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Woman’s Day pays creep to stalk Mau

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 16th, 2010 - 58 comments
Categories: Media, Spying, tv - Tags: , , ,

Tabloid trash mag Woman’s Day has being paying someone to follow Alison Mau and her family to take pictures to fuel their prurient interest in her personal life, according to a statement by Mau on TVNZ’s Breakfast.

In her statement Mau pleaded for Woman’s Day Editor Sarah Henry to “call off the dogs” and the “creepy guy in a Corolla stationwagon following us around”.

Mau is one of the most impeccably professional journalists we have in this country and god knows she’s a welcome relief from having to listen to the pea-brained rantings of Paul Henry in the morning. Yet unlike Henry, Mau has done absolutely nothing wrong. So I really don’t think this sort of harassment is remotely fair. Mau’s acknowledged that as a person in the public eye there’s bound to be some attention, but really: for one she’s not exactly an elected official or the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, nor has she done anything particularly unusual to warrant unwanted intrusions into her and her family’s private life. 

And just what kind of sociopathic organization, other than the Police, goes around spying on people? It’s sick and it’s creepy and it serves no other purpose than to help rich people extract money from stupid people.

The valiant Sarah Henry refused to front on Close Up, but did offer the weasel excuse that Woman’s Day only paid for the pictures after they’d been taken. If you’d like to let Sarah Henry know your opinion on this, her email is shenry@acpmagazines.co.nz

Personally I’d just like to say FFS Sarah, how out of touch are you? It might have been news in the victorian age, but things have moved on from when you were a girl. Yours will be an unusually bitter life if you resent all the people who are at once smarter, more professional and better looking than you are, because believe me, they are legion.

In the mean time, if you know anyone witless or shameless enough to admit buying Woman’s Day, encourage them to spend their money on something else for the next few months. Something less damaging for their brains, like a can of glue to huff perhaps.

58 comments on “Woman’s Day pays creep to stalk Mau”

  1. tc 1

    Mixed feelings about this…….Allie/Simon happily courted and were paid to be the subjects of many a fluff piece and now it turns out the premise (i.e. being happily hetro and married) seems to be a sham.

    Can’t have it both ways Allie, once a media whore…..and as for professional journo……mmmmmm Professional presenter and autocue reader more like…..watch out for the paid PR pieces TVNZ will get underway and Megan mouthpiece fronting the campaign.

    Swimming with the sharks comes to mind.

    • Ag 1.1

      That’s not quite the hypocrisy you’re looking for.

      What’s odd is that you have a person doing a spot on television devoted to these celebrity stalker rags in full knowledge that they all engage in this nonsense, who is complaining when they target her. Having said that, the news media had no business outing her and the whole episode is disgraceful.

      In any case, the only reason this is news is that the thought of Alison Mau having sex with another woman is a turn on for a significant portion of male New Zealanders, and the news media more or less peddles soft porn these days.

    • So obviously consent and reciprocation mean nothing to you tc.
      I hate to think what that says about your sex life (I’m assuming that as you’ve commented here you consider this topic fair game).

  2. Bearhunter 2

    “It might have been news in the victorian age, but things have moved on from when you were a girl. Yours will be an unusually bitter life if you resent all the people who are at once smarter, more professional and better looking than you are, because believe me, they are legion”

    And nice piece of personal abuse to ruin what was in danger of becoming a cogent argument. When Sarah Henry was a girl wasn’t that long ago. She’s not some embittered, middle-aged harridan living on cigarettes and botox in a Viaduct apartment. You should know that given how well you appear to know her. Clearly you know her well enough to presume that she is not smart, not professional and not that good looking.

    I’m not defending Sarah Henry’s methods, mostly because I don’t give a shit about the micro-celeb market in NZ, but I do object to your ad hominem abuse. And given the lengths TVNZ have gone to in the past when chasing a “story” of dubious editorial value, I’m amazed that Alison Mau felt the need to pull a “poor me” on national telly.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.1

      Hear hear. I’d go a step further and point out that Mau has demonstrated a remarkable elasticity when it comes to journalistic ethics. She happily assisted journalism’s decline into sensationalism and “gotcha” behaviour when it suited her career ambitions.

