NZ Herald

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 »


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.

NZHerald-Headline-Moral-Inversion-768x490 Read more »

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 »

Now we know why the Herald won’t cover local body politics: no clicks

The NZ Herald has a revealing article today that explains why they aren’t spending much time covering local body politics. There are simply no clicks in it for them.

Aucklanders are more interested in Kim Kardashian than local body politics, if their Google searches are anything to go by.

Postal voting for New Zealand’s last local elections began on September 20, 2013 and voting closed on October 12.

Auckland searches for the term “elections” relative to total searches reached its 2013 peak between October 6 and 12, according to Google Trends.

Google rated levels of interest from low at one, rising as interest levels go up. Search interest in “elections” went from 22 to 100 in one week.

However, election interest fell short of the relative interest in reality music competition X Factor NZ three months earlier.   Read more »

Herald and Labour are peas in a pod: Crim hugging ratbags

What do you do when you have someone with over 200 convictions?  Do you blame the crim, or do you blame the state?

Ministry of Justice figures paint a disturbing picture of Kiwis who spend their lives in and out of the court system, a system that experts say is failing.

The 20 people who have appeared before the courts the most times have been collectively sentenced 2562 times since 1980, but their offending is relatively low-level, raising questions about the effect of court sentences in curbing re-offending.

The man who was convicted 214 times is in his 70s, but was first convicted when he was 33, show figures obtained by the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act.

His most serious offence was a non-aggravated sexual assault.

The data revealed that all those in the top 20 were men. Seventeen were first convicted before they were 19 years old.

Lawyers and offender advocates said the high numbers raised serious questions about the effectiveness of criminal sentences.

Defence lawyer and former Crown prosecutor, Marc Corlett, said the numbers were “mind-blowing”.

“I have never seen numbers like this before,” he said. “It just goes to show that we are using criminal law as a solution to social problems like mental health and substance abuse, and it is an extremely blunt instrument.”

There is a very simple solution to this.  Don’t let him out.   He’s clearly a risk to himself and the community.  Read more »

Media’s Thelma and Louise strategy

With talks of a merger between NZME (publisher of the Herald) and Fairfax surely they will be considering the name “Ferald” for the new organisation?

Two of New Zealand’s largest media companies have confirmed they are in talks to merge.

The Australian parents Fairfax Media and APN said on Wednesday they are in “exclusive discussions to merge their NZ businesses” and list on stock exchanges on both sides of the Tasman.

The New Zealand businesses are Fairfax NZ and NZME respectively.

Between them, they publish Stuff, The Sunday Star-Times, The Dominion Post, The Press (Fairfax NZ), and the NZ Herald, Hawke’s Bay Today and Herald on Sunday (NZME), and other newspapers and magazines. NZME also operates radio stations including NewstalkZB and Radio Sport.    Read more »

They seem to be missing a word in the headline

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 9.35.18 PM

The NZ Herald has joined in with the Media party pile on regarding the Panama Papers.

Hamish Fletcher has joined the other idiot journalists clutching at straws. and decided to call NZ a tax haven and talk about tax evasion schemes.

New Zealand is complicit in tax avoidance schemes, says an academic.

“It’s shameful for New Zealand to be caught up in international tax avoidance,” Deborah Russell from Massey’s School of Accountancy said this afternoon.

“The loophole in our laws that allows New Zealand foreign trusts to escape taxation has been known about for years, but nothing has been done to shut it down. This makes us complicit in schemes to avoid tax,” she said.

Another tax law expert has also said that the rules around the what foreigners with New Zealand trusts must disclose to Inland Revenue are “weak”.

[…]    Read more »

If you only read ONE thing today…

fmg-web-2The following was first published in the April edition of INCITE Politics.

During the 2011 election, my wife Rachel and I had been invited by TVNZ to cover the leaders’ debates for our television website Throng. While the purpose of us being there was to provide a look at what happens out of view of the camera, the final debate resulted in Rachel being central to a NZ Herald story.

During one ad break, John Key struck up a conversation with Rachel about being in his electorate and then onto one of National’s main election policies, the UFB rollout. As a web designer, she would potentially be an ideal beneficiary of the policy.

Bevan Hurley of the Herald on Sunday overheard this conversation and who she would be voting for became the lead angle for a story. After the debate, Hurley pressed Rachel for an answer. Refusing to disclose who she would be voting for come election night, Hurley was told that in previous elections she had voted for at least five different parties and that she wasn’t aligned with any of them. She gave Hurley a few other useful pieces of insight with the caveat that he could use her words but that there was no permission to use either her name or photograph.

Over the course of the next few days, Hurley called multiple times, begging for permission to use Rachel’s name and photograph. He was told repeatedly, by both Rachel and myself, that permission wouldn’t be granted to use either.

If a journalist wanted to research who Rachel might vote for, the picture is complex. One of Rachel’s late grandmothers was a staunch Labour supporter Read more »

Seasoned reporters extremely angry about Mediaworks’ lack of integrity

A true contender for the Sledge of the Year:


I wish we could have had a non-censored version of Hosking’s thoughts on this.   The fact that a media organisation broke a Reserve Bank embargo while headed by the ex CEO of the NZ Stock Exchange is just unforgivable.   Read more »

Hey Heather, did you know the Herald, who published your column, is a tax dodger too?

So, Heather du Plessis-Allan is being paid to write a column and she chooses tax dodging corporations as her target, failing to mention the tens of millions her employer is under investigation for “evading”.

The plumber is coming around to fix the leaky kitchen sink this week.

I’ve written him a note.


I hope the capitals make it clear we don’t like tax dodgers of his sort.

The only sort of tax dodgers we like are the ones who drive cars as pricey as three-bedroom houses, wear clothing designed by people with Italian names and yet earn a surprisingly low income.

Or, in her case, she is perfectly happy to accept pay from a corporate tax dodger like the NZ Herald.   Read more »