The media bloodbath

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, April 16th, 2015 - 52 comments
Categories: accountability, journalism, Media, news - Tags: , ,

A much discussed piece by Scoop’s Alastair Thompson yesterday:

An Investigative News Media Blood Bath |500 Words

Last week was a bad week for NZ Media. And for much more than just the announced “review” of Campbell Live.

One of NZ’s best newspaper editors Tim Murphy resigned as editor of the NZ Herald. According to sources he decided to go over differences in opinion on how the editorial side of NZME. was being managed by its CEO Jane Hastings.

Murphy sent in a reply which is appended to the post, in which he denies any dispute with Hastings.

I am going because it has been a long, long run of responsibility and with a whole lot of new things happening and about to happen it is the right time to let a new voice come in.

Back to Thompson:

For working journo’s the other shocking public news in the week was the decision of Phil Kitchin to take up a job with Paula Bennett in the Beehive.

The reason this news is notable for media old-timers is that Phil is also a complete legend of investigative journalism – probably the longest serving investigative reporter in the Fairfax stable – he is responsible for a bunch of huge Scoops, the biggest being exposure of the rape culture being perpetrated inside the Police Force and the case of Louise Nicholas.

Bit Phil is not the only leading Fairfax investigative journalist who has left the publisher recently.

Michael Field – who recently published an in-depth expose of fisheries abuse in the Pacific Ocean – has resigned.

Scoop understands he was effectively forced out in the fall-out which followed a legal threat from a Kiwi businessman and one-time a minor Russian oligarch – Stephen Jennings – who has recently got himself into a spot of bother in Africa. You can read the apology here.

Dig a bit deeper at Fairfax and you discover that in the space of a few months they have lost several more senior reporters.

According to inside sources the driving force behind this has been the rise of Stuff the Nation as a priority for the organisation. Hank Schouten, Tim Hunter and Tim O’Donoghue have also gone, and legendary sports editor Trevor Mckewen apparently walked out when he saw what was happening. …

Go read the full piece at Scoop for plenty more.

Other “journalists” however are trying to sweep the headline event, the attack on Campbell Live, under the carpet. Here’s an anonymous editorial in The Herald (my money is on John Roughan):

Hard-hitting journalism alive and well

There has been much hyperbole in the reaction to a review by broadcaster MediaWorks of its evening current affairs show Campbell Live. … Critics’ knees jerked. An end to serious journalism. The demise of the last journalist who cares. The last nail in a coffin for news, public interest and political accountability. An act of political string-pulling to advantage the Government and de-fang the left.

Mostly exaggerated.

Even John Campbell, as professional and accomplished as ever amid the publicity storm, would likely cringe at the over-reactions.

Actually no, Campbell has repeatedly thanked his supporters.

He knows numerous journalists within his own company will continue to provide strong disclosure journalism holding the powerful to account. The team on what was 3rd Degree, who illuminated the injustice against Teina Pora; Patrick Gower and a press gallery team which puts the bite on allcomers; and a wider newsroom which has marked 3News as a feisty, if idiosyncratic, pursuer of stories which matter.

With respect to those doing good work (a list which does not include Mr Gower), they aren’t doing what Campbell Live does.

Beyond MediaWorks, fine public interest journalism is undertaken on competing television stations, radio, in newspapers, magazines and in all kinds of places online. It is trite to view Campbell Live as the sole holder of that important flame. It belittles so much else that is of value. …

And more with the straw-person exaggerations, and so on and so on, move along folks, nothing to see here. Or is there? John Drinnan suggest that there is more to come on events at TV3…

Well, despite the best efforts of our anonymous spinner, this is clearly a difficult time for NZ media. New technologies are disrupting the industry, commercial imperatives are becoming ever more naked and destructive, experienced and committed journalists are retiring, being sacked, or giving up. Privately owned media will not in the future have a hope of delivering large scale quality news services in this country. If we think that matters, then a strong publicly funded media presence is the only way forward.

52 comments on “The media bloodbath”

  1. tracey 1

    “Even John Campbell, as professional and accomplished as ever amid the publicity storm, would likely cringe at the over-reactions.”

    As if to prove the point Scoop is making, the anonymous editor didn’t actually ask Campbell for his reaction to that notion before writing his editorial.

