2013 Trougher of the Year

This category is a tough one. The trough is awash with do-gooders, fake charities, Maori trusts, and even Green Taliban supporting hippy groups.

There’s also troughers like scumbag unions that tuck their members for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year so union bosses can traipse around the country looking as though they’re doing something.

But there was one candidate that gained some attention on the blog this year that did stand out as a leading example of tucking into the public trough at a rate that would leave JT’s Waipareira Trust looking on in awe.

The 2013 WO Trougher of the Year therefore goes to none other than… Boyd Swinburn, Professor of Population Nutrition & Global Health at the University of Auckland.

Yes, there’s hundreds of individuals and thousands of groups in the trough. But few can match the fat taxpayer funded giddy heights that Boyd Swinburn has achieved.

Anyone who has the audacity to jolly themselves around the world at the expense of the taxpayer to one of the most expensive places in Europe, Lake Como, Bellagio, Italyalongside jetting off to the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, before hobnobbing it over in New York, deserves special attention.

Boyd Swinburn’s 2014 travel itinerary is looking just as taxing, with junkets lined up in Kuala Lumpur for some International Association for the Study on Obesity, and some congress in Yokohama, Japan just a few months later.

And with all this talk about Kiwis getting fatter, and Tony Ryall pouring  $60 million into the trough to be seen to be doing something, Boyd Swinburn is already out of the blocks and established a good lead for nomination as the 2014 Trougher of the Year.

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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