediocre, blamelessly so you might argue, as he'd just taken the leadership reins and was up against an adroit parliamentary performer in Ardern.

        Luxon got his speaking notes mixed up, twice having to mutter "sorry" as he fumbled with them. He also had the galling experience of watching Act leader David Seymour — who had the floor ahead of him at question time — ask the pandemic-related questions he'd wanted to put to the PM.

        Luxon appeared to lack the necessary agility to recover, which laid bare his slender parliamentary experience.

      • alwyn 4.1.2

        Of course it is premium copy. A link on their site is

        You can probably read it if you have a library card. Most NZ libraries provide access via Pressreader where you can read the story for free. I'm surprised you haven't heard about them. They have been regularly commented on on this site. You do have a library card I assume.

        Anyway Pressreader is here. It is very easy to use. Once you create a sign-on you should look for the Weekend Herald for Saturday 5 th.

        • lprent

          From the quotes by GhostWhoWalksNZ, i can't see a smear. lokks accurate from what I know. I can see how it makes Luxon look incompetent.

          I have used Pressreader in the past. It is barely usable on a desktop because it is an image of the newspaper, hard to read on hires laptop and it is unreadable on a cellphone – which is what I use to read news these days. Had subscription with them a couple of decades ago. Gave up because the form factor was archaic.

          I don't have a library card, because it is easier and cheaper on my limited time to just buy epubs and add them to my library if I find something I want to read.

          • alwyn


            The default is the image of the paper, which isn't much use. However you can choose the text view which gives you an easily read stream from left to right of the story. That is much easier to read on a computer although I have no idea what it is like on a phone.

            It is on the lower left of the screen below the Page View icon. It looks like an A with 3 horizontal slashes next to the A. It still isn't wonderful but it does work and it is free.

            Isn't the Auckland Library free? It is hard to beat free if it is there and you don't actually have to take out books.

            Anyway. I use Pressreader to read the Herald because I have no wish to spend money on the paper. Stuff isn't available but the website is free.

            As far as your comment on the story goes. Hmm. I think we will have to agree to disagree on that. I think that it is a smear but I don’t expect a dyed in the wool lefty to agree

            • lprent

              Isn't the Auckland Library free? It is hard to beat free if it is there and you don't actually have to take out books.

              I believe so. But the price for me isn't the issue. Being able to access material when I need it is.

              The best way to explain this is probably by way of example of my book reading. I have a voracious reading habit and typically read at least one book a day. I have been known read up to 10 fiction books in a day when I have time to relax.

              For obvious reasons, I reread books multiple times over the years and decades. You get more out of a book after you examine it with fresh eyes. But I often start reviewing a book I read years or decades ago in my head and feel the need to pull it out again.

              Libraries don't operate that way. The book may be there one decade and gone the next. It might be available on their license to download one week, but not the next. You can pretty well guarantee that it will be a reach to get it. They aren't good at providing material that is synced across multiple machines and devices – because I read across multiple systems during a day.

              So for books I operate a open-source calibre server and keep instances of all of the books that I buy and read. That makes them accessible to me where ever I am and on whatever device I use and across decades if required. Everything is stored as epub as being the most flexible storage source.

              This makes my library effectively independent of proprietary software.

              The features that you're describing on press reader are specific to a single piece of software, one that isn't able to be legally stored locally on one of my servers or backup systems in any persistent format. I read all of the licenses and press reader has a particularly old one. Probably because of their own legal position.

              I archive a lot of browser accessible news into evernote, and then archive that into epub (usually via pdf) into calibre. This is all done with scripts. Couldn't do that with Pressreader last time I looked at it, it doesn’t use an accessible format on its panes.

              Don't currently can't do that with NZ Herald. It isn’t legal. It wouldn't be hard – their premium security is a bit of a minimalist joke. But there is so seldom anything worth reading from it anyway.

              But I also spend about $3-400 per quarter on news subscriptions.So I tend to focus on value.

              NZ Herald isn't worth my reading time, let alone my money. It has been getting getting steadily more and more vacuous and has a dearth of news. I would pay if I could pay per article from an account. But they want me to cross-subsidise their trash like Mike Hosking to get the 10-20% that is worth reading.

              Stuff isn't great, but it is accessible at least I get regional news from it. It has been worth a regular donation for the value I receive from it.

    • Ross 4.2

      Helen Clark's husband, Peter Davis, wrote a glowing article about Labour's performance recently. Strangely, the fact he is married to the former PM wasn't mentioned. No possible conflict there. 🙂

      Fortunately, a more nuanced article about COVID and the government's overblown response was published recently.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        Strangely, the fact he is married to the former PM wasn't mentioned. No possible conflict there.

        I am sure the facts that Peter Davis is on the Auckland DHB, and has a long academic career working on on health issues at Auckland University for long before he even married Helen Clark had nothing to do with the context of his article?

        Your spiteful obsession with genitalia appears to have made you miss the first paragraph of the article – in bold.

        It does kind of put the rest of your comment in perspective for me – just another misogynist dickhead. Presumably a male Ms Grundy obsessed with what others do in their own homes.

        However, as you'd expect from an expert on public health. the article makes a clear argument based on statistics for how effective the NZ response to covid-19 has been.

        The other article is framed as being opinion and it most certainly was.

        I couldn't find any facts of interest in it apart from

        1. the author had covid-19 and had mild symptoms.
        2. the authors has a self-interested beef about MIQ because he can't easily see his family and friends in Auckland and presumably has problems with zoom.

        The rest of the article to me seemed to be meaningless waffle justifying those two things, and avoiding the issues that covid-19 has on people who aren't as lucky as he is.

        Most importantly from my perspective, there wasn't a hint of where to place the practical balance between public health and anything else. That is a very curious void in his argument, and transforms the article into a meaningless and incoherent whinge. He sounded as vague as Chris Bishop because he was essentially doing the same thing – trying not to say whom he would kill for his personal convenience.

  5. I skim read Stuff and Newshub, the old Dominion's' 'one minute silence' of the olden days of print media.

    Very early on with the 1.00pm pressers I learned to stop watching once the screamers and gotchas came on. There was only one who was genuinely asking questions, passing on ideas and thoughts from their readership and that was the person from Maori media.

    More and more I am picking up articles from overseas sources.

