When is a Herald article not a Herald article?

The below article had not one, not two, not three, but four photos.

It had the headline: $10m wrecks on prime real estate


Squatters have been living in one of the Sarsfield St houses. Picture / Dean Purcell

I wondered what the story was about, as empty buildings on prime land is nothing new and neither is graffiti. The more I read the more puzzled I became as I still could not find the reason behind the story.

Two abandoned Herne Bay properties decay as foreign owners fail to raise funds.
Squatters have been living in one of the Sarsfield St houses. Picture / Dean Purcell
Two multimillion-dollar neighbouring waterfront sections in Auckland are falling into disrepair, with a house on one abandoned and decreasing in value and plans for what may have been the country’s most expensive apartments on the other, being scrapped…

…The house had been used as a film studio by a previous owner in the 1990s.

Its next owner contracted Dr Robert Donald of Donald Design in 2012 to develop plans for a four-level building with eight apartments across the two sections.

“We did a detailed design proposal for it, for which we got consent,” Dr Donald said…
…Estate agent Gavin Han of Barfoot and Thompson said the owners couldn’t raise enough money to go ahead with the development.

He said the property had been on the market for about three months and despite the hefty price tag, there had been a lot of interest.

He had been told by the owners not to pass on any information to the media.

? 79 and 81 Sarsfield St, Herne Bay have a combined CV of $8.35 million.

? A house worth $4.4 million on the property has not been lived in for at least two years and has fallen into disrepair.

? The combined value of the properties had decreased 4 per cent from $8.7 million in 2011 to $8.35 million in 2014.

? The 2014/15 rates for the two properties is $30,554.33

? The section is zoned R7, with the potential to develop with multi-level apartments.

? The combined size of the sections, which stretch from Sarsfield St to Sentinel Rd Beach, is 1787sq m.

At this point I was still scratching my head but then I read the final line and all became clear to me. It was not an article, it was an advertisement. What they call in the game an advertorial or in the new parlance “native advertising”.


– NZ Herald

It is a sneaky and unethical development in “journalism”, one that John Drinnan has no trouble at all defending his employer?over.

An advertorial is an advertisement in the form of editorial content. The term “advertorial” is a blend of the words “advertisement” and “editorial.” Merriam-Webster dates the origin of the word to 1946.[1]

In printed publications, the advertisement is usually written in the form of an objective article and designed to look like a legitimate and independent news story. In television, the advertisement is similar to a short infomercial presentation of products or services. These can either be in the form of a television commercial or as a segment on a talk show or variety show. In radio, these can take the form of a radio commercial or a discussion between the announcer and representative.


Do you want your news to be advertisements in disguise?

I think it time we were FREED from this kind of subterfuge .

P.S I just realised how ironic my post is as I sucked you into thinking it was a legitimate Blog post when in fact my despicable intent was to make the Herald look bad and promote Freed.

I have sent myself to the naughty corner.