NZ Herald

So, no laws broken, no action by authorities, what was Matt Nippert banging on about then?

Matt Nippert, a supposed investigative journalist ran a massive hit job on supposed dirty money in Kiwisaver accounts.

Apparently, there was some sort of moral, possibly illegal investment in some companies he clearly doesn’t like.

Turns out nothing illegal was done, there is no reason why these investments shouldn’t have been made and both the Police and the FMA are taking no action whatsoever.

The Police have released a statement on an investigation into whether the Cluster Munitions Act may have been breached by KiwiSaver fund managers.

“There are significant threshold issues with regard to establishing breaches of the Act, and at this stage there is no evidence to indicate offending,” the Police said.

The investigation was done in conjunction with the Financial Markets Authority.   Read more »

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Six days ago now I did this post.

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Five days later ” A Newspaper ” published this post.

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NZ Ferald’s latest project: Is XXX too white?

Is the Olympic Team too white?   That was yesterday.  But let’s keep the theme going for a bit:

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Auckland’s diversity not reflected in local government, writes Lincoln Tan.

Auckland may be one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world but nine in 10 elected representatives on the Auckland Council are white, a study has found.

Ethnic minorities are being urged to stand as local body candidates, after AUT University research found the 23 per cent who identify as Asian had just 1 per cent representation on the council.

The study looked at how closely Auckland Council representatives reflected the population, and looked at who stood, and who was elected at the 2013 elections. Read more »

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NZ Herald officially ejects any pretence at basic respect

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This just formalises what has already been happening anyway. There have been articles where John Key has been referred to as Key while, in the same article, Andrew Little was Mr Little – a somewhat childish way to show disrespect and which side the writer is on.

A lot of bylines have also disappeared. Whereas the Herald used to push its own staff as celebrities, turning Fisher, O’Sullivan and Nippert into household names, this hasn’t actually been a good thing. Especially in the case of David Fisher, his byline has become a liability, and any unattributed work is probably read more because of it. Read more »

NZ Herald floats, then sinks

The NZ Herald parent company had a dreadful start to their much-vaunted float…dropping 20%, and aren’t Mediaworks gleeful about it all.

Newly listed media company NZME debuted on the New Zealand stock market today with its shares closing at 80 cents.

Shares were initially offered at NZ$1 as a reference point because it is a new company listing. It is now up to the market to determine what the company is worth. Shares initially traded around 85c but then closed down. At 80c a share, NZME would be valued at NZ$156.8 million.

NZME owns the NZ Herald newspaper, various regional titles, the GrabOne daily deals website and the Radio Network.

The NZ listing comes after its Australian owners APN News & Media decided to demerge its Kiwi business NZME so it could potentially merge with Fairfax NZ.

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Opposition cheer leaders say that Little and Labour are wrong over Iraq deployment

The NZ Herald has become a left-wing rag in the past decade. They’ve run hit job after hit job on anyone and everyone who is right of centre.

But today, bless, they basically told Labour they are wrong to want to pull out of Iraq.

The Government’s decision to extend the service of New Zealand soldiers in Iraq beyond next February’s deadline is the right one, even though the Prime Minister had previously indicated the troops were on two-year deployment due to end next May. The extension means 143 men and women from the Defence Force will be rotated through Iraq until November 2018.

It is a significant commitment, and was forecast to cost about $57 million by the time it was due to wind up next year. The longer stay will probably double the bill. A heavily-censored review of the deployment considered by the Cabinet in March said the work undertaken by New Zealand Defence Force personnel had been successful.

Since May last year, NZDF soldiers at the Taji Military Base near Baghdad, where they work with Australian forces, had trained some 4000 Iraqi troops. Instruction included weapons training, conflict first aid, human rights and planning for combat operations. Three junior leadership courses were completed and Iraqi medics attended a six-day course.

The review said the military training was having a “tangible and positive impact” on the ability of Iraqi Army units to wage war against the Islamic State or Isis. Groups which had completed training performed better than those which had not been through a programme.   Read more »

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APN to divest of NZME; a matter of cashing up before it keels over

This is what happens when the accountant has been put in charge and you’ve lost the trust and confidence of your customers.

NZME chief executive Michael Boggs will spend the next 10 days meeting and greeting current and potential investors after APN News & Media shareholders overwhelmingly backed plans to carve out the New Zealand unit.

The Auckland-based publisher and radio network operator will operate as a standalone listed company after the plan to demerge NZME got 99.98 percent backing at Thursday’s special meeting in Sydney.

The transaction will see a one-for-seven share consolidation in the Australian company, then a distribution of NZME shares to those investors on a one-for-one basis. The deal then frees up APN to focus on Australian radio and outside advertising business, while NZME can pursue its merger with rival Fairfax New Zealand.

Boggs told BusinessDesk he’s about to hit the road to meet current and potential shareholders in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney and Melbourne over the next seven to 10 days to engage and get feedback from shareholders on their views of NZME and where they think the media group should be heading.

“We now can control our own decision making around capital investment and funding,” Boggs said.

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Former owner of the Herald has strong words about latest developments

Michael Horton is the former owner of the NZ Herald, when it had a reputation as a newspaper of record and credibility as a prestigious media organisation.

Sadly, those times have passed and now it is a shadow of its former self.

He has written on Facebook, in rather strong terms for him, about the proposed merger and new corporate structure.

With the lack of critical financial reporting now endemic in the media, perhaps one could reflect on a few oddities of the imminent float of NZME on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. For the NZX not to insist on a prospectus for this new vehicle aimed at attracting fresh capital from New Zealanders would be one’s first misgiving. This means no audited accounts and no forecasts for which directors should be legally liable ( viz Feltex).

Punters may feel they can take a chance with their own money but with other people’s money they might like to think about a board some of whose directors transferring to the NZME board received a massive lift in fees last year despite another statutory loss and after years of not paying dividend and despite the company about to halve itself in size.   Read more »

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NZ Herald misleads and continues anti-Israel bias

The video above shows what really happened. Four Israelis were murdered, 20 in total were shot in Tel Aviv by two Arab gunmen.

The NZ Herald has different ideas….for them the gunmen are the victims.

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Guest Post: Some facts to dispel the alarmism over the “Debt Armageddon”

by Michael Littlewood

Two recent pieces in the Herald on New Zealanders’ apparently terrible borrowing habits caught my attention in the last couple of days.

1. Debt armageddon: In NZ’s Half Trillion Dollar Debt Bomb, 7 June, the Herald painted an apparently worrying picture of households overburdened with debt but there is actually another side to that story.

The latest Reserve Bank data on total household balance sheets showed that all households had borrowed a total of just 12.4% of total gross assets ($163 billion of debt on $1,286 billion of gross assets).  Perhaps not all debt was included (though that seems unlikely); certainly, not all assets were included as the Reserve Bank acknowledges.

The recent growth in debt and the sustainability of house prices are actually less concerning than the ability of New Zealanders to service what are relatively modest borrowings.  So income levels are more important than the total borrowed.  Some may have borrowed too much and will pay the price for that.  But across the whole country, there seems less to worry about than the Herald’s article suggested.   Read more »