    • Shanreagh 5.1

      More and more I am picking up articles from overseas sources.

      Should have explained this…..I few far thinking articles though NZME except some times in the podcast area or longer items. I look at newshub and they repeat the tripe over and over again. So this morning about 50% was exactly the same as yesterday, no updates. There is more going on in the world, surely.

      The columnists at the side are good. Sometimes I set to and read a whole swag of opinions on news items where I have got too tired of wading through the trash.

      • lprent 5.1.1

        I do a daily read a daily read of BBC world, NYT, WP, ABC au, Guardian, and The Economist. Plus a semi-random selection grab from a number of other business/politics online sources from a service.

        The selection by NZME and even Stuff aren't that good. I'd suggest that if you want a better selection of mainstream world news from a single source – try ABC news from aussie.

    • Patricia Bremner 5.2

      yesThough even the Scomo Boris pile on during the lockdown was full of bile.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    As a reader that usually has something complementary to say about your posts, I am happy to give you the news Micky…Labour needs to get up on its hind legs and combat the NZ ruling class and their paid mouths for hire, some of whom you have named.

    The low NZ COVID death toll is a totally worthy achievement in comparison to the other OECD countries–own it Labour–and get over the Hobbit cultural cringe and false media strategy of “don’t mention our achievements”.

    The Govt. as well as headline Minimum Wage, Carers Pay Equity & PPL increase, has implemented scores of useful incremental reforms and things such as restoring NGO funding and Community Education that sirkey cut, that many people would not have a clue about if they are not on the NZLP mail list.

    This majority Labour Govt. will ultimately be in the crap for not delivering enough for working class people, but at least they should be willing to take credit for, and defend against the media swine, something they have done well.

    • Patricia Bremner 6.1

      yes TM.

    • mickysavage 6.2

      Hi Tm

      Precisely why my last sentence is "[h]ow the Government responds to this will be a measure of how well it does in the next election. How the Government responds to this will be a measure of how well it does in the next election."

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    I was under the impression that Maori-bashing had been deemed inappropriate a while back. Guess you think calling Taylor a rich white man is too subtle a form of it for readers to notice??

    Of course you could also diss him for being a law graduate, right? Or did that option lack appeal for some strange reason?

    Born in Kaeo to a Pākehā father and Māori mother, (of Ngāti Kahungunu and Nga Puhi descent) he grew up in Raupunga and went to a Catholic boarding school in Masterton.

    Taylor joined the band The Kal-Q-Lated Risk in c.1967 as lead singer, and later graduated with a LLB degree from the University of Otago.

    Could there possibly be other dimensions to his mana that you're also keen to avoid? Let's have a look:

    A former television presenter (notably for TVNZ children's programmes Play School, Spot On and New Zealand's Funniest Home Videos, Taylor founded Taylormade Media in 1989 as a television production company.

    The following year he established Animation Research Limited, which quickly became one of the top computer animation companies in New Zealand and known internationally for its work, particularly in television advertising and sports graphics. Its sports division/product Virtual Eye, is used in various sports such as for ball-tracking in cricket where it assists umpires with their Decision Review System and informs TV commentators and viewers. During the 2010/11 Ashes series it was known as Eagle Eye.

    Taylor was inducted into the New Zealand Technology Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named North & South Magazines 2010 New Zealander of the Year. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of IT Professionals (HFIITP) in 2010 (under its former name New Zealand Computer Society), the top honour of the tech sector in New Zealand.

    In the 2012 New Year Honours, Taylor was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to television and business. In 2013 Taylor was named Outstanding Maori Business Leader of the Year.

    Gosh, your racism does seem to have blinded you to a considerable extent, eh?

    On 13 February 2019, Taylor was named Innovator of the Year at the annual New Zealander of the Year Awards. Awards organisers cited Taylor's business intuition and expertise as an exemplar of innovation in New Zealand.

    In the 2021 New Year Honours, Taylor was promoted to Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to broadcasting, business and the community.

    Seems to me the dude has accumulated a bunch of accomplishments that few other kiwis can match. Someone with such a track record, skills & aptitudes, falls naturally into the category of opinion leader in the community…

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      The point is 98% of the business leaders dont have regular columns in the Herald. They would consider it an anethema.

      NZME relies on a business model of divisive comment as they believe it drives reader/listener engagement.

      • Dennis Frank 7.1.1

        Yeah & anyone who is merely divisive becomes tiresome real fast. The trick is to use integral framing to signal potential common ground while criticising whoever or whatever. Publishers can build media consumer interest on that constructive basis. They don't actually need to default to the braindead option of negativity.

    • mac1 7.2

      "Rich white man" was last used on The Standard before Dennis Frank's accusation today in May last year, and before that by me in April 2021.

      I am aware of Sir Ian Taylor's parentage as I Googled it today earlier when seeking to discover whether he had Pasifika parentage as he was wondering why a phone call session he was having over the AirNZ issue was not conducted according to his version on 'talanoa' which he alluded to in his latest piece.

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.1

        Which avoids the issue of racism. Leftist accusations of racism are more often inappropriate but the general consensus for years now has been that people who have part-Maori ancestry are entitled to call themselves Maori & others ought to as well.

        However, I'm not a leftist so feel free to spot any error my diffident exposition of the politically-correct stance may contain!

        Point being that his mother was/is Maori so calling him white is hopelessly inaccurate even if you don't want to deem it racist.

        • mac1

          Sorry. I don't get why you made this comment.

          "I was under the impression that Maori-bashing had been deemed inappropriate a while back. Guess you think calling Taylor a rich white man is too subtle a form of it for readers to notice?"

          Who is the 'you' to whom you refer? I Are you using 'you' in an impersonal sense rather than as second person .

          Your meaning is unclear, Dennis. I'm trying to understand here.

          Writing in response directly to me you wrote, "Point being that his mother was/is Maori so calling him white is hopelessly inaccurate even if you don't want to deem it racist."

          Do you mean: "Point being that his mother was/is Maori so calling him white is hopelessly inaccurate even if one doesn't want to deem it racist"?

          From my end of those two versions there is a huge difference!

          • Dennis Frank

            Oh I see. To clarify, then, it was in response to this from MS:

            the past twelve months it has printed repeated attack opinion pieces by Ian Taylor He has that uber confidence born of the privileged wealthy vibe about him and he clearly thinks that his talent in doing the graphics for Hobbit movies somehow makes him an expert on pandemics. Only rich white males would be that out of touch with reality that they would think this.