    I read the Scoop article yesterday (h/t fellow author) and despaired. I then read some comments in (Open Mike I think) about opting in or out of voting and how we can exercise our democratic rights and I thought… “we” (individually and then collectively) have to put our money where our mouths are (and if we don’t have spare cash, our time) and really support those outlets we consider serve democracy.

    Scoop may be one answer to that. Making sure when we see or read stuff in the media we find offensive or whatever we actually complain. Stop viewing/reading certain media. They say they are rating driven so we can always vote with our feet, our ears and our eyes. If McDonalds or anyone else is treating workers badly let’s stop helping them reach a profit and tell them why. The last part is crucial.

    It’s hard to walk the talk. Not impossible.

  2. vto 2

    One. That privately owned media are incapable of proper news should not be a surprise….. and it isn’t of course. They are owned by some of the richest people on the planet who are heavily involved in partisan geopolitical actions around the globe

    Two. Most people do place a status on the “news” in private media and give it a credibility that is misplaced due to the lack of knowledge around media ownership and associated conflicts of interest which render their news entirely subjective.

    Three. The Fair Trading Act outlaws misleading and deceptive conduct in trade.

    In light of the above three facts it seems to me there should be an obligation of disclosure on private media to outline their ownership and that ownership’s various interests….. Front page, full details, full history, links in support…

    Otherwise it is a terrible joke.

  3. James Thrace 3

    “Stuff the Nation” you quote. Is that a Freudian slip or what from Thompson? If not, it’s certainly rather apropos of what Fairfax are perceived to view the Nation as. STUFF THE NATION indeed.

  4. James Thrace 4

    Vto: You will find that the Fair Trading Act is unlikely to cover fictional news stories published by papers. That’s for the journalism council, if one has teeth and even exists anymore.
    Nay, the best thing to do is order a breakup of the monopoly of print media. Nationalise the printing presses. Allow local newspapers to print for pennies at the govt owned printing presses. Get back to local papers. NZH, Press, Waikato/Otago Times and Dom would still be daily metro papers, but the rest would local. Then, and maybe then, we might get some critical discourse in this Nation.

    After all, NZME and Fairfax between them have editorial control of 89% of the local rags.

    • vto 4.1

      The Fair Trading Act is very wide reaching and certainly catches the media. It catches everyone and everything. Everyone and everything except the politicians funnily enough – politicians are the only ones permitted by law to engage in misleading and deceptive conduct.

      If a media outlet holds itself out as objective but is not then it is in breach of the Act. So how easy is this to establish? Do they hold themselves out as objective? Yes. Are they objective? No.

      Done

      • tracey 4.1.1

        FTA is a consumer protection vehicle (as you know). What is the loss suffered by the consumer in terms of the Act and what remedy would be applied in terms of the Act?

        What representations have they made to you before you purchased their product? You need to be able to show evidence of their claims as well as their breaches.

        What if it were free? What was your loss from their false claim? Must be quantifiable.

        https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/fair-trading-act

        “Penalties under the Act

        If a trader contravenes the unfair conduct or product safety provisions of the Act, criminal penalties may apply.

        Companies can be fined up to $600,000 and individuals up to $60,000, plus costs.

        Traders also risk being prosecuted by the Commerce Commission for failing to comply with consumer information standards and rules relating to door-to-door sales, extended warranties, layby sales and auctions. Penalties for breaches are limited to $10,000 for an individual and $30,000 for a company.

        The commission has the option of issuing an infringement notice where a trader hasn’t given consumers the required information about their rights in relation to door-to-door, extended warranty and layby sales. The maximum infringement notice fine is $2000.

        Infringement notices can also be issued for breaches of a consumer information standard and where an online trader falls to disclose that they’re “in trade”.

        Traders who contravene the Act may also face civil penalties. The range of penalties includes injunctions, orders to issue corrective advertising and awards of damages.”

        vto

        It doesn’t cost you to make a complaint, so give it a go but you first have to prove their representation to you, then that they breached it… and the damage

        • vto 4.1.1.1

          Sure, understand that and ran it through mine mind before posting. Have done battle under the FTA in the past and it is surprisingly simple.

          Representation, breach and loss is the thing being purchased – news. Representation of objectivity, breach in lack of such by way of political positions, loss being not receiving what is paid for, namely objective news. We buy te newspaper daily – out-and-out consumer. Exactly what the FTA is designed for.

