Is Andrea Vance miffed she wasn’t invited on the helicopter?

Andrea Vance has her knickers in a bunch over the use of a helicopter by Nick Smith to take some of the family members of Pike River victims to…and here’s the kicker…places that can only be reached by…yes your guessed…helicopter.

No-one is objecting to the source of funds.

Bernie Monk not only says its ok, he says it’s necessary

Andrea Vance needs to report what the news is, not what she would rather it was.

Cabinet minister Nick Smith has chartered another helicopter for television cameras – this time using tax-payer cash set aside for the families of the Pike River victims.

Last year Smith used $6344 of Department of Conservation money to send up a chopper for a photo opportunity with ministers Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell.

Today he was back on the West Coast for a press conference about the future of the Pike River mine site.

Families of the victims want a walking track and visitor centre to mark the place where 29 men died in 2010.  

Smith’s office chartered the flight to take families’ spokesman Bernie Monk and media over the proposed site after the briefing.

They were also accompanied by Department of Conservation staff. A spokeswoman for Smith could not provide details of the cost, but said it would come from “funds set aside by the Government to support the Pike River families.”

“It was also the first opportunity for Mr Monk, the families’ representative, to land at the site of the mine vent, which is the closest place to where the families’ loved ones lie,” she said.

Media would not be expected to contribute, she added.

Monk said considerable amounts of the fund have already been “wasted” and was not concerned about the cost. About six journalists and cameramen joined the flight, he said.

“We had maps and worked out areas, and stopped in a couple of the places…it had to be done because he [Smith] has got to go to Cabinet and say whether this proposal is worth it. He’s got to put facts and figures in front of them.

“The people have got to watch what they got on [the television news] tonight, the stunning view, the terrain, the thing we are trying to get in as part of the walk. [They] have to be seen by every New Zealander.”

Once again we have a journalist…and I use the term loosely…being the news rather than reporting it.


– Fairfax


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  • Whafe

    Now that folks is why I don’t listen, watch the MSM items in NZ!

  • Mrs_R

    Andrea Vance is waking up to the fact that when factual reporting is required she is not on the ‘go to’ list. Definitely a blow to her ego and it shows in her writing.

  • Murray Smith

    Perhaps, it’s a much better use of taxpayer funds, than “arts” funding for the ungrateful.

  • LesleyNZ

    Yes – that what it is – she was miffed alright. Some of these journalists are just so full of their own self importance.

  • Sally

    Now if Trevor had been organising the trip she would have been first on the list.

    Maybe it is time she learnt if you constantly champion one side you will soon get ignored by the other.

  • knight

    No mention of the names of the media persons that were on the chopper.
    Why is that ?

  • Cadwallader

    The 2015 model of Ms Vance is the same as last year’s. Tired, whining drivel from the deep throat of her keyboard.

  • jude

    She is a nasty person! I hope the families of the puke river mine disaster , ignore her spiteful piece or at least tell her to report facts not her owm spiteful spin!

    • Bobb

      She is about as attractive as a box of spiders. (poisonous ones)

  • Hard1

    That was a very nasty headline, implying Nick Smith was using money that he was not entitled to, in effect stealing money from the families of the fallen miners.
    Many readers will not go past the headline. Mission accomplished. A massive slur, entirely based on a false premise. Vance has the morals of a vulture.

    • peterwn

      “… this time using tax-payer cash set aside for the families of the Pike River victims.” Nick would have a good case to sue for defamation on this one if he was so inclined.

      • Honcho

        Solid energy recently paid out families somewhere in the region of $160k, the unions paid out somewhere in the region of $250k to union victims, ACC (the govt.) paid every family out to the tune of just under $500k …. and npw Vance and it seems only Vance is keeping the grievance train chugging along because the govt. spent 6k on helicopters getting up to areas of the former mine site instead of distributing that money amongst the families. I am sick of hearing about pike river, I am tired of it.

        • Dave

          Honcho, is that collectively or individually? My other query, is why did th government pay a cent, it’s nothing to do with them!

          • Honcho

            I had to double back and fact check, there seems to be a lot of misinformation surrounding payouts to the families, a suspicious amount of misinformation.
            There was a court ordered payment of $110,000 to each of the families, with the $156k figure quoted as money left over which has always been assumed would go to the families
            “It should be known that Pike River and NZOG contributed very shortly following the explosion a total of $1 million to funds set up for the benefit of the families.” (source: )

            Getting on to ACC, in the 8 months after the tragedy $790k had been paid out in the form of funeral and survivors’ grants, income maintenance and child care payments, but ACC doesn’t do lump sums so only time will tell what each family receives in the way of ACC payouts but an estimate of compensation has been placed at around $10m to $20m
            (source: )

            the issue of compensation has seen a lot of sunlight and the families have been looked after very well by those other listed sources, compare this to the similar number of hard working kiwis who are tragically killed in forestry accidents.

          • Dave

            Really appreciate your in-depth clarification, the families have indeed been very very well looked after. No doubt they would prefer their loved ones back, however, each one knew there was a high risk, hence the high pay.

      • Hard1

        Birds of a feather…first publish, then verify…

        Laura McQuillan ‏@mcquillanatorz 16h16 hours ago
        Nick Smith’s office has clarified his charter chopper for telly cameras was paid for out of funds set aside to decommission Pike River mine.

        Andrea Vance‏@[email protected] strange ‘cos his press sec told me “funds set aside by the Government to support the Pike River families”

    • kaykaybee

      She was schooled at NOTW and her MO is consistent with the gutter press.

  • Annoyed

    First rule of reading anything from the MSM – start at the bottom and ignore the nasty biased stuff at the top.

  • Taser

    Just making up the news is nothing new to a few in the MSM so I don’t know why she has her nose out of joint. At least Cam and his staff do the decent thing and check facts first.

  • Tony Norriss

    How long until Freed is up and running? The pathetic excuse that is being passed off as journalism at the moment isn’t worth the waste of energy to read, watch, or listen to it.

  • Rodger T

    Did you not get the memo that all journalists trained and skilled get?
    Anything and everything to do with the govt is to be reported negatively.
    The Nats could announce we are all to have a tax free month and these halfwits would snivel and moan.

  • Rich

    The name Andrea Vance makes me shudder. I’ve stopped ready anything she writes because it is very predictable; “National are evil and John Key is Satan”. She has a chip on her shoulder the size of Mt Taranaki.

  • Teko Flaps

    Why can’t that pseudo journalist have a cup of tea and relax.

  • Dave

    Can she just pick up her phone and ask Peter Dunn for a little reassurance and get him to compliment her and massage her ego, that’s got to help little miss special get over missing out on a Helicoptor ride.

  • NotGandalf

    I am just about sick to death of Andrea Vance – she has no concept of what news really is. I challenge her to actually report facts and not use subjective and emotive tabloid language to slant the news to meet her (or her employers) petty agenda.
    Enjoy what time you have left in this industry, sweetheart.

    • The day I start taking any notice of anything Vance puts up will be a sad day indeed.

    • Pete

      I tried that and she blocked me from her Twitter feed.!

  • unitedtribes

    Good to see the families and Government singing from the same hymn book for once

  • WhaleBoyNZ

    Andrea Vance Challenge!

    Try to find one picture of her smiling – good luck!

  • Nz front

    He face looks like a smack arse. She needs help.

  • but is anyone really surprised by this?…i mean, it’s not like she hasn’t got form for this sort of dribble.

  • abbaby

    I think that is a beautiful idea.