            I chose to sidestep the apparent belief MS has that he can read Taylor's mind (maybe he can) to focus on on his categorisation of Taylor as "rich white male". Taylor is rich, male, and Maori.

            Could be a mistake by MS rather than covert racism, of course! And yes, I did mean you to equate with one as you suggest, and I can see that usage of one would have avoided confusion. Incidentally I prefer single quotes around such terms for clarity but the site has displayed an alarming tendency to convert those (single-quoted terms) into a tiny font & I had to stop doing so…

            • mac1


              • In Vino

                I am a little disappointed with Dennis Frank at this point.

                It would appear that a Maori may walk like a duck, quack like a duck, but under no circumstances at any time may be accused of possessing any duck-like qualities.

                Covert racism and overt classism are two different things.

                • mac1

                  Giving him the benefit of the doubt on his interpretation of what mickysavage wrote. I think his reading is wrong, but ms would have been clearer to Dennis had he added, as I did mentally, the words "Only rich white males (such as we find as talk back hosts and opinion leaders) would be that out of touch with reality that they would think this."

                  As you say, it's a statement about class and not so much about race. And so much of criticism of this government around covid is to do with what about our ability to make money.

                  The latest Reid political polls are hopefully still showing that NZers can see the distinction between saving lives and making more money.

                  However, mickysavage can enter this debate if he feels misrepresented by any of us.

                  • Anker

                    I think Micky was making some assumptions about Taylor. Aside from the fact that Taylor is Maori and is well known for things other than the Hobbit (if he contributed in any way to that) , and his assumptions are incorrect.

    • lprent 7.3

      Speaking strictly as someone who has been around tech companies now for about 37 years as a computer programmer usually running teams of other programmers in startup companies.

      Ian Taylor has always been regarded as being mostly a blowhard from the media world. I have no idea what in the hell the "New Zealand Technology Hall of Fame" is, and as far as I can see the only reference to it is on Ian Taylor's wikipedia.

      Very few of the tech companies in NZ that I am aware of were particularly slowed down by the pandemic. The two that I have been working for almost seamlessly moved into working from home with a pickup of monitors, keyboards, mice, laptops, and whatever hardware we were working on. We talked internationally to partners in teams, sister companies, suppliers, customers with out problems. Because that is what we normally do anyway.

      The site visits dropped, but we still sent people offshore to fulfil contractual obligations and put them through MIQ. They worked while in the hotel – same as they did whilst on site.

      We talked to servers world wide. I spent most of my time in lockdowns pushing code and builds back and forth to servers in the UK and remote operating servers. We didn’t have to put people locked into a office to keep servers running. That just sounds completely mickeymouse and like something out of the dark ages. The only system I have had to do that style of ops on in decades is my home server. And that is only because I don’t spend any significiant money on it. Ian Taylor as an employer sounds like a incompetent cheapskate.

      About the only thing that was a nuisance was moving parts because of the limited air-cargo. Some going from China to the UK, and then to here were taking 2-4 weeks to arrive.

      Yet all the while Ian Taylor, some self-appointed tech giant wanker, was bemoaning how hard it was to run anything. To me it just sounded like managerial incompetence by some kind of a piss-poor entrepreneur with a Trumpian ego throwing a tantrum.

      The rubbish this dimwitted mouthpiece speaks about basic science and basic management just offends my BSc and MBA, not to mention my engineering skills. Basically he seems to be a person whose ability to lie by omission, to invent rubbish stats about RAT reliability, and whose level of self-entitlement makes him a perfect mouthpiece for NZME.

      • Dennis Frank 7.3.1

        I get where you're coming from. I'm a diy fix-it problem-solver personally, and have helped others on that basis throughout my life. Could be he's got a case of entitleditis. I'm not attempting to defend his commentary or politics – mainly because I've haven't investigated those. Just pushing back in the interests of fairness for now.

        • lprent

          Fair enough.

          I just find it distressing that he appears to be trying to cast the mantle of the local tech industry over himself – when he clearly isn't part of, and has never apparently been part of.

          Most of the things that he says are just ridiculous for the way that we have been handling covid-19. The export tech economy main problem during the pandemic has bee rapid growth because suddenly most of our disadvantages became assets – we were already running remotely.

      • Anker 7.3.2

        taylor may or may not be a blow hard, but he has been enormously successful with his graphics company.

        • lprent

          Successful maybe – I have no idea of his companies turnover or profit.

          However anyone who had to lock up a couple of his staff with some servers clearly either doesn't has limited technical savvy or is just running a PR stunt.

          His well-publicised need to go offshore with rapid trips to deal with customers without MIQ would be somewhat incomprehensible to any tech company I have worked at for the last 15 years. You can work on on the go, you can work in hotel rooms, and you can work in MIQ.

          Again the same possibilities, allied to the possibility of him being a self-entitled egotist.

          But in any case it doesn't sound like any of the tech companies that I know. They tend towards just getting the damn work done and working around problems what come up without whining about having to change the way that they work – to protect others.

      • roblogic 7.3.3

        Not all NZ tech companies. Datacom have been real dicks about not letting staff take home any office equipment. And they still expect everyone to WFH under the lower traffic light restrictions.

        • lprent

          There will always be some. How in the hell do they expect people to work from home? Or do they have very slack security on their remote access?

          I know some people over there – I will have to ask. But Datacom seem to only work with the domestic economy so there may be a cultural difference. I have only worked with exporter techs since I left Clear back in the mid-1990s.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 7.4

      aom (@9) 'dissing' Dennis (@7), for dissing MickySavage, for dissing Sir Ian Taylor, for dissing our Government’s Covid response.

      aom's [, PB's] and MickySavage's opinions, and (especially) our Government’s Covid response, resonate more with me than Dennis' or Sir Ian's, although the latter's heart has apparently been in the right place on occasion.

      In November 2012, Taylor spoke out against the high salaries being paid to New Zealand chief executives, saying chief executive salaries should be tied to how well they protect jobs and to the salaries of their staff.

      Times change, and attitudes can shift and harden – case in point: for as long as I live I'll be a supporter of our Government's decision to prioritise public health during the first two years of this pandemic. By the most important metric it was a good decision, imho.