  5. Sable 5

    New Zealand journalism like its Australian and UK counterparts is considered some of the most biased and trashy in the world. Personally I do give two hoots what the hacks do. I wont be reading their neo lib bullshit anytime soon.

    Want real journalism take a look at the Keiser Report on RT.

    • halfcrown 5.1

      “Want real journalism take a look at the Keiser Report on RT.”

      Well said or Cross Talk

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1

        I actually wish they would make Cross Talk into a 45 minute show; it’s too short and rushed at the moment.

        I find the interviews done on Sophie & Co and Worlds Apart (both RT) also very good. And they aren’t afraid of interviewing people with a pro-US, pro-EU or pro-NATO bias either.

    • Linda 5.2

      That is a very good program and people he interviews are well informed like Chris cook predicted the oil crash Max can be over the top but he puts things in away that is understandable and he doesn’t sugar coat of santise anything

    • Phil 5.3

      New Zealand journalism like its Australian and UK counterparts is considered some of the most biased and trashy in the world.

      Hyperbole, much?

      Look at some of the blatantly propagandist and openly corrupt activity that passes for journalism in countries ruled by African and middle eastern despots. Or the appalling conflicts of interest between Indian politicians and their media.

      New Zealand has room to improve, no doubt. But to call our journalists “some of the most biased… in the world” is to do them a terrible disservice and suggests your world view so narrow you may as well be looking through the slot in your letterbox.

    • RedLogix 5.4

      Yeah nah – the Aussie media for all it’s obvious faults is still way ahead of NZ.

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    Just checked with a highly reliable source and they say there was a dispute over editorial control between Murphy and Hastings.

    As for Phil Kitchen – funny choice to go from being an investigative reporter to working for Paula Bennett, which is essentially working for John Key who has done as much as possible to neuter the media?

    • tracey 6.1

      Perhaps the pay and working conditions were better? Haven’t a few good journalists passed over to the Dark Side before?

      • saveNZ 6.1.1

        @Tracey

        The problem is there seems to be only one paid dark side.

        It’s the diversity that is missing in MSM.

        Same company connections keep popping up.

        • saveNZ 6.1.1.1

          Classic Crosby textor borg style. Take them in, and turn them into the machine of the Nats. Poor Guy he must have a really big mortgage!

  7. Colonial Rawshark 7

    Public funding of media is necessary, but insufficient.

    Publicly funded media is only a fraction of the answer. There needs to be far more to it than that, including publicly supported independent media.

    The whole package has to be structured to be independent of direct political control and political funding. The reason I say that is because we have seen how governments can utterly undermine 100% publicly funded media like the National Programme and RNZ.

    • tracey 7.1

      NZ is small, very small. Then you shrink it to journalism/media and it is even tinier. It is very hard to ensure true political independence but also be able to account for taxpayer money and its use. There are Crown Entities which are supposedly independent of MInisters but I am sure others know of very hands on Ministers in some of these entities, and Board Chairs appointments reflect the Minister’s preferred direction for the Entity. Sport has been one of these in the past. More under McCully than Mallard. Like many things it would work if both government Ministers and people appointed had ethics which they adhered to regardless of the behaviour required by law.

    • Chooky 7.2

      CR +100…agree…publicly funded …INDEPENDENT media

      • tracey 7.2.1

        and how will you ensure accountability and oversight while maintaining independence?

        • Chooky 7.2.1.1

          ….well why not independence in journalism?

          …. isn’t the judiciary supposed to be independent?…and the police?…( admittedly in the best scheme of things)

          …and the public service also used to have some measure of independence ( we are not supposed to be a banana republic)

          …..what keeps their ‘reputation’ of being independent?…appeals to independent tribunals?

          How does independent journalism (eg.the BBC and television) operate in Britain?

          • tracey 7.2.1.1.1

            Police and Justice systems are governed by regulations and laws that cover so many aspects of their daily work. Journalism far less so. Not saying it can’t be done but it would be very expensive and Farrar, right before CL was “reviewed” spread his version of the world through an unsubstantiated research project designed to make people think there is no bias in NZ media.

            • Chooky 7.2.1.1.1.1

              agree it would be difficult….but possible….the media is also governed by regulations, laws eg….libel, slander etc…

              ….they would have to make a commitment to being open and accountable and adherence to principles of journalism best practice eg….right of replies, counter interpretations, open about bias…and in final resort appeals to a tribunal.

