Andrea Vance

The sad state of the New Zealand Media Party

Late yesterday, I wrote

At today’s post-cabinet press conference, Andrea Vance asked the Prime Minister a really pertinent question. What does he think about the allegations that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has had his meat and two veg inside a dead pig’s mouth?

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The fact that Vance thought that was the sort of thing that would get her the valuable answers needed to write for her newspaper is bad enough, but it would have died a nice death in the awkward silence of others who were thinking “did she really just ask that?”, if it wasn’t for her tag-team partner and Media Party communications spokesperson, Katie Bradford, spewing it out for all to see on the Twitter machine.

Now we know that Vance and Bradford are now BFFs because Vance will soon be gracing TVNZ’s partially taxpayer-funded payroll with her.   But this tag teaming of the Prime Minister was also picked up by the TV3/Radiolive/Mediaworks stable who are pushing the smear for all it’s worth.   Read more »

So this is the caliber of our journalism

At today’s post-cabinet press conference, Andrea Vance asked the Prime Minister a really pertinent question.   What does he think about the allegations that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has had his meat and two veg inside a dead pig’s mouth?

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The fact that Vance thought that was the sort of thing that would get her the valuable answers needed to write for her newspaper is bad enough, but it would have died a nice death in the awkward silence of others who were thinking “did she really just ask that?”, if it wasn’t for her tag-team partner and Media Party communications spokesperson, Katie Bradford, spewing it out for all to see on the Twitter machine.

Seriously, these people can’t figure out why they don’t have your respect.

Andrea Vance on Labour’s “disorientation”

Andrea Vance must be drinking something other than the Press Gallery Kool Aid at the moment.

She gives Labour a soft kicking in her column in the Sunday Star-Times about David Seymour’s booze bill.

Labour’s Andrew Little was on board with the bill immediately: “If we’re losing I’d probably have two beers at 5am.”

But his party is suffering its own disorientation. Recently, Little dropped opposition to 90-day work trials – a policy once described as “intolerable” to Labour.  The ranks are confused, with Young Labour publicly saying they were “deeply concerned” by the decision.

Then came the targeting of Chinese buyers in Auckland.  Labour borrowed heavily from the NZ First playbook, taking an economic problem and laying the blame on one minority. Fed-up MPs gritted their teeth as they fielded calls from upset Chinese constituents.    Read more »

Andrea Vance isn’t drinking the Koolaid

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Andrea Vance is in the UK enjoying her Wolfson scholarship and it appears she has missed regular top ups of the Labour Koolaid and also missed the memo from Labour about their race-baiting.

She gives them and a newspaper a right good kicking in her column today.

Don’t worry Auckland. You are not alone.

House prices are soaring in desirable metropolises across the globe. And beating up on Johnny Foreigner is the zeitgeist.

In London, cash-rich Russians are the scapegoats. Brooklyn’s famous brownstone townhouses are reportedly being snapped up by European and Israeli investors.

Iranians and Russians are snapping up Toronto condos – the Chinese prefer Vancouver, wealthy Europeans head for the Canadian Maritimes.

Australia has its own so-called ‘Asian invasion’. And in Singapore, buyers from China, Malaysia, India and Indonesia are out-bidding the locals.

Welcome to globalisation.

Trade barriers coming down got you through the worst of times. New Zealand absorbed the shock of the global financial crash by flogging its wares to a voracious Chinese market. It emerged (for a time) with a “rock-star” economy.

Since the ground-breaking 2008 free trade deal, your fortunes are tied to theirs. So isn’t it a little churlish for Labour – the party which signed-up to the pact – to turn on the Chinese now?

Read more »

Phone hacking illegal, but email hacking fine. Well, if it’s my email it is

Nick Davies will forever be known as the journalist who broke the phone-hacking scandal in the Britain, bringing down the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid.

At a Christchurch WORD event on Tuesday night, he discussed his views on the media and his book, Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch, with The Press editor Joanna Norris.

Starting in 2008 after a tip-off, Davies, who works for The Guardian, began investigating illegal phone-hacking and bribery by journalists employed by News International.

He wrote more than 100 articles over two years on the activities but it was only when he revealed News of the World journalists had listened to and deleted voicemail messages left for murdered teenager Milly Dowler that public outrage forced the police to re-open investigations.

By 2011, it was revealed more than 210 people had been complicit in the illegal activities and victims numbered more than 5000.

Don’t hold your breath that the same will happen in New Zealand when it comes to email hacking.  Journalists, decent, trained and skilled, have been directly involved in the Dirty Politics hacking against me and others.    Read more »

The vacuity of Andrea Vance’s analysis, Ctd

Andrea Vance’s very shallow analysis suggested that Lindsay Tisch would be told not to run again. This shows a very poor understanding of the National Party constitution.

