John Drinnan

Herald busted manufacturing immigration story

This morning the NZ Herald ran a story by Jared Savage.

Investigations by WOBH can reveal that the Herald has sat on this story since October 2013.

A wealthy Auckland businessman was given New Zealand citizenship against official advice after a Government minister lobbied the colleague who made the decision.

Maurice Williamson, the Minister of Building and Construction, and Prime Minister John Key then opened the first stage of a $70 million construction project launched by the Chinese-born developer after he became a citizen.

The following year, one of his companies made a $22,000 donation to the National Party.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) recommended that the citizenship application of Donghua Liu be declined on the grounds that he did not spend enough time in New Zealand or meet English language criteria.

At first blush this looks bad, but is it?

Well not really. Some pertinent facts have been left out from the story.

For a start there is nothing wrong with the Minister of Immigration or Internal Affairs exercising discretion – it is their right to do so is and it is written into the legislation. Members of Parliament advocate for that discretion to be used constantly, and in some famous cases like Taito Phillip Field used as a matter of course by Labour’s immigration ministers.

But in order to obtain citizenship you must first have permanent residency, which is a much harder barrier to overcome. Read more »

Alsitair Thompson putting the poo back into the donkey

I see disgraced journalist Alistair Thompson is attempting to put the poo back into the donkey.

John Drinnan reports:

Alastair Thompson’s on again-off again political career has landed him back at Scoop, the news website he abandoned to join Kim Dotcom’s political party.

New cornerstone shareholders Sublime Media – led by Selwyn Pellet and his brother Craig – today detailed their 60 per cent stake in Scoop, with the Thompson family interests retaining 20 per cent.

Thompson – formerly a member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery – today broke his silence after leaving the Internet Party last week and confirming he was in talks with Sublime about resuming some role at Scoop.

Thompson apologised to friends and family for the way he handled the transition between Scoop and the party role, which was leaked to the right wing blogger Cameron Slater.

Thompson was embarrassed by the revelations, and criticised by his business partner Selwyn Pellet.

Thompson said: “I owe an apology to many people close to me, especially my wife, my family and colleagues and employees at Scoop, and to my new investors for allowing the situation that evolved rapidly and unexpectedly at the end of last year, which brought about the conflict that my resignation from the Internet Party is to resolve.

“I am determined that my error in judgement will not prevent me from rejoining the effort at Scoop to build a new independent news model that is open, democratic and
true to Scoop’s stated mission of being an agent of positive change.

Those are weasel words for “I got sprung before I could cover my tracks”.

Sources inside the mansion tell me that Thompson would sit at the table with Dotcom over several months before the story broke  and worry that he maybe caught out and at the same time he worried about the impact on his potential investor.

Thompson’s explanations thus far have been very economical and he really needs to come clean before being accepted back into the Press Gallery.

Has the tide turned?

John Drinnan in the NZ Herald, normally part of the Kim Dotcom cheerleader squad has written what could only be called a hostile piece on media coverage of Dotcom.

Media coverage of Kim Dotcom and his businesses has missed the point and needs to be “more robust” now he has formed his own political party, says the head of the Copyright Council.

Paula Browning, the council’s chairwoman, says media have been caught up in public relations hype, and focused on the raid on Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion and his fight against extradition.

Other issues involving the German-born magnate – the charges against him and the issues surrounding file sharing – had received less coverage.

Media had been fascinated by parties around the Dotcom pool and events heavily promoted on social media, all designed to boost Dotcom’s profile.

“Some publications you would expect better of have been less than balanced in their coverage and very open to attending parties at the mansion,” she said.

She did not name names, but the Herald and TV3′s Campbell Live have been the highest-profile media reporting on Dotcom.  Read more »

Len’s spin weasels still in operation

This morning in the Herald, the Gurnard continues the ham-fisted attack on Cameron Brewer rather than continue to hold Len Brown to account.

The councillor caught out on a junket to the Gold Coast declared the trip to officials – but concedes he may have done so after a call from a journalist.

Caught out? Really…top spin there from The Gurnard, has he taken over from Orsman as the Herald’s embedded journalist int he mayor’s office?

But Cameron Brewer said his declaration wasn’t prompted by a call from Herald media specialist John Drinnan. Instead, he said it was a council official’s email that raised concerns about his free flights and accommodation.

Mr Brewer’s stand against Auckland Mayor Len Brown was brought up short when he was exposed as not having declared the August 2011 trip to Australia.

Caught out? Exposed? Uhmmm not, declared, but hey let’s not any facts get in the way.

On Sunday, Mr Brewer revealed he had actually declared the trip but only for the council’s gifts register and not the Register of Members’ Interests.

The declaration was made at 11.30am on September 8, 2011, recorded in an email sent a day before Drinnan revealed it in his weekly media column. On September 9, 2011, Drinnan reported: “Brewer says he declared the trip as a gift.”

Drinnan said he called Mr Brewer either the day before the column ran or two days before.   Read more »

When requesting a cease fire, it may pay to stop shooting also

Whaleoil has been approached informally on two separate occasions over the last few weeks by senior Herald / APN staff with a suggestion that this blog stops picking on some of their staff and their company in general.

It was an interesting suggestion.  There is no doubt that there is friction between Whaleoil and some Herald staff.  But the suggestion also means that if we are to go easy on them, they might go easy on…. us?

Not sure if that really suits the public’s need.

That said, we decided to wait and see if there were any overt signs that there was a new level of goodwill coming from the Herald – at any level.

Are they crediting Whaleoil consistently?

Do they provide a link to such sources?

Do they describe Whaleoil erroneously as “a National Party blog”?