            • Colonial Rawshark 7.2.1.1.1.2

              I don’t have all the answers but I do know that decentralising control and funding out of Wellington is critical.

  8. dukeofurl 8

    THis I found interesting from the Scoop story

    Email from Colin Espiner PR Chief at Sky City:

    “I’ve never met, spoken to or emailed Tim Murphy. Or Jane Hastings for that matter.

    The PR chief of Sky City, a former leading journalist, has NEVER spoken to the editor of the major newspaper in the same city as its major casino. ?

    Im not saying hes not telling the truth , but something doesnt make sense about that.

  9. ” If we think that matters, then a strong publicly funded media presence is the only way forward. ”

    Or we can rely on a vigilant proportion of the population (many on this site, who no doubt are not mutually exclusive of paid media and other sectors of the economy/society) along with altruistic and very time-generous moderators and host (thanks Lprent).

  10. Chooky 10

    Great Post..thanks…it is in reality a stifling of Democracy

    …in all of this there is an opportunity for online sources like the Standard to take up the gap/slack left by the abdication of responsibility of this John Key Nact government for public funding of high quality , lengthy News and Investigative journalism and Current affairs

    • Sans Cle 10.1

      This site (The Standard) proves that pure “public goods” don’t have to be publicly funded. It also got me thinking about private goods being publicly funded e.g. State house sales:privatization in general; Also, private goods are rarely privately funded (we need a mechanism to communicate new private goods e.g. Advertising, which is reliant on historic publicly funded goods through building of communication-infrastructure)….and perhaps more generally, this is the crisis that NZ’s media sector are facing: they thought their industry could be privatised completely, giving themselves a monopoly on advertising revenue…..and are kicking back against it.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    In the 1970’s Woodward and Bernstein were the Washington Post reporters who unearthed Nixon’s Watergate crimes, which permeated the highest levels of the US government. It took them SIX months of investigating before they produced their first printable story.

    It is unimaginable that today a privately owned / for profit news company would fund two reporters for six months without them producing a useable single story.

    Investigative journalism has changed. I have no idea if anything will replace it. Big Brother is not complaining.

    • tc 11.1

      yes and the amount of resources required behind just one TV current affairs reporter is a similar situation, researchers, producers, crew, lawyers to ensure libel and other laws aren’t breached and stories can take months also.

      There is no payback in terms of ads/sponsors for quality news and current affairs so it has to be done as a publicly funded independant service.

      Abbotts is now attacking ABC/SBS as they call it like it is and western govts can’t have that anymore.

      you want quality and objective reporting then it has to be isolated from all commercial/profit based influences.

    • saveNZ 11.2

      +1

      It is all part of the plan to rid society of decency and replace it with consumerism and fluff on the surface and mass surveillance and control underneath.

      Those speaking out about injustice (i.e. normal journalism) are out.

      The fluff doctor CEO’s redesigning this media landscape are ex entertainment managers, cinemas, travel agents, movie production, stock brokers, gambling, (if you can consider it entertainment).

      The brokers aka John Key are selling out the country while the MSM entertains us.

  12. James 12

    3 News certainly doesn’t do what Campbell Live does. Looking at their RSS feed just now, they have seven sports-related articles and three local news articles. The only unusual aspect is that normally half of them are entertainment-related, examining the lives and careers of important figures such as Miley Cyrus and Jay Z. Since MediaWorks NZ is owned by an Australian private equity firm which is necessarily more interested in pursuing dollars than “stories which matter”, their indifference to investigative journalism is only natural.

    …[A] strong publicly funded media presence is the only way forward.

    Let’s not forget that “publicly funded” needn’t mean “taxpayer funded”. Media Lens has an interesting perspective on the subject:

    Many readers are aware, on some level, that the profit motive distorts and cheapens every last thing offered by a ‘mainstream’ media system that in fact represents the extreme viewpoint of 0.1% of the population.

    Any given journalist might not give a damn about antagonising the White House, BP, or the Royal Family, but he or she knows that the host media does and must care. So all corporate media output marinades in an environment of ‘caution’, ‘respectability’ and self-preservational second-guessing. ‘Je suis Charlie Hebdo’ aside, write or say anything construed as ‘offensive’ or ‘outrageous’ by the wrong people, and a vast state-corporate, reputational wrecking ball can be mobilised. Anyone can be made a pariah, and journalists and corporate media entities cannot afford the consequences. . . .