To kick Tisch out requires a lot more than giving him the arse card.

If he decides to dig his heels in he can likely hold his seat for life because Waikato has high membership. High membership matters because for every 10 members there is one delegate allocated. There must be 60 delegates, so if your electorate has less than 600 members the regional chair gets to top up the delegates to make 60.

A National selection requires a majority. In the event of a tie between the last two candidates the regional chair gets to make a casting vote, but this rarely happens. The classic way to stitch up an electorate selection is to have low membership then for the regional chair to put forward a whole lot of people who know which way to vote, as they did in Helensville in 2002.

Any electorate with much more than 300 members usually controls the selection themselves, although to be on the safe side it is better to have more members in case some of your delegates switch sides.    Read more »

The vacuity of Andrea Vance’s analysis

Andrea Vance was spreading propaganda for the Joyce faction in her recent column, but she needs to understand some basic facts about the National Party. Otherwise her opinion is based on factual errors and flawed logic. In the interests of getting decent journalism from a paid journalist there will be a series of posts pointing out the errors in her analysis.

The first point is that the National Party leadership is decided by the National caucus.

To win the leadership you have to have the support of the majority of the caucus. There are no formal rules, and previous leadership battles have either been concessions of defeat or a two candidate race. In the event there are more than two candidates it is expected that the leadership race will be run the same way as selections, with the lowest polling candidate dropping out and votes taken again until there is a winner by majority.

The contention that Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett are presumed replacements for John Key needs to be checked against whether they would win votes from half of caucus.   Read more »

Vance kicks a speculator, boots it dead on the full

Andrea Vance likes to think she is a player in the press gallery…the mover and shaker with her finger on the pulse.

Today in the DomPost she writes what could best described as a speculator article based on every bit of rumour and gossip floating around Wellington, not much of which is true.

According to a story doing the rounds, National pollster and blogger David Farrar was recently invited to spend some time with Murray McCully.

Widely expected to step down by the end of this term, the foreign minister mischievously let slip he had no intention of retiring from politics – just to see how long the news took to reach his senior colleagues.

Farrar insists the rumour is not true. But it gives a few clues as to what is occupying the minds of National MPs.

One of the parties says it is b.s. but hey let’s run the speculator anyway. That story is old by the way and was running before Christmas.

McCully is not the most imminent departure from party ranks. Wellington’s worst-kept secret is that Trade Minister Tim Groser is shortly off to relieve Mike Moore as New Zealand’s ambassador in Washington.

Also likely to be waving goodbye to Parliament in 2017 is Assistant Speaker Lindsay Tisch, whether he likes it or not. No-one would be surprised to see Finance Minister Bill English take his leave, once he has delivered the long-promised surplus.

Read more »

The delusions of John Minto

The next big thing that Hone Harawira and John Minto has got going is Mana News.

And they are straight into bizarre conspiracy theories…and likely a few defamation suits.

Eleanor Catton has managed to reveal the mechanism of the National party media dictatorship this could be extremely dangerous for the survival of our democracy. According to Sean Plunkett you are not permitted to criticise the National government its unpatriotic and against the people of New Zealand.  Too many reporters within journalism have intimate relationships with the national party that are a conflict of interest designed to mislead the New Zealand public. These reporters are holding back real journalists like Andrea Vance. It is unnatural for the press gallery to be uncritical of a seven year old government. The Prime minister office is pouring to many resources into dirty politics and controling the media and little effort to tackle the housing crisis or poverty reduction.

The conspiracy would be more believable if they could spell Sean Plunket’s name properly. I’m surprised that they haven’t substituted every ‘s’ for a ‘$’.

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Is Andrea Vance miffed she wasn’t invited on the helicopter?

Andrea Vance has her knickers in a bunch over the use of a helicopter by Nick Smith to take some of the family members of Pike River victims to…and here’s the kicker…places that can only be reached by…yes your guessed…helicopter.

No-one is objecting to the source of funds.

Bernie Monk not only says its ok, he says it’s necessary

Andrea Vance needs to report what the news is, not what she would rather it was.

Cabinet minister Nick Smith has chartered another helicopter for television cameras – this time using tax-payer cash set aside for the families of the Pike River victims.

Last year Smith used $6344 of Department of Conservation money to send up a chopper for a photo opportunity with ministers Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell.

Today he was back on the West Coast for a press conference about the future of the Pike River mine site.

Families of the victims want a walking track and visitor centre to mark the place where 29 men died in 2010.   Read more »