    • Blade 7.5

      Excellent post, Dennis. His fathers name was Bernie, a great teacher who taught me. A real gentleman who smoked a pipe ( in class) and told great stories for half the period. He has a brother Wayne and I'm related to his mum.

      ''I was under the impression that Maori-bashing had been deemed inappropriate a while back. Guess you think calling Taylor a rich white man is too subtle a form of it for readers to notice??''

      I'm glad you brought that up. For me it ruined an otherwise excellent article/rebuke by MS.

      This nasty streak seems endemic within the Left side of politics.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 7.5.1

        This nasty streak seems endemic within the Left side of politics.

        Whereas the rich vein of nastiness within the Right side of NZ politics could be likened to a 'permanent pandemic', sickening for all concerned – c'mon, you know it!

        "Like, Maureen Pugh is f**king useless." [17 October 2018]

        Muller mum on toilet seat photo [7 July 2020]
        During the short briefing, Mr Muller was asked to comment on the recent revelation from outgoing Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran that, in 2012, she was sent photos from the National Party's Mainland Region conference.

        They included one showing Dunedin-based Mr Woodhouse posing with a blue toilet seat with her face emblazoned on it – a photograph she said traumatised her.

        The insider: Three decades of amazing Michelle Boag headlines
        Has Michelle Boag finally gone too far? It won’t be the first time the question has been asked of New Zealand’s infamous right-wing PR consultant.

        Judith Collins claims prison escapes false statement a 'joke'

        With a smidge of luck, lucky Luxon can end the Nats' nasty losing streak – key will be whether he can make a clean break from the past, including 'honest' John's legacy – that may be difficult with the likes of Hosking, Hawkesby, Soper & HDPA in tow.

        Dirty Politics:
        How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment

        On 12 June 2018, Hager accepted an apology and compensation for "substantial damages" from the New Zealand Police for the 2014 raid on his home during the investigation into the hacking that led to the Dirty Politics book. The settlement also included the police acknowledging that they had accessed Hager's personal banking data.

        • Blade

          Yeah, I suppose from your perspective, apart from Hager case, you would think that stuff is nasty. But those examples have little substance compared to the passionate dislike behind tags like '' Rich White Man.'' Stale White Male''. Racist Policy.

          Those phrases and others are the rafters that support a whole ideology.

          Like Sicilian people, the Left CAN dislike with a vengeance.

          • roblogic

            The left punches up, calling out wealth and power

            The right punches down, oppressing the workers and stifling dissent

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Yeah, I suppose from your perspective, apart from Hager case, you would think that stuff is nasty.

            Blade, given your response, am I to suppose that “from your perspective” “that stuffisn’t nasty? If so then we can agree to disagree.

            Like Sicilian people, the Left CAN dislike with a vengeance.

            Indeed, this particular Lefty dislikes some ideologies intensely – but I prefer kindness. Can't go past "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", but it's not a creed that everyone can buy into.

          • mac1

            RWNJ, LWNJ. Woke versus redneck. Feral versus Ivory tower academic. Tory bastard versus commie fag. Horst Wessel versus Kumbaya.

            Really, can't we all do better than this level of discourse?

            Edit. I see you can, Drowsy M. Kram. 🙂

  8. Patricia Bremner 8

    As I said on another post, he is not God, though appears to play political chess and resonates with the 1%. What has he done to fight Climate change? What has he done about our low wage economy? Where was he during the Actors' contract fight? What has he actually done in this Pandemic apart from insist on one type of RAT test and write endless negative coverage using the Herald? He performed about MIQ and was allowed to isolate at his home. Not all residents have his assets to do that.

    We are not attacking him, or his many achievements, rather his cavalier attitude to meetings Health Ministers and procedure in a Pandemic. Being angry and rude does not make him correct. It appears strategic.

  9. aom 9

    Who referred to Taylor as being a rich white man – where and when?

    Since when did slagging off the Government count as falling naturally into the category of opinion leader in the community? To some it seems like he is a rabble-rouser.

    Yes, Taylor has an impressive list of credentials and has opinions. However, other people have different credentials and equally valid opinions, as does MS. Have you countered the basic premise of his contribution? One would think not.

    It seems that dissing someone who is dissing someone else is inappropriate in your opinion.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      I enjoyed his films. I do not understand why he thinks he has the right to continuously publicly criticise the Government's handling of a pandemic. It is the continued hosting of his thoughts in the country's major paper that has amazed me.

    • Blazer 9.2

      All said and done he is pretty good at…cricket.

  10. tc 10

    Soper claiming that Covid is “little more than a bad cold at worse [sic]” is wilfully negligent and the type of shit they do all the time without consequences.

    This is neither good or independant media just barking and dog whistling, undermining and being negative, outright misrepresentation for an angle.

  11. higherstandard 11

    I can't help but quote Orwell.

    'In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'

    'If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.'

    • Patricia Bremner 11.1

      Who decides what "Truth" is? An angry business man? a media outlet looking for clicks? A reader with bias?….. Truth is subjective.

      Twisting what has been said, taking it out of context, having an established point of view, and finally pulling out of discussions because…. serving two masters….

      To then diss all the efforts as slow and a failure….. Truth is the first victim of DP imo.

      • Foreign waka 11.1.1

        All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Arthur Schopenhauer

        And yes, there is such a thing as truth. If you make it subjective you manipulate it and make it a lie.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.2

      You mean "Get vaccinated and or Boostered."?devil

    • Foreign waka 11.3

      Yep, but you will be countered on that.

      The fallacy is to believe that under a dictatorial government you can be free inside.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    I think the perception of media bias is affected by our own biases. A quick read on Kiwiblog shows most their believe the media is brought and owned by the government and is a tool for their propaganda.

    But I think several things are at play:

    Firstly, things are definitely not as rosy as they once were in the economy. For instance, petrol has just hit $3.00 a litre and could go higher.

    And rents are rising and impacting on the poor.

    Along with general inflation.

    When the outlook is more negative, it is natural that journalists will start asking questions of the government and giving their opinions on how things could be done better.

    Secondly, journalists are getting a bit sick of their perception that the government is obfuscating and trying to avoid the hard questions.

    “But it’s an artfully crafted mirage, as my colleague Andrea Vance wrote last year. “At every level, the Government manipulates the flow of information,” she wrote.”

