Latta day saint

I used to like Nigel Latta. His Beyond the Darklands series was very interesting, and even when he moved on to parenting, he still always managed to add a bit of humour and normality to the stark reality of bringing up children. Being a trained psychologist, he always brought an alternative view, which was especially welcome when I was grappling with teenagers.

But in the last few years, Latta seems to have gone from a good guy with a realistic view of the world to yet another virtue signaller. Worse than that, instead of telling us that ‘the kids are all right’, now he seems to be continually lecturing everyone on how they should live their lives. I have often wondered why this transformation took place, particularly when he had always portrayed himself as someone very normal, just like you and me. But information, requested as part of an OIA request, has thrown some light on why he may have deliberately turned himself into just another lecturing idiot.

The answer is simple. Follow the money.

To date, Latta has received a total of $10,337,361 in NZ On Air funding.  This amount includes all projects funded for Ruckus Media. (Nigel Latta is a company director of Ruckus Media.)

Wow. $10 million of taxpayers money. That is a hell of a lot of dosh.

Aren’t we always hearing stories of how we do everything on a shoestring here in good old New Zealand? You know, movies that were produced in a weekend for $68? Heartwarming stories about how Kiwis still own the No 8 wire mentality? Well, Latta lost that mentality a long time ago, if he ever had it.

Stuff produced this article on Latta in 2015, just before his  Nigel Latta in Antarctica series, which was then followed by Nigel Latta Blows Stuff Up. Just for clarification, Latta received $1 million for the production of those two series. quote:

He may not be able to command nine-figure sums for his television series, but like it or not, being in the spotlight is part of Latta’s deal. If it wasn’t Beyond the Darklands, his five-season show about the backgrounds of violent criminals and sex offenders, then The Politically Incorrect Guide to Parenting series of programmes and books certainly set him up as New Zealand’s answer to Dr Phil. end quote.

The article implies that Latta does what he does mostly for love, but I beg to differ. He is handsomely paid for what he does, and all out of the public purse.

It was his more recent series, The Hard Stuff with Nigel Latta and What Next that were far and away his most lucrative, earning him $1,340,883 and $1,219,228 respectively. These were also the series where his full throttle political correctness came into view. And to think that What Next, in which he appeared alongside John Campbell, cost over a million dollars of taxpayers’ money is just unbelievable. There was nothing of value in that series, other than speculation about what the future might look like. What Next 2 has also earned him $727,093, so that is just short of $2 million on those programmes, which are full of nothing more than speculative drivel.

What has become obvious is that Latta’s switch from the boy-next-door to ethics lecturer extraordinaire has been very lucrative for him. As far as I am concerned, now he is just another talking head, telling us all how to live our lives. At $10 million, he is a well paid talking head as well.

Just so you know, I don’t think any of it is good value for money.

We all have a treat in store. His next project is entitled Patrick Gower: The High Road. I won’t be watching it, that’s for sure.

If you wanted further evidence that Latta has sold out his principles, then just look at this:

So the man who brought us The Politically Incorrect Guide to Parenting, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Grown Ups is now so politically correct himself, that he no longer believes in free speech?

Money is a driving factor for many of us. We all have to pay the bills. However, some things are more important than money. I would prefer to see Latta use his considerable talent and humour for better things. He has become just part of the echo chamber, seemingly trying to make everyone’s life more miserable with his lecturing. Latta could be better than that. But, the big pay cheques certainly have taken their toll. It seems the extraordinary can be turned into the extremely ordinary if there are enough zeros written on the remittance advice. Money, it seems, can ‘buy me, love’.

 


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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