      Sure, she didn’t do anything quite as grubby as this. And the stories she was on were arguably of (slightly) more import. But we’re still talking about people, some of whom were left feeling as angry as Mau now is.

      But if you’re happy to erode something’s foundations when it suits you, excuse me if I don’t weep when it caves in on you.

  3. Unlike Henry she has done nothign wrong?????

    What has Henry done that is wrong???

    You think it will be okay for these creeps to stalk him?

    Out of interest, In the past did she ever allow her kids to be photographed for a womans magazine???

  4. vto 4

    Gotta agree with bearhunters sentiments re the personal abuse of the ed person and the womans day reader.

    Talk about arrogance. Which is always always always always accompanied by its cuzzie “ignorance”.

    Do you think female interest in gossip and what the more prominent female members of our society are up to is something new? You think it doesn’t have a place in society? Gossip may well sometimes be a bit yucky but if you know women you will know that gossip and similar intimate discussion of people within a community (or versions thereof) are crucial aspects of human existence.

    Disappointing but not surprising mrs sprout. Arrogance is common among authors here at times. It shows a lack of understanding of the human society. It shows a youth and lack of wisdom.

    p.s. nuke the creep btw. bad form.

    • A Nonny Moose 4.1

      Crucial. Really? How? To keep women in their place?

      Gossip arises from boredom. And a society that keeps women ignorant, un-invested and unwelcome in the larger runnings of said society has a vested interest in the vicious circle of bored women gossiping.

      “Allie/Simon happily courted and were paid to be the subjects of many a fluff piece and now it turns out the premise (i.e. being happily hetro and married) seems to be a sham.”

      A whole lot BS to unpack here, but for starters – have you ever thought that women who come out bi or gay later in life have been conditioned by society to be in a hetro relationship, and struggle with confusion and conflicting emotions earlier in life? There’s no sham – just people discovering who they really are at a later age.

      I’ve getting a passive aggressive homophobic AND sexist vibe from people lashing out at Mau, and claiming “she deserves everything she gets”. So, your pretty TV presenter became true to herself – boo bloody hoo. She’s a human being deserving of privacy just as much as you.

  5. felix 5

    That sign really gets my goat.

    “Sorry we couldn’t be fucked building proper walls; here’s a nice sign instead.”

  6. Lew 6

    Let’s just dispense with the canard that, because she once allowed the media to cover her family and personal life, she has no reasonable expectation of privacy for ever. Think about what that means, for a moment.

    To employ a stark analogy, agreeing to a kiss and a cuddle on one occasion under particular circumstances, does not imply consent to sex at any later time under any different circumstances. You agree with that, right?

    That having been said, there is no indication that what WD has done is illegal — only that it’s unethical. That’s a matter for wider society to respond to, and for the readership to punish if they see fit. So it’s as the sprout says — convince your WD-reading friends and acquaintances to pick up a rival glossy, if you can. Not that the others are any better.


  7. gitmo 7

    How are the Police a ‘sociopathic organisation’ ?

    Does Mike Williams own a camera ?

    .. oh and the woman’s mags are trash.

    • felix 7.1

      Well…. it’s an association full of sociopaths for a start. Or were you being cryptic?

      • Lew 7.1.1

        It is? I think the actual psychological testing and evaluation data that the police conduct as part of the recruitment process would beg to differ.


        • felix

          That who conduct?

          Oh, I see.

          • Lew

            Psst, hey cuz — over here. Yeah, this is a-grade tinfoil, man. You’re gonna need plenty.


            • felix

              And that will protect me from sociopaths?

              I’ll need quite a bit for that, won’t I?

              • Lew

                It’s not the sociopaths you have to worry about. It’s the massive conspiracy at the highest levels of the state which has allowed them to dominate our society. If they can do that, what can’t they do? Thoughtcrime is only the beginning.