    This perception is not helped when Jacinda has cancelled herself from the Tuesday slot with Mike Hosking, and seldom seems to appear with HDPA in the evenings. This avoidance gives the impression that she wants to appear only with tame media who will paint her in a good light.

    So, the government has created a rod for their own backs IMO.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1

      Petrol hasnt 'hit' $3 .

      It was a super premium grade 98 ( above Super 95 and standard 91 that most people buy)

      And it was a super premium location on Ponsonby Rd. Yes the oil companies sock it too the richer areas of town as many are on business fuel cards and dont care about costs – plus the business discount they get is off pump price.

      • tsmithfield 12.1.1

        Sure, some grades are priced higher than others. But I think you are quibbling over my point. Even if some of the cheaper grades haven't reached $3.00 yet, they have still risen a lot, and are likely putting a lot of households under pressure.

        • lprent

          Auckland has higher prices because of the regional fuel tax – which is there to fast track transport options to reduce road congestion.

          BTW: The regional fuel tax simply isn't high enough. Just down the roads from that petrol station there are steadily increasing potholes. Presumably because the council maintenance has reduced to put in the new transport links. I hit them every day that I drive.

          The base fuel price rises are imported. Yet somehow you're blaming the government for them. That seems pretty stupid and unbalanced to me.

    • Patricia Bremner 12.2

      Decreasing supply is impacting World prices of oil all over.

      DOA and her husband Soper, made a mistake and booked their plane to London for the wrong day, when they hoped to cover PM Jacinda Ardern's trip to Buckingham Palace. He has not recovered, and DOA has been so bad I began to call her "Duplicity".

      Our PM made herself available to these people until the agenda's were on repeat and the vitriol level was off the charts.

      • tsmithfield 12.2.1

        But that isn't the only thing affecting fuel prices in NZ. The fuel price includes a lot in tax, and the government will be creaming it at the moment, especially with the GST take on fuel prices.

        • lprent

          Sure tax is part of it. But the price rises are entirely due to international market forces based on supply and demand.

          But in case you hadn't noticed, National and Act and NZME outlets have been calling calling for more roads and more road upgrades. Rather expensive ones.

          They can’t really have it both ways because those roads have to be funded some way. They can’t always take the most expensive funding option – thinks of the PPP for Transmission Gully.

          I suspect that if I looked back I'd find you supporting some roads that currently aren't being built – primarily for lack of funding issues.

          The taxes on fuel primarily support maintaining and extending our transport systems. They also fund the climate change costs in the ETS.

          I really don't see a problem with them rising. Better and earlier transport options and it takes some of the burden off those dozy farmers and their unreasonable and ridiculous wind-shelter ideas.

  13. "Significant disruption to the Tourism industry but these are low paying jobs that do not contribute heavily to the country’s economy."

    This statement grates. I am not personally involved in the tourist industry any more and haven't been for 16 years, but I know lots of people in Wanaka and surrounds who make a good healthy well paid living out of providing excellent activities for tourists. These are usually owner operators that pay their employees fairly and give them good conditions.

    Many industries spin off tourism; backpackers, bars, cafes, supermarkets, restaurants, ski-fields etc etc

    Most of these people are also good ambassadors for the country which used to contribute many more billions of dollars to the economy.

    • DukeEll 13.1

      No one wants to visit a socialist state until it’s history, better to start denigrating tourism now and control the message

    • lprent 13.2

      The problem is, and the responses to the covid-19 pandemic quite clearly showed, just how irrelevant tourism is to NZ as a whole.

      Dropping tourism in both ways actually significantly improved our balance of trade and made barely a ripple in the tax take over the last two years. Part of that was the wage and survival support that was put temporarily in-place. But even that wasn't that costly compared to things like the support of non-tourist orientated retail.

      Sure tourism is important to towns set up for tourism. But even our unemployment rates in both the nominal unemployment and the more useful household survey

      But it simply has very little effect on our overall economy. It looks like the rest of the NZ economy has in effect been subsidising tourism for decades. It produces revenue – not profit. It uses resources that could be used elsewhere more productively. It interferes with tourism from local residents to the point that they often go offshore to escape the crowding.

      The tourism industry appears to have been focusing on body counts, not on profitability. As a whole, they probably need to start figuring out how to reframe their previous practices, because I'm not sure just how supportive the rest of the NZ population is going to be to any large resurgence.

      • Bearded Git 13.2.1

        Lprent-I think your analysis is simplistic. Better economic minds than mine will prove you to be wrong in the long term.

        • lprent

          Just looking at the aggregate numbers. You’d think that with more than about 3.8 million tourists and other travelers arriving in 2019, that having virtually no new ones for 2 years would have a aggregate loss of income and taxes, plus massive labour under utilization.

          Some happened in 2020. Essentially none happened in 2021. It certainly hurt the tourist towns. But it doesn’t appear to have hurt the national economy.

          I think it is going to be an interesting lesson in unproductive economics.

  14. Ross 15

    And the cost?

    Significant disruption to the Tourism industry but these are low paying jobs that do not contribute heavily to the country’s economy.

    And there's the problem right there. Your first thought, apparently, is low paying jobs. Most other people would likely be thinking about the preventable loss of lives AND livelihoods.

    Preventable deaths are fairly important, I would have thought. How is that waiting list for mammograms looking like?

    Now overdue for her second mammogram, when [Sheryl] Woods contacted Waikato Hospital for an appointment there were none available.

    “To be told by the booking clerk, I am sorry we are so far behind, I can’t give you an appointment…

    “I explained to her, I have cancer. Her exact words to me were ‘90 per cent of the people on the waiting list have cancer.’”

    The Breast Cancer Foundation estimates at least 133 women across the country have no idea they have breast cancer right now,

    The organisation is “gravely concerned” for those women who have missed having a mammogram that would have diagnosed them during the current Covid-19 lockdowns.

    Those women with cancer will just have to wait their turn because the Government can't chew gum and walk at the same time. Yeah I can see why that would rankle.

    How about waiting lists for surgeries?

    An increasing number of people are relying on morphine to ease their pain as they face lengthy waits for joint replacement surgery.

    Doctors are worried older patients are getting addicted to morphine, which is prescribed to handle pain, while they wait for surgery.

    Yep it's not looking good.

