Kerry Finnigan

Gratuitous use of the word "Hotchin"

Not content with breaching their confidentiality agreements of 7 years ago, with Mark Hotchin and Kerry Finnigan, the Herald is really going gang-busters today with Hotchin Over-use Syndrome (HOS). Now I’m no mate of Hotchin but when I read that banal article today it really ticked me off.

In their article they used one and half pages and 3157 words to say almost nothing. In that 3157 words they used the name of Mark Hotchin no less than 8 times. About once every three paragraphs.

This is almost as bad as Jock Anderson’s repeated cut and paste of Mark Hotchin’s name and details in order to help Barry Colman sell a few more issues of the NBR. Between the Herald and NBR they are really challenging David Farrar as the cut and paste king.

The NZ Herald has sat on this story for more than seven years and then when it suited them to put the slipper into Mark Hotchin, they regurgitated it two weekends in a row purely because it contains, and due to their HOS contains a lot, the name of Mark Hotchin.

The Herald and the NBR should be giving Mark Hotchin a cut of all the additional revenue they are scoring through the over use of his name.

The worst thing about their continued campaign to denigrate a man who hasn’t even been charged with anything is that he can’t retaliate because the authorities have tied up all his cash in an attempt to starve him of legal oxygen. This is not only a case of state authorities bullying someone who is innocent and not even charged with anything but also a case of the media bullying him as well through the gratuitous use of his name so they can sell a few more newspapers.

It seems that the names of Hanover and Mark Hotchin can sell newspapers in the good times and now in the bad times. And all the while it is the media outlets that have creamed it off of their backs, good news or bad news.

What would be good is some honest reporting of the situation, and some honest analysis using facts and not emotion. Fat chance of that happening. Between Jock “Cut Paste” Anderson and Fran(k) O’Sullivan the truth seems to get slaughtered along the way.

While I am slamming the Herald I may as well ask why they haven’t as yet started legal proceedings to over-turn the name suppression of the prominent politician who is fighting over a couple of dogs in the Family Court. Exactly the same reasons they trotted off to court and spent over $100,000 with their top notch lawyers over-turning Mark Hotchin’s name suppression and at same time destroying any pretense of protecting victims of crime from ever having their details revealed apply in this case, and it is far more relevant because it is happening now, not seven years ago. In fact in this case there are no victims, no children, just a couple of silly adults and some silly dogs.

Surely the Herald should exhibit some consistency, or was it just the chance for another free hit on Mark Hotchin that drove them to assail victims rights in such an egregious manner?

Only a matter of time

It is only a matter of time before questions are going to be raised under parliamentary privilege.

A senior political figure and his ex-wife are arguing in the family court over who gets the couple’s two dogs.

The names of the man, his new partner, his ex-wife and their dogs have all been suppressed.

Evidence of an alleged dog-napping by the man’s ex wife, to be referred to as D, was given at the Auckland Family Court yesterday.

D spotted the dogs being walked by her ex-husband’s new partner in an upmarket suburb of Auckland last November.

D was with an employee at the time. The employee fought back tears as he described to the court what the dogs meant to D. He also cannot be named because doing so could identify the parties.

“I’m aware the couple never had children, so the couple’s dogs were kind of like kids,” he said.

This is going to explode, sooner or later. The more it is reported and the more suppression remains the more people will be interested to know who.

It is actually farcical that name suppression is being used in the first place. Sure it is in the Family Court but name suppression in the Family Court is designed to protect children not the political and personal reputation of adults.

Similarly why is the NZ Herald not seeking an urgent overturning of name suppression in this case like they did over Mark Hotchin 7 years after teh fact. This case is far more relevant as it is happening right now not seven years ago.

The NZ Herald spent over $100,000 with their top shelf lawyers having the name suppression of Mark Hotchin and Kerry Finnigan overturned, why aren’t they now in court demanding openness and transparency in the court process concerning a senior political figure?

Schadenfreude?

scha·den·freu·de

[shahd-n-froi-duh]

–noun
satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.
Origin: 1890–95;  < German,  equivalent to Schaden  harm + Freude  joy

Bernard Hickey, the NZ Herald and Stuff are all crowing about Mark Hotchin again. It is almost gleeful. A touch of H-Utu. This time about his name suppression and falling for a dirty Ponzi scheme back in 2o04. They are mocking a victim. They don’t mock the victims of all the other frauds out there so why mock the victim in this case?

The point of name suppression in many cases is the protection of victims, in this case Hotchin was the victim and yet the NZ Herald saw fit to seek to overturn a permanent name suppression order designed to protect victims. They did what Judge David Harvey said could not be done, that the only people who could overturn a court ordered permanent name suppression was either the victim or the court who ordered it in the first place.

It appears now that any name suppression can be validly challenged by any news organization or indeed any interested party seeking to crucify a victim.