Or “controversial website Whaleoil” (just today)

Have Fisher and Drinnan toned down their public tag team campaigns via Twitter?   Read more »

Daniel Hannan on judging blogs by their comment threads

People, okay mainly left wing tossers with their heads jammed up their fundament, claim that this website is rubbish or a sewer not by what is written on it but by what is in the comments. their site is better, smarter or more erudite because we have nicer commenters is the answer.

Of course it is petty jealousy fuelled with an unhealthy dose of intellectual snobbery. The market speaks and the market decides if you’re good enough not some pompous leftwing snob’s idea of what people should say or think.

Daniel Hannan explores this in his blogpost (again the Telegraph is a mainstream “news medium” that has bloggers).

The FT’s former correspondent at the European Parliament used to ask me the same question at every press conference. “So does this mean you voted the same way as Jean-Marie Le Pen?”

It’s amazing how many people want to judge a proposal, not by its merits, but by its incidental supporters. We need only state their implication openly – that you should drop an otherwise sensible idea because someone you don’t like agrees with you – to see how absurd it is.

Yet people carry on doing it. It’s the phenomenon that lies behind Godwin’s Law, the observation that all Internet discussions, if allowed to run long enough, end with comparisons to the Nazis. Hitler didn’t like trade unions! Hitler banned foxhunting! Hitler was a vegetarian! Hitler was an atheist! Hitler was a Catholic! Hitler was a pagan!

Now there’s a new variant of the phenomenon: judging a blog by its comment thread. Again, the absurdity should be obvious. Bloggers are not responsible for what happens after they have posted. Those who comment most aggressively are more often than not hostile to the writer. The word “troll” didn’t originally mean, as is often thought these days, someone who is rude and unpleasant; it meant someone who used an assumed identity to discredit someone else.  Read more »

A response to John Drinnan


John Drinnan, a man who almost never leaves his desk at the Herald sweatshop and who rang everyone about town but lacked the courage to ring me , writes:

“Slater has been unclear about the business plan for his blog and whether it takes money from outsiders such as public relations companies.”  Read more »

How the media manipulate, the Drinnan case study


John Drinnan

John Drinnan asked me for an interview…since he and David Fisher seem to think trolling on Twitter is what decent journalists, trained and skilled should spend all day doing you can imagine I was reticent.

He sent through his questions and I and answered them…Here is my reply in full….once you have read that you can go see what John Drinnan did with it…you will note I warned him…publish it all or not at all, and that I would publish it anyway. Apparently there isn’t enough space online to have published in full…seriously that was his answer!

Tue, Oct 22, 2013 at 9:07 PM

From: Cam Slater

To: John Drinnan

I won’t post these questions to my blog until you’ve published them. I’ve taken the liberty of providing substantial as opposed to yes/no answers. Wouldn’t be much of an interview without it I guess. I would prefer them to be published in total or not at all. Thanks.

1. Regarding the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story – do you have more evidence against Brown to hand.

At the time I’m responding to your interview, yes. Not sure what the situation will be by the time your readers read my answers. More information keeps coming to me. The timeline spans from before his first marriage, his current one, at work, and various extra marital events in addition to Bevan Chuang. It is still my position he is not fit to be Mayor of Auckland. I knew of Bevan Chuang for a good two months, and even the day before I published I didn’t think it was a story worth publishing. Only when we had the undisputed and now verified affidavit did we make it public. This is why everything I know won’t all come out. Some of it is simply not relevant, because it is indeed just personal. But some of it may become pertinent to the public discussion surrounding Len Brown’s Mayoralty. They say that timing is everything, so one of my options is to see where Brown takes this, and just as it all looks like he’s safe and ready to start kissing babies again, I’ll publish the next story.   Read more »

Creepers and Excusers

I saw this pop up in my RSS feed and it rings true in many, many ways…especially the description of “excusers”, but more importantly the behaviour of Len Brown as a “creeper”.

Emma Hart at Public Address wrote two Missing Stair posts: The Necessary Bastard andThe Creeper and the Excuser. Go read them if you want, I liked ideas put forward.

Mayor Len 

Auckland’s Mayor Len Brown is a highly successful creeper. He has a excusers all over the place. Len Brown will get away with it, probably he has got away with it before. People like him almost always get a free pass.

What is a Creeper? 

Creepers are on the lookout for someone vulnerable. They can use a number of approaches, but what they want is someone who will not say no.  Ideally they want someone who can be pressured into saying yes, repeatedly.

The description of a creeper Emma provides details a promiscuous form of creeper, the mass mail out approach where as high as number as possible are randomly approached.

What about somewhere short of that? What about the Creepers? The ones who have a habit of touching people who don’t want to be touched? The hand on the leg, the accidental brushes, the sexual remarks that make people really uncomfortable? Would you do something about that?

That is the route of the lazy, unintelligent creeper and is not the best approach. Creepers are just one person so mass marketing is hard to carry off.  Creepers are  better served to find someone they know is vulnerable and exploit that vulnerability.  Doing a bit of research beforehand and then repeatedly targeting the same individual can induce impetus.  Read more »

Len Brown sex scandal goes global, CNN reporting

The Len Brown scandal has now gone global with CNN reporting the scandal.

 Months after sexting revelations dashed Anthony Weiner’s hopes of election in New York, a mayor on the other side of the world is battling for political survival following a lurid sex scandal that has electrified the usually sleepy world of local politics.

The crisis engulfing Len Brown, the recently re-elected mayor of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, involves sex in the mayoral chambers, a former mistress who says she also shared a bed with an adviser to his rival, intrigue as to whether the mayor was victim of a political smear campaign, and a hunt for the sender of a mystery text message that triggered the revelations.   Read more »