    Middlemore Hospital has delayed more than 300 hip replacements and its clinical director of surgery says catching up will not be easy in the foreseeable future.

    "If things turned off at the moment and everything came back to normal it would probably still take us the best part of 12 months to actually catch up," said Dr John Kenealy, who leads Middlemore's surgical team. "It's not just hips. They represent a small proportion of all of the other stuff that's been cancelled as well."

    It's a similar story in Dunedin where the Southern DHB has long waiting lists for some non-urgent surgery including more than 400 hip replacements.

    "Even with our limited ability to increase and work Saturdays and do longer lists, even if it we were able to do an extra five operations a week, it would take us two years to get though the backlog," said Janine Cochrane, the Southern DHB's surgical and radiology general manager.

    Those needing surgery, just like those needing a mammogram, are going to have to be patient.

    And then there was the Chartlotte Bellis debacle which illustrated the insanity and cruelty of MIQ.

    And shall we discuss inflation and the burgeoning Crown debt?

    In 2017, the PM said this:

    This will be a government of transformation. It will lift up those who have been forgotten or neglected, it will take action on child poverty and homelessness, it will restore funding to education and the health systems to allow access for all, it will protect the environment and take action on climate change, and it will build a truly prosperous nation and a fair society, together.

    The sad fact is we have had a transformational government. Just not in the way many might have imagined.–waiting-for-a-scan-to-see-if-its-a-tumour

    • Ross 15.1

      Allegations of cruelty are completely overblown and some gratitude on her part would be welcome.

      Oh but, Micky, she was grateful. She showed the Taleban much gratitude. At least she had somewhere to live before the Government here eventually realised that she was not only entitled to return to her homeland, but that she could do so outside the 14 day window that had proven so troublesome.

    • Craig H 15.2

      The last two years have seen negative excess mortality in NZ, so while there are plenty of issues with delaying surgery and other medical care to keep capacity in the hospital system in case of Covid surges, less deaths than would otherwise be expected seems like a pretty good outcome as a counterbalance to other negative outcomes.

    • Patricia Bremner 15.3

      Those promises were "pre covid" but don't let that wreck your take Ross.

      • Ross 15.3.1


        The Government’s response to Covid can’t be blamed on someone else. The Health Ministry published a pandemic response plan in 2017. There was no mention of lockdowns, presumably due to their huge cost.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Hi Ross,that was a decision made when huge numbers of border cases were pressuring the plans. As the situation developed they had to adapt, so Lock down.

          Yes, our son in Australia was 4 months late getting an operation for a life threatening condition. He was proud of QLD's response, but did as NZ Health advised to keep safe with his co-morbidities.

          Robertson said "Not every business and job could be saved but they would do their best to get us through this.''

          I don't agree with all the decisions, but they are our best choice currently. Cheers.

    • mickysavage 15.4

      And there's the problem right there. Your first thought, apparently, is low paying jobs.

      In a time where unemployment has not been lower for a long, long time I am completely indifferent if not hostile to low paying jobs. The better paying they are the better.

  15. Binders full of women 16

    I thought Sir Ian Taylor was a rich Maori male.

  16. Adrian 17

    Omicron has really changed things, driving through our village at 7 on Saturday night the pub had 3 or 4 cars in the car park, prior to the big O the car park was generally full with cars parked outside on the road and the dairy and licenced cafe were closed (the owner a few days before said to me that business went dead a few weeks ago. Coming back from the movie , small Arthouse and usually standing room only had about 1/3 of the patrons compared to other nights, the pub was closed and no one in sight. My brother who is a taxi driver in a small city, has said the same.

    People seem to be staying home and waiting this one out, after all we have had plenty of practice at it. With a bit of luck it might work again. Bugger,I was looking forward to testing the booster and getting supercharged!.

    • Patricia Bremner 17.1

      I am sure before this is all a memory you will get to test your jabsdevil Adrian.

    • lprent 17.2

      The booster knocked me off work for a day on Wednesday. I got my shot exactly 4 months after the second shot – and Feb 1 happened to be Tuesday.

      Couldn't code properly. It was like my usual response to a dose of common cold – I go to bed until my head clears.

      I'm pretty sure that I had the same response to my second shot. But I did that on a Friday, and Saturday is my traditional day to laze in bed reading anyway.

  17. Stuart Munro 18

    The state of NZ journalism has never been shabbier – an ignorant oik like Hosking should never be permitted to ask questions of any official – he has said himself that he's not a journalist. Fine – wait for requests from people that are qualified.

    It's an important job, journalism – and it's largely not being done. Brien Priestly would have had a few things to say about idiot panels and other features of contemporary media, I expect.

    • Chris T 18.1

      TBF Ardern proved you don't have to listen to Hosking to interview her. By running away from him.

      Her choice. And don't particularly think it is a big deal. But kind of shows to me the govt finds harder questions, no matter whether the odd ones are a bit bollocks, scare them.

      • Stuart Munro 18.1.1

        Running away? Nope. Merely ceasing to pander to a noxious halfwit.

        Unless and until "journalists" follow the protocols of their profession they should be treated with the contempt they have earned.

        Harder questions are not the problem – it is malafide. Your problem too as it happens. Were Ardern personally appointed by God and ineffable to boot, you'd still be kvetching – not because you are capable of coming up with hard questions, but because you troll for the other team. Prove me wrong – ask a question made hard by something other than your deep-dyed bias.

        • Chris T

          "Unless and until "journalists" follow the protocols” of their profession they should be treated with the contempt they have earned."

          What "protocols do people have to follow when asking any PM questions?

          It is the PM of the times choice to rock up to high rating interviews. It is all PR for them.

          If they don't like a certain persons ones as they are too hard to talk their way around, that is the politicians fault. As they chose to be on the thing in the first place.

          In that instance ran away after it got too hard to handle it, after years of various PMs from all sides doing the same spot with the same person asking the same amount of hard questions.

          I admit Hosking can be a biased annoying prick, but this doesn't change this basic fact.

          She also seems to struggle with Ryan Bridge, surprised she ain't done a runner from AM, but laps her fan people up like Campbell like they are fans on Breakfast.

          • Stuart Munro

            What protocols do they need to follow?

            They should start with a concern for truth. They should not, when questioning decisions made in good faith with enviable results in world terms, be crude abusive, ill-informed, more concerned with click bait 'gotcha' moments than the issues at hand, nor should they expect to get away with imposing their ignorant and biased framing at every opportunity.