My campaign against name suppression was for the removal of the practice for the criminals. The Herald’s actions and the gleeful vitriol and running of sensationalist headlines by financial commentators who are themselves a bunch of broken-arses by comparison. There is a old line that if you can’t do, you teach and if you can’t teach, you write about people who do. This fits the financial correspondents perfectly, who collectively probably don’t muster enough in assets to cover the amount lost by Hotchin and Finnigan in the Ponzi scheme.

Using the logic of Bernard Hickey:

Hotchin was given permanent name suppression, which has only now been lifted after a challenge from the NZHerald. Strategic Finance boss Kerry Finnigan was also duped and also got name suppression.

If only the Rotorua District Court judge James Weir hadn’t granted permanent suppression, thousands of Mum and Dad investors might not have lost over NZ$500 million in Hanover and over NZ$300 million in Strategic Finance…and counting. Thanks for that.

then none of these people should be anywhere near running a company or even investing or indeed offering advice:

Victims from big business include hedge fund manager Arki Busson and US property magnate Larry Silverstein, who is currently working to rebuild the World Trade Centre in New York.

A number of large banks, including UBS, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, were also named in the filing.

From the world of politics, trusts belonging to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger appear, as does the name of current New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg.

The full list of Bernie Madoff’s wealthy and famous victims is available on the internet in an easily accessible format. Is Bernard Hickey suggesting that none of those people should ever run a company or give investment advice and all should also be a target of derision for having the temerity to fall for a complex and elaborate long-term fraud?

In a Ponzi scheme, the Bank cops a flogging too, and are essentially part of the fraud. I hope that Bernard’s bank isn’t the same one as the bank used by Papple and West, Westpac. I note that Bernard Hickey has all the Westpac investment products listed on interest.co.nz….given his new position shouldn’t he really be recommending to his readers that, since they participated and fell for the Ponzi scheme themselves then investors in Westpac would be best to take their money elsewhere.

Then again, some already did that when they walked out of the country with $10 million of Westpac’s cash. Funny thing is, I didn’t see Bernard Hickey telling Westpac customers to stop investing in the bank when they couldn’t keep track of $10 million. So long as Westpac keeps the cheques coming to interest.co.nz then Bernard will stay mum.

The logical conclusion of Hickey’s farcical suggestions and “analysis” is that anyone, and I mean anyone, who has had an accountant nick cash from their firm, handed over funds to a Nigerian 419 fraud, or “invested” in a Ponzi scheme, or indeed thought Amway was a path to success, should be barred from running a company.

What is worse though is the history of the Herald’s involvement in this case. They clearly, back in 2004, used Hotchin and Finnigan as a confidential source for their story:

One prominent company director told the court he did not want the public to know he was “conned” for more than half-a-million dollars.

The man, who has been granted name suppression by Judge James Weir, said he was advised to apply for suppression because it would be better if the Papples and West were not publicly associated with his companies.

It was revealed in court that the man had been a director of 71 companies, including a prominent finance company, although he said he had recently moved to Australia and had resigned from a number of directorships.

It was important for him not to be connected with the Papples and West, as he had been “duped into doing an investment with people who conned me for a lot of money”, he said. “I don’t want to make that public.”

The man had told the court he invested $561,066 with the trio.

He received a payment of $120,000, followed by a further three sums totalling $336,000.

The Herald has known about this for 6 years and they shamelessly used the confidential information for their story then used that information 6 years later to over-turn a name suppression case. People should be very wary of providing confidential information to a Herald journalist from now on, they will turn on you and cut your heart out just to sell papers. They will betray a confidence to justify a taudry headline.

Not only that during this whole time they ran Hanover ads in their paper, and on their website,. They have performed the business equivalent of raping the victim all over again except they did it to sell papers.

Bernard Hickey isn’t much better, he too took advertising revenue from Hanover. Did he know about this all along? Remember Bernard Hickey still writes for the Herald.

In the interests of fairness, surely the Herald and Bernard Hickey should pay back all the “dirty Hanover cash” they took while sitting on this information for 6 years. If the investors should have been told back then, then their cash for advertising is just as tainted as anyone elses.

To get back to the name suppression issue, the wonder is that the Herald isn’t in court seeking the overturning of every person’s name suppression but then a great many of those people won’t sell tell many papers, but Mark Hotchin’s name does.

Bernard Hickey and other financial media might like to think and enjoy the schadenfreude but they should really hang their heads in shame at their utter hypocrisy and breach of their own ethics and standards that they hold so dear as the reason why they are superior to bloggers. If they had even a modicum of decency they would apologise and pay back all the filthy loot they took in advertising revenue and related puff pieces at the time.

If I was Mark Hotchin, or even one of his advisors, I would be laying a complaint with the Press Council for breaches of ethics.