                Captcha: covering

              • felix

                That’s exactly what they want you to think, Lew.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            “…the actual psychological testing and evaluation data that the police conduct as part of the recruitment process…”

            The one that goes something like this?

            “Clearly you have a huge chip on your shoulder, having gone through school trading on your efficient brutality on the rugby field only to find that the smarter, wittier kids you used to bully have gone on to get good jobs while you’ve spent the past year guarding the meat section at Pak ‘n’ Save.

            “You demonstrated a complete lack of empathy – no understanding of other people whatsoever in fact – yet a willingness to back ‘the team’ no matter what transgressions it indulged in.

            “You used a great deal of unnecessary force during your physical evaluation… we’re going to have to replace several of our padded suits and a couple of police dogs.

            “It’s clear from your evaluation that you bear a grudge for the slightest provocation and would be prepared to misuse your considerable powers as a police officer to settle it. In short, you’re a dangerous sociopath.

            “Congratulations, that means you’ve passed with flying colours”.


            • Lew

              So much more entertaining than felix’s response, even if it is just as wrong.


              • felix

                Neither of them were really jokes though Lew.

                Rex’s is pretty much the life story of most of the cops I’ve ever met. YMMV.

              • Rex Widerstrom

                Watch and learn, Lew…

                They’re all an eye-opener, these recruits, like the girl who suggests a crime scene could be secured by “the dead body people” (even an armchair detective could do better than that after one episode of CSI) but this guy makes my point the best. You need to watch a few episodes to really get a feeling for just how dedicated, and how immeasurably stupid, he is.

                And yes, he’s a former security gurard… and he passed the academy despite even being grossly unfit. Must have been his attitude and intelligence that they wanted 8-/

              • gitmo

                “Rex’s is pretty much the life story of most of the cops I’ve ever met”

                Yes, but perhaps you’re just a complete cunt and are being treated as such ?

                Most police I’ve met over the years have been pretty good people, doing the best they can under pretty tough circumstances a lot of the time.

                • lprent

                  So are most of the police I’ve dealt with. However I’ve also seen some friends and activists being dealt with quite differently. It is like any organisation – there are some people in it who drag the reputation into the dirt. The October 15th ‘terrorism’ raids come to mind. August 2011 when the trial begins should be interesting for looking at the role of the police prior to those arrests

              • felix

                gitmo: Yes, but perhaps you’re just a complete cunt and are being treated as such ?

                I was referring to the cops I’ve met socially. But you’re right, I am a complete cunt.

              • Lew

                Almost all the cops I’ve had anything to do with in NZ have been well decent. When I’ve had run-ins with the law I’ve found them to be generally professional and fair. I have a brother-in-law who’s a detective, and he’s as dedicated and hardworking and reasonable a chap as you’re ever likely to meet.

                I accept that there are a few bastards, and there are some situations where they habitually go off the deep end (protests/activism, surveillance, minor weapon incidents, enforcement of liquor bans, electing that mad bastard Greg O’Connor, etc). But it’s like in wider society: idiots tend to seek each other out and use each others’ idiocy to cause trouble. If you’re a prick, you’ll tend to end up with the prickiest cop around, all else being equal.

                And Rex, if you think the Australian police are remotely similar to the NZ force, I reckon you’ve been over there too long, and the heat has fried your brains.


                • lprent

                  Yep. But what worries me is when they herd the real dorks together into a anti-terrorism squad. Then they tend to feed off each others paranoia and it is a irritation to watch the average intelligence to drop in such units – especially when you see them in court.

                  • Lew

                    Lynn, right on. Especially since, if the hype is to be believed, that is where we want the best and brightest.


              • Rex Widerstrom

                The Australian cops I’ve had delaings with are different to those I’ve encountered in NZ, Lew.

                They haven’t borne a childish grudge and therefore haven’t repeatedly tried to have me convicted of things I didn’t do; they don’t habitually pull me over every time they see me hoping to find some minor infraction; they generally leave me alone and I leave them alone.

                The NZ police, on the other hand, evidently feel – as one officer openly said to my then business partner – “he’s got it coming”.

                But then again, like felix, I am a complete cunt.