            People who do these things while fraudulently drawing the pay of, and enjoying the legal protections of a profession they no longer practice deserve no respect at all. And that is why the execrable Mike Hosking was shit canned.

            Now, we know you're a consistent voice of rw bias, and we note and do not respect your dishonest attempt to frame the rejection of Hosking as running away – that line may run in your native swamps, but it will win you no approval here. It was a good decision to dump Hosking, and the more of these unprofessional clowns subjected to similar treatment, the better.

            Dump plenty of them, I say. Let the toxic faux journalists interview their keyboards until their last vestige of celebrity deserts them, and their employers go broke, or are obliged to impose journalistic standards once more.

            A journalist is never the story.

            • Chris T

              As I said. I don't have an issue with her avoiding it.

              She obviously couldn’t handle what he was doing and ditched it. All cool.

              Just don’t pretend it is some politician taking some sort of moral high ground over some evil radio personality given so many other PMs just dealing with him. It ain’t

              But it was her choice to do it in the first place for free PR, so her fans shouldn't moan so much given Hoskings record with PMs from all sides.

              Clark for instance just used to make him look like a dickhead

              • Stuart Munro

                She obviously couldn’t handle what he was doing

                You know, repeating your inane nonsense isn't any more persuasive the nth time than it was the first time – it loses effectiveness at about 1-n.

                She owned him so comprehensively he didn't even know he'd been chewed up and shat out. One can only throw pearls before swinish ignorance for so long however – so she said ‘so long’.

      • Obtrectator 18.1.2

        I seem to remember a certain recently-knighted former PM was also pretty adept at giving the swerve to interviewers who asked too many awkward questions. Understandable, when one saw how he floundered when confronted with a real TV journalist on Hardtalk.

        • Chris T

          Thank you for agreeing with exactly what I said.

          They all avoid awkward questions.

          But not many actually publicly and weakly so much avoid actual people.

          Sorry. Just found it a bit odd and embarrassing for her.

    • tc 18.2

      This isn't journalism it's talk back radio. Ratings from rantings.

  18. Peter 19

    I accept it's an extreme view but if the country were to have 10,000+ deaths the optimum of that terrible situation would be me choosing who the "victims' were to be.

    Hosking doesn't get it because he's so far up his own self-centred orifices.

    I look at equivalent populations to New Zealand.

    Ireland, 6,200 deaths. South Carolina, in the enlightened US, 15,800, Alabama, 17,400.

    Imagine it, a tourist industry flourishing with Hosking's sage scenarios. We could have Covid Cemeteries, I could organise tours of them. I mean Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium contains graves of more New Zealanders than any other First World War cemetery but there are only 520 Kiwis there.

    I could have mass plantations spread over the fertile fields south of Auckland and around Christchurch. My tourist ventures would make heaps. Of course working out the strategic placement of star attractions to capitalise on patronage would be a bit of a problem. God, I could be the darling of entrepreneurship awards getting around that.

    And the business world, those not amongst my chief exhibits? I'd be their darling too.

  19. Chris T 20

    Ardern spent her first term with the NZME talking about her like she was the second coming, it doesn't really surprise me they have finally realised a lot of things were promised and not delivered.

    And are actually holding them to account now.

    It ain't like she doesn't still have her fan people in the media anymore. People politicians from all sides will leak to etc. Nudge nudge. Wink wink.

    For every Hosking comment there is a Jenna Lynch story talking about her like she is her hero figure.

    Just is what it is. Always happens.

    Her honeymoon period just seems to be on the slide.

    Was the same with Key. Hero first term, then started to get criticism in the media, which is presumably why he bit the bullet and left. Difference being he was bright enough to see the obvious coming.

    • Muttonbird 20.1

      Nope. He bit the bullet and left because he's pulled one too many ponytails. He'd destroyed his legacy trying to change the NZ flag to a a towel. He'd been exposed for using Cameron Slater and David Farrar as proxy attack dogs.

      The public were sick of the mincing and the prison rape jokes, and Keys knew it.

      • Chris T 20.1.1

        I think you might be getting confused with date of the stupid immature ponytail thing. From memory it was about 2 years before he left.

        And a flag change referendum was also Labour party policy at the same time.

        And one of my pet hates is purposefully misnaming people because you dislike them.

        But for every post from now on you personally say Keys like it is some clever joke, call it the child in me but I will call Ardern "Jacinta".

        Because that is how stupid it come across

        • Muttonbird

          Actually, some of my keys are not working. It's quite difficult to type properly. That's why there are so many mistakes in my comments.

          For instance, p only intermittently works, and when it doesn't I have to ⌘C a p from elsewhere on the screen, and ⌘V wherever I need a p. You can imagine it.

          MacBook Pro, circa 2014. It has done a lot of work. It's been a faithful servant and a real workhorse, but I need a new MacBook Pro.

          • Chris T


            No worries mate!

            Realise it could have just been an honest mistype.

            Just find the whole miss-naming thing quite amusing after pathetically becoming addicted to listening to weirdos on radio talkback!

            It has become a bit of a curse, but can't stop doing it now as people say some fricken weird stuff!

          • lprent

            Just get a new external keyboard.

        • fender

          I thought it quite cunning of Key to depart leaving his mate English PM (he knew English was unable to become PM by conventional methods), thus securing his own knighthood in the process. A knighthood was possibly one of the motivations for Key to have had his folly with politics.

          • Chris T

            TBF there aren't many ex PMs that don't get Knighthood/Damehood/Order of Merit if a bit republican.

            If you think Ardern is going to turn it down in a few years, it is a bit silly.

      • Gypsy 20.1.2

        Hi Muttonbird

        The key (pun intended) are:

        28 February 2015 – Confirmed date of alleged ponytail pulling.

        14 December 2015 – Herald Digipoll has Key at 65.2% for preferred PM.

        23 November 2016 – One News Colmar Brunton has National on 50% (their highest for national since April). His personal popularity polled at 36%, above Ardern's current polling.

        5 December 2016 – Key resigns

        So Key resigned one year from the end of his third term, with his party above Labour's current polling, and his preferred PM rating just above that of the current PM.

        Key and Clark had many things in common, one significant one being immense and enduring popularity.

