Ethical vacuum at The Herald

Cactus Kate has picked a rather unsavoury scab in her article about the Herald and APN who appear to have confused the ethical lines between advertising, content, editorial and the high moral ground.

As readers will well know the Herald has been running a remarkable campaign of denigration about Mark Hotchin and Hanover, especially in the pst 10 or so days with story after story after story about how Mark Hotchin got scammed in a Ponzi scheme.

They posted an editorial as well taking the moral high ground and ticked off a judge and sounded all po-faced and sage in talking about name suppression. They spent a not inconsiderable amount of money with top end of town lawyers, reputed to be well over $100,000 attacking a victim’s rights to privacy as ordered by a court through a suppression order.

Sure I attacked suppression orders myself, but I only named kiddy fiddlers, rapists and thugs. This is why I have been so hot under the collar about this. The Herald went after victims and played for the high moral ground in doing so.

What Cactus Kate has done, and I am slapping myself for not thinking of this myself, is go straight to the source and asked Carrick Graham, spokesperson for Hotchin/Hanover about how much Hanover loot the Herald pocketed, all the while knowing that the two principals of Hanover were the victims in an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

The Hanover Group in total spent just with the NZ Herald. Here is the excerpt table that I received back from Graham:

2006 – $342,695 (Only November on)
2007 – $1,146,280
2008 – $328,807
2009 – $94,469 (all for FAI Finance)
Total – $1,912,251

As you can see from November 2006 onwards almost $2 million of Hanover related funds were placed in the Herald. The largest year saw over $1 million placed.

So The Herald, knowing as they did that the principles of Hanover had been scammed, continued to repeatedly take truck loads of loot for their advertising.

Cactus Kate rightly points out the ethical dilemma for the Herald in continuing to accept their advertising revenue and also waxing lyrical in cu/paste opinion pieces about Hanover and their various investment vehicles. She also quite correctly asks whether or not the gamblers investors in Hanover would have been more influenced by the Herald opinion pieces by Adam Bennett and Maria Slade amongst many others along with the millions in advertising featuring a former newsreader spent with the Herald than with the prospectus proffered by some spotty investment advisor across the desk of one of myriad of advisory houses who likewise pocketed Hanover coin.

I just bet that Hanover’s and Hotchin’s lawyers are licking their chops with joy, salivating at quenstioning  gambler investor after gambler investor just exactly where they obtained their investment advice from: “Was it from advertising? Or perhaps you read something in the paper? Or did you actually read and digest with some solid research from a truly independent investment analyst the prospectus provided by Hanover?

You can see where that is going to end can’t you. Badly…for the investors and possibly for APN.

The Herald took the high moral ground in spending huge amounts of money in overturning a victim’s name suppression, they stood on a pedestal and proclaimed their moral righteousness when all along they should have been on the naughty step for palming almost $2 million in investors cash to enable Hanover to take more investors cash from them, all the while knowing that Mark Hotchin was subject to a name suppression order.

Their retrospective moral righteousness is nothing but shameful hypocrisy. I wouldn’t mind betting that Cactus Kate has much more information about other media outlets and journalists and the large amounts of cash they similarly received. If she wasn’t so busy working in her Guangdong sweatshop she could bother to return my emails.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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