              • felix

                I’ve known a few, Lew, mostly bastards. From all my social interactions (note: social) with cops I’ve met I’ve got a strong sense of a deeply ingrained culture of sexism, racism, violence, intimidation, bullying, an “us against them” mentality where “them” means everyone not sworn in, a sense of superiority to anyone not sworn in, and much worse.

                One bloke springs to mind – mate of a mate – who a few years ago excitedly told us how much he and all the boys were looking forward being posted to Whangamata for new years. The best thing about a riot, he explained, is that you can get away with anything in the heat of the moment and the dark. They were particularly looking forward to being able to smash some young girls around with the batons cos it’s not often you can get away with that whereas you get to bash guys all the time. Extra points for a crack across the face.

                He was a right bastard but not at all atypical in my experience. I’m sure your brother in law is a nice chap though.

            • Mac1

              Being of the descended from Irish persuasion, and therefore having numbers of relatives who were policemen, plus knowing the children of my friends who became policemen and women, plus the police who I meet through my work and throughout my life, I have to say (*choke*) that I agree with you, Gitmo.

  8. randal 8

    TVNZ’s new slogan in case you haven’t noticed is stuff you love to watch!
    looks like they all lovin’ each other.
    hey lets get all get nekkid and join in.

  9. sweetd 9

    The people get what the people want. The same people that blamed the paparazzi for the death of Princess Diana were the same ones that week in, week out buy the magazines that the paparazzi feed. So, instead of getting all upset about someone getting photos taken, maybe you should stop buying that magazines that use those photos.

    • felix 9.1

      What about those of us who don’t buy the magazines? We can still bitch about it can’t we?

      But yeah, I know what you mean. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

      There was a really good South Park ep which framed the phenomenon as a modern form of ritual sacrifice.

    • A Nonny Moose 9.2

      So, if you want people to not buy these magazines, are you prepared to dig in deep and long for the huge societal discussion it will take to air out the sexism and patriachy inherent in them? Are ready and willing to talk to every woman in your life at length about the terrible body images displayed, stoking of boredom, treating women as ignorant, and commercial vested interests by cosmetic/fashion companies in these magazines?

      It’s all very well to say “don’t buy these magazines” but you need the deep justifications for it too.

      • felix 9.2.1

        I take part in discussions around all of those issues on a regular basis. I’m not at all sure what your point is.

      • felix 9.2.2

        But of course the best reason to ignore those magazines is that they’re just shit anyway.

  10. The Voice of Reason 10

    I don’t buy ’em anyway, but if it’ll help I won’t read anything while I’m waiting for the chippie to cook my order.

    Mau does not come into this argument with clean hands and I have no sympathy at all with her situation. If you pimp your relationships (and in the case of Michael Laws, your kids), you can expect a backlash at some point.

    The media have no duty of loyalty and will quickly turn on previous friends if it suits. Likewise, enemies become bosom buddies just as quickly if there is a buck in it. Look up ‘reverse ferret’, it’s quite illuminating.

    • A Nonny Moose 10.1

      Ok, I’m coming to your workplace, to listen in to your water cooler discussions about your family, and the next time that happens I’m coming knocking on your door at to ask if I can watch you have sex with your SO or take your kids to the school gate.

      Not comfortable with that? Didn’t think so.

  11. The Voice of Reason 11

    And while I’m at it, if Mau doesn’t approve of media organisations hiring creeps, how come she sits next to Paul Henry?

  12. BLiP 12

    Given the hand in glove relationship betwixt television and the celeb mags is it too much to suggest the whole thing’s a jack up? Certainly got us talking about it.

    • the sprout 12.1

      Magazines and newspapers are usually a jack-up, after all ACP owns Women’s Day, The Herald and The Listener – and they frequently orchestrate their public interactions (standby for a defence of WD in the Listener any day now).
      But print and TV generally hate each other. Given that, and Mau’s performance, I don’t think this particular case is a collusion.