  20. Chris T 21

    But wait. If we are going to go that low when trying to find criticism.

    Forget Keys and Jacinta.

    I just realised there could be Robotson. Hupkins (Arderns way of saying it), Luxton. Judas Collins. and David Shearly not!, (You could use that with with Shaw as well to be fair.


  21. Corey humm 22

    The way people write off the disruption as just tourism jobs and oh just hospo jobs is really disconcerting, considering gen z and gen y the people labour needs on side, overwhelmingly work in hospo and tourism jobs, with bars cafes etc closing down we're being wiped out here and govt and it's supporters tell us we're not and then metaphorically block their ears and yell "not listening lala" , it's not hospo, factory's have closed , hours have been reduced.

    our inflation may not be the highest but our low wages and Supermarket duopolies and apocalyptic living costs on top of the inflation is just depressingly unbearable. We complain and we get statistics thrown around at us to tell us we're wrong.

    I really am worried by the language government supporters use to dismiss the economic suffering in this country. It gives off a very unapproachable, set in their ways , you're wrong I'm right "I'm not listening lalala" uncaring vibe and that vibe loses elections.

    The 3% unemployment rate is a nonsense, it's playing musical chairs, people working an hour a week are considered fully employed, people working part time are considered fully employed. Unemployment stats are bullshit under national and they are bullshit under labour.

    Ive never seen things so economically hard and I was living alone on the benefit after losing everything in the earthquakes and even when a shortage of rental stock made prices skyrocket but benefits stayed the same, I was more hopeful. This is just an awful existence at the moment. All our money goes to rent and groceries and power.

    Labour and it's supporters need to stop worrying about shutting down criticism from right wing mouth pieces that noone can read because they are pay walled and start listening to the concerns of the public who actually want labour to do labour things, right now it feels like a tired disconnected government that doesn't listen, care and just tells us constantly how good we all have it.

    This is just bog standard NZ right wing bullshit it's in no way similar to the lunacy of Murdoch bullshit if they had gone full Murdoch the country would be in the middle of a race war.

    The media doesn't owe this government anything and they are entitled to bash this government as much as they want, they it's their prerogative, they have stuff all influence on my generation I don't anyone who watches TV or listens to the radio other than my nana we stream on YouTube, Netflix and Spotify (lol) angry NZ Tory's don't reach us so they are only really preaching to the converted.

    Labours problem is that it's losing support from people who want the transformational change Labour promised but have no interest in, the public want house prices too fall dramatically Robbo and the Pm say they don't want them to fall at all and are doing.

    The public aren't mad that labours being too progressive , they are mad that it's full of crap, you vote labour to fix capitalism not to keep everything exactly the same but with more bureaucrats.

    Labours obsession with keeping everything the same and it's impossible fantasy of owning the center is what's turning people off, if the public wanted to keep everything the same they would have voted for the Nats not the people who promised to keep us moving.

    Labour promised transformational change, they've done a bunch of good thinks but ultimately it's a new coat of paint , labour promised to keep us moving, but the second they got the car keys they stalled the engine.

    Where's our water tax on water bottler exporters btw ? Winston is gone now and that was super popular.

    When Ardern said let's keep moving did she mean let's keep moving house , considering how unstable my generations housing situation it feels like it ?

    • pat 22.1

      Corey, when i feel im banging my head against a brick wall on here i console myself with the belief that the generally expressed view here is not representative ….the demographics of this blog are somewhat skewed.

    • lprent 22.2

      The 3% unemployment rate is a nonsense, it's playing musical chairs, people working an hour a week are considered fully employed, people working part time are considered fully employed. Unemployment stats are bullshit under national and they are bullshit under labour.

      The headline rate certainly is. However if you read the actual statistics, or even the summary there are more usable figures from the household survey.

      Scroll down to the Key Facts section and below. And in particular look at the under-utilisation rate of 9.2 which covers exactly the points that you're looking for. If you look into the xlsx spread sheets, you'' see that the under-utilisation, as you'd expect rose significantly during 2020. But has been steadily decreasing throughout 2021 as labour economy adjusted. It is now lower than it was in December 2019 quarter.

      As the labour market stats says (and apparently journalists can't read down that far)…

      Underutilisation is a broad measure of spare capacity in New Zealand’s labour market and is just as important as the unemployment rate, as it gives us a more detailed picture of the workforce

  22. Kat 23

    Meanwhile, back at the 'Poll' shack, Newshub has Labour and the PM up with National taking supporters back from Act. Perhaps the NZ electorate can at last recognise wheat from straw.

  23. Reality 24

    Good to see that despite all the vitriol and bitter rants about Jacinda and the Government the electorate at large is still supportive. Well done to their common sense in looking past the negativity and hatred.

  24. Blazer 25

    NZME are most certainly on a mission to change the Govt.

    When house prices rise 30% in one year…they are provided with a surfeit of…ammunition.

  25. DS 26

    The change in MIQ policy should come as no surprise. It was announced last December and only put on hold because of the threat of the Omicron wave overwhelming the country’s health system.

    Doesn't make the change any less idiotic. All it means is that Omicron temporarily saved the Government from itself .

  26. felix 27

    It's a legitimate question to ask at what cost. We actually could have had absolutely no covid here at all by closing the borders to ALL visitors and having far more rigourous quarantine policies at the border for returning kiwis, and holding tose settings indefinitely. But for whatever reason the govt decided that some level of risk is acceptable. So whether they say it out loud or not, there is obviously a calculation they are applying to balance the acceptable number deaths against the acceptable level of restrictions. There's actually nothing wrong with asking about the details of that calculation.

  27. newsense 28

    This is not news.

    But if it fails I will either be very very happy or a little worried that conventional media has a completely limited effect on the national conversation. Or that people can read numbers. Also RNZ ran a breathlessly cheerleading piece with the last poll.

    A more interesting phenomenon is the absolutely poor reporting there has been on the great work done on the light rail for Auckland. The Herald reported well, detailed information, considered headlines, benefits observed, future looked at. Stuff has focused on the location tax and cost. RNZ has run all manner of negativity and not observed the history and the many useful features it has, aside from one article. Like the City rail link, anyone pro the CBD, Auckland and the future can see this will be excellent, but the Nats have almost turned it into a culture war type issue. They don’t invest in rail on faith. Let alone the climate implications or possibilities for city growth…

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