Bob Jones: Journalistic sloth and incompetence, Stuff stuff ups and dopey politicians

Journalistic sloth

A momentous event occurred in New Zealand a fortnight back, so much so when the history of this nation is written it will doubtless be listed with Rutherford and Ed Hillary in the annals of world-shaking Kiwi initiatives and occurrences.

That it was me who discovered this is further testimony of journalist sloth for it comprised a large two-column advertisement in the Herald and its journos should have spotted it first.

What happened was this. Nearing the end of reading the paper my attention was drawn to an excessively wordy large advertisement offering the position of Office Manager. I read it and nearly had a heart-attack for – steel yourself – listed at the bottom under the bold type sub-heading “The ideal candidate will have the following skills and attributes” – brace yourself again – “Diploma in Business or Management”. That was mind-boggingly unbelievable.  

Never anywhere in human history has any position sought such “qualification”. In fact, to the contrary, as anyone with such so-called diplomas would automatically be disqualified for consideration and quite rightly so.

After I’d recovered, I Googled this outfit Sen Ventures Ltd who were advertising. It appeared to be Indian-owned and seemed to offer a curious mixed bag of services.

Can this be topped one wonders? Yes. Highly improbable though it would be, nevertheless I’ve lived long enough to expect the unexpected. A job offer requiring a sociology degree would be the ultimate shock. It’s never happened of course but after September 11th, Trump and now the Sen Ventures shock, well who knows?

Stuff Stuff-up

Talking of journalist sloth here’s another arising that same week from that richly endless source of incompetence one could categorise under Stuff Stuff-ups.

Brace yourself again.

The Stuff website offered this extraordinary heading; “Wellington’s Transmission Gully opens but still two years before it opens”.

I’m reasonably hardy but didn’t dare risk a heart attack by reading the contents.

Bloody hard hats

The Lower Hutt City Council has an absolutely disastrous history of occasional commercial “ventures”. But they don’t learn and are at it again, this time becoming involved with a new hotel venture.

I was told by a commercial agent that a certain property industry figure who retired a few years ago on the windfall proceeds of their last ratepayer costly “enterprise” exclaimed, “Good God! Are they at it again? I’m coming out of retirement”.

But here’s my principal point. Announcing this, the local newspaper showed a photo of the beaming mayor and hotelier beneficiary, standing beside the empty site WEARING HARD HATS. The only possible danger they faced was a lightning strike which if there was a God, would have been a certainty.

That said, this is a common spectacle, namely politicians being photographed in totally risk-free situations wearing bloody hard hats. It’s ludicrous.

Poor Sam Hurley drew the short straw

Continuing on the subject of journalistic incompetence, following my announcement of suing Maihi in Whaleoil last week I received a flood of media enquiries. I ignored all but one, this from a Herald reporter who (I’m not making this up) wrote, “I see on Whaleoil and also have been advised by the Judiciary that you’re suing Maihi. Can you confirm you’re suing Maihi?”

I couldn’t ignore that and wrote backing saying “I have low expectations of the press but your letter achieves a new nadir.

You say you’re told by the judiciary I’ve filed against the Maihi blowhard and that you see I’ve written as much on the Whaleoil site. And now, given that information, you’d like me to confirm I’ve issued. That’s a tough one.

So no I haven’t. I lied on Whaleoil and the judiciary are trying to wind you up and are lying as well, the bastards. So keep your guard up son. You can’t trust anyone and certainly not the judiciary”.

To his credit, the reporter, Sam Hurley, realising he’d made a goose of himself, published my response on the Herald website. I doff my hat to him for that.


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Sir Robert ‘Bob’ Jones — now New Zealand’s largest private office building owner in Wellington and Auckland, and with substantial holdings in Sydney and Glasgow, totalling in excess of two billion dollars — is a property investor, author and former politician, who has written fiction as well as books on property investment, selections of his newspaper and magazine columns, and reminiscences of former prime minister Robert Muldoon.

While at Victoria University of Wellington, he earned a ‘blue’ in boxing and contributed to a boxing column in the university’s newspaper Salient. A multi-millionaire, Jones earned his wealth through investments in commercial property via his company Robt. Jones Holdings Ltd. He founded and led the New Zealand Party in 1983. In 1989 he was made a Knight Bachelor in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, and in received the New Zealand 1990 Commemorative Medal.

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