      • BLiP 12.1.1

        I haven’t seen a great deal of evidence to support the suggestion that the print and TV media generally hate each other. Perhaps there is some rivalry in the newsroom, for sure, but otherwise TV expends a lot of resources in promoting puff pieces in the print media to support the celebrity cult and generate interest in content. Some of those Idol/Reality type shows seem often to indicate a symbiotic relationship rather than a hateful one.

        It does seem odd that by having a bleat on the box and mentioning the magazine concerned Mau expected to dampen interest. She might have been better to keep her nose clean and mouth shut. But, seeing as I didn’t see the Mau piece, and its you, I’ll take your word in this case.

  13. PK 13

    “Mau’s acknowledged that as a person in the public eye there’s bound to be some attention, but really: for one she’s not exactly an elected official or the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, nor has she done anything particularly unusual to warrant unwanted intrusions into her and her family’s private life.”

    She’s a star by NZ standards & earns what, about 12 times above the average wage (?), through being an attractive presenter. If you enjoy the wealth that brings then you have to cop the prurient tabloid interest.

  14. Tiger Mountain 14

    Too bad for Ms Mau on a personal level, I would not like to be treated like that either, but once you place yourself in the media/celeb orbit all bets are off it seems. Now, onto the pigs seeing as how others have raised this, the psychological testing of recruits looks for among other qualities-compliance, lack of empathy, ability to stretch the truth in court and boneheadedness. It is often the solid country boys that fit the profile. If you think otherwise you must have literally not had many encounters with the NZ Police. Yes there are exceptions, often the UK imports and non pakeha members and some of the new fangled community policing initiatives. They are handy for finding lost trampers and all sorts of unpleasant tasks that they are paid quite well for. My main beef with them, not being a criminal type personally, is their role as members of the state forces, with various sneaky subset units, where they are happy to spray, baton and if ordered shoot, unionists and political activists. They are not great with the mentally unwell/stressed either tending to use lethal force unnecessarily. This is not just an opinion, ample evidence exists.

  15. Melons 15

    When a persons job is in the media, there will always be a small grey area between when someone presents the news to when they become the news. Understood. You run that risk.

    But please tell me where the line is. When is it ever okay to follow around someones children?. Even if Ali is currently dating a woman, how do they think photographing her kids will add interest/strength to the actual story they are trying to promote?

    New Zealand is a small place. We have no A-list Celebrities here. The magazine editors such as Henry and certain newspaper gossip columnists have slim pickings when it comes to New-Zealanders in gossip-worthy tales. There is an aspiration of these people to live up to their American and English (etc) journalist peers when it comes to telling us what we apparantly want to hear about New Zealanders in the spotlight. They get a “Big fish in a small pond” syndrome and will take the story as far as they need to go to show they are worthy of getting just as much grit as our overseas journalists.

    Henry and her buddies fall very very short of worthy.

  16. Sue S 16

    What Women’s Day is doing to Alison Mau is like raping a prostitute. Just because she’s sold herself and her private life to the sleaze media in the past doesn’t make it right for them to stalk her now. Standard readers, of all people, should be able to separate their (totally justified) distaste for Mau’s history of unbridled careerism from the principle that everyone, no matter how unpleasant, has the same human rights.

    • lprent 16.1

      Provided they follow the policies I generally leave them alone and just moderate those that fall outside the bounds or who have annoying behaviours.

      So we get all types of people commenting here with widely varying opinions in a moderately civilised manner. The behaviour is civilised because Irish and I are not exactly civilised when we have to moderate and bounce people out. Then the policy is that we’re cruel and vindictive and we like leaving severe bruising to encourage people to be more civilised in future.

      But my point is that there is no real way to try and consolidate the morass of differently opinionated comments into a phrase of ‘Standard readers’. They’re even more varied than the authors who write here.

  17. PK 17

    “Standard readers, of all people, should be able to separate their (totally justified) distaste for Mau’s history of unbridled careerism from the principle that everyone, no matter how unpleasant, has the same human rights.”

    What rights have been infringed? It’s legal to photograph someone in a public place isn’t it? Isn’t this what the ‘paparazzi’ do all the time?

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