    It may sound like wild fantasy, but we can imagine a collective of high-profile writers and journalists willing to detach themselves from corporate and state media, and to place themselves entirely at the mercy of the public.

    Two points would be absolutely key for the success of such an initiative: journalistic output should be completely free of charge to the public, a gift; and it should be openly presented as a declaration of intellectual war on the corporate media. Not in any vindictive way – the intention would be to offer an example of honest journalism based on selfless generosity as a contrast to the compromised, greed-based corporate media.

    Imagine if George Monbiot, John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, David Peterson, Jonathan Cook, Mark Curtis, Glenn Greenwald, Nafeez Ahmed, Robert Fisk, Naomi Klein, Russell Brand, Michael Moore, Julian Assange, Chris Hedges, Sharon Beder, Seumas Milne and others rejected the media moguls, billionaires, parent companies and advertisers, and offered their work completely free of charge from a single media outlet. Would the global public be willing to support such a group, such a cause, through donations? The answer, we think, is blindingly obvious. . . .

    We believe the internet makes the global outreach and required level of donations achievable. The support would be vast, if the journalism was free, and if it offered a genuine, uncompromising challenge to the corporate stranglehold.

    • tracey 12.1

      Thanks for that perspective. Appreciate it in light of “conversation” going on higher up.

  13. Rolf 13

    Dying media is nothing specific for New Zeeland. The problem is all the time, “who pay the piper chose the tune”. If the funding is public, the politicians will be in like a rocket to protect themselves and get their version out and the same for officials. This was the Soviet and the early Chinese model. A paper like the Herald does not publish anything unless they have the writer’s home address. “We know where you live mate, you don’t say anything wrong will you, you may get unpleasant visits”. The way to go is to protect the writers, private people and journalists, from powerful people who today use methods as “defamation” lawsuits, threats from officials, invent “regulations”, using the courts as leverage, then find ways for them to get the message out, without being threatened and at the same time make web media financially and technically accessible.

  14. Maui 14

    “According to inside sources the driving force behind this has been the rise of Stuff the Nation as a priority for the organisation”

    Geez-ez, so let’s use ordinary kiwis to write stories on what they think is important in their everyday lives as the basis for a news/entertainment organisation. Do readers seriously give a sht about what their neighbour thinks about what is wrong with the police, or how they got their baby through teething. Makes me want to run far, far away.

  15. saveNZ 15

    Jane Hastings – the same companies and connections keep popping up

    Hastings joined TRN as chief executive in September 2012 from Amalgamated Holdings where she was general manager, entertainment Australia and New Zealand.

    Hastings was previously general manager group sales, marketing and cinemas at Sky City Entertainment Group.

    Oh NO, no wonder news is now considered entertainment – we thought it was just John Key but now CEO of NZME previous experience is running cinemas (think Warners) and Gambling.

    We don’t need news! People might start to know what is going on!

    They sure as hell don’t want real journalists either!

  16. Hateatea 16

    The opinion of our esteemed (!) Prime Minister on publicly funded broadcasting / television
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/67802231/key-would-people-watch-publicly-funded-broadcast-tv

    The fact that television in the New Zealand that I grew up in was serviced only by publicly funded TVNZ or whatever it was originally called, says that New Zealanders did and would watch it.

    It was that that gave us Brian Edwards and the Forsyte Saga as well as Peyton Place and Fair Go.

    I watched Prime Ministers, Ministers of Labour called to account and a very young Winston Peters discuss the Hunua recount.

    It was the drive to make our public broadcasters pay their way that has led us to the place we are now where pleasing the advertisers view of demographics is more important than quality, variety, topicality and honesty.

  17. Phil 17

    television in the New Zealand that I grew up in was serviced only by publicly funded TVNZ or whatever it was originally called, says that New Zealanders did and would watch it.

    Aye, there’s the rub… You grew up in a New Zealand serviced only by publicly funded television because there was ONLY publicly funded television in New Zealand.

    Communication costs, both in terms of an individual’s access as well as the cost of production, have fallen dramatically in the last few decades and the number of mediums we can use to access media have exploded.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    9 hours ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    19 hours ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    20 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    1 day ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.