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JACINDA’S WASTE OF PUBLIC INTEREST JOURNALISM FUNDS

Do we need any more evidence that this government tolerates waste of taxpayers’ money? The sight of a small army of New Zealand journalists in London covering the Queen’s funeral when there was a perfectly adequate, often superior coverage available from the BBC, warrants an investigation into the Public Interest Journalism Fund (PIJF) that features so large in our media’s calculations these days.


Eighteen months ago, following sob stories from the Main Stream Media (MSM), ministers devised a scheme for handing over $55 million of taxpayers’ funds to them so long as they signed up to the government’s bullswool version of the Treaty and didn’t bite the hand that feeds them. The money is payable until the next election. Editors, including Murray Kirkness and Shayne Currie of the New Zealand Herald, couldn’t get their noses into the taxpayer trough quickly enough. Same with Radio New Zealand, and the TV stations, all of them crying poverty because Covid had reduced their advertising revenue.


What happened after that was extraordinary. Newspapers promptly shed reporters and there are now only a few of them left. Papers have been fined down, there are fewer pages, more prominent advertising and lengthy banal stories. There is no longer much general news of interest to readers in the MSM. But came the Queen’s death and the TV stations and Radio New Zealand suddenly found they had money galore to send journalists to London on what amounted to taxpayer-funded trips of a lifetime. Radio New Zealand and the two main TV channels have been the most profligate. For some time now Lissette Raymer, based in London, has proven to be a thoroughly competent Kiwi journalist covering British and European affairs. There was no need for the services of all those TV 1 and TV3 journalists, none of them the equal of the BBC’s more knowledgeable, super competent staff producing all that the world needs to know about the monarchy and the funeral. The journalists’ costs for travel, accommodation and mourning dress will be enormous! And when traced back, it will have come out of our pockets.


As the polls here at home turn sour for Jacinda Ardern’s ministry, one suspects that the government and the MSM wanted to make sure that the Prime Minister’s tiny role at the funeral was given special coverage for New Zealand viewers; they didn’t trust the BBC to give Jacinda pride of place. Getting a whole lot of Kiwi journalists to the other side of the world also increased the likelihood that some would follow Princess Jacinda to New York to report on her speech at the United Nations. These days Jacinda’s minders are never happier than when the Prime Minister is off-shore, getting scraps of adulation from those who like her platitudes and toothy smiles, and haven’t had to suffer her appalling governance. And the journalists will get home just in time to celebrate the long-delayed day of commemoration for the Queen next Monday, a week after the official funeral ended. They will be here to eulogize Jacinda who bestowed an extra holiday upon us.


It’s high time this cynical manipulation of the media with taxpayers’ money used for Labour’s political purposes came to an end. When the PIJF was first introduced, the Herald assured us that the paper, founded in 1863, would stick to its historical principles. But it quickly became clear that lots of things were changing. Debate about Maori matters and the government’s policies virtually ceased. Critics were banned from papers. Analytical debate about what Jacinda, Nanaia Mahuta and Willie Jackson mean by co-governance went off limits. Anything said by Opposition spokespeople was to be rubbished. TV1 has been slightly more tolerant, RNZ less so. Force-feeding of the population with Maori words has become imperative, but ability to use a word or phrase does NOT equate to speaking a language.


What seems to be clear is that the MSM is terrified by the prospect that a change of government could mean the end of the PIJF. Already, Jacinda’s $55 million has almost gone, and I wouldn’t put it past this ministry to increase the sum to ensure she gets an easy ride to the 2023 election. There will be a lot of journalists grateful for their completely unnecessary jaunt to London to see the Queen.

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93 Comments


No way Jose
No way Jose
Sep 30, 2022

Looking at the Public Finance Act 1989 is interesting in that the extent to which public funds could be mis-used or mis-allocated is massive while the pentalies for offences are pathetic - up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine for an individual offence against Section 76(2)(d) which says:


"Every person commits an offence against this Act who does any act for the purpose of procuring for that person or for any other person or organisation—

(i) the improper payment of any public money or trust money; or

(ii)the improper use of any public financial resource."


While there is scope for the Minister of Finance under Section 65(ZD)to give indemnity, this is limited to cases where the public…


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"When the PIJF was first introduced, the Herald assured us that the paper, founded in 1863, would stick to its historical principles. But it quickly became clear that lots of things were changing. Debate about Maori matters and the government’s policies virtually ceased. Critics were banned from papers. Analytical debate about what Jacinda, Nanaia Mahuta and Willie Jackson mean by co-governance went off limits. Anything said by Opposition spokespeople was to be rubbished."


This is so true. Comments in the Herald are heavily censored.

I subscribe to the NY Times, Washington Post & the Wall Street Journal as well as the Herald. You can comment virtually anything in the Post & Journal - but they have filters for profanity. T…


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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
Sep 24, 2022

I had to revisit this. I'm sorry.

But the sycophantic nature, of the media, towards the left, , shows their true colors

The bribe , and subsequent payments, have been made.

I'm really honest about this

It sickens me, that the media have been bought, paid up , by us. To write , not objectively, but to publish lies, and to make the lies the truth

This is the worst government.. ever.

Look.

The media have been paid up

The populations been frightened for no good reason

All to retain control

It's disgusting, and I'm not standing for This crap

No more

Jacinda? Fuck off, you entitled freak

I hate them all, the hangers on, the useless ministers, and th…


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Replying to

Have to agree with you Aaron. The scope of their deceit is way beyond my comprehension. Its certainly having a huge effect on all our rights to enjoy our democratic freedoms.


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Pick a random day and look at Stuff and the NZ Herald then count how many headlines mention 'Jacinda Ardern' by full name, in a positive light, Anything positive will have her name attached to it, anything negative does not have her name attached.


By 4pm, the positive articles will have disappeared.


10am and 4pm will likely coincide with peak and low traffic times for the sites. Also, anything negative will be put up at 7pm and be gone or lost on the front page by 7am.

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Replying to

Then, the small minded puppets are so easily mislead...


NB: The negative stuff is regardless, far from the reality of it, being by far understated and some.

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It’s nothing but blatant corruption worthy of an third world African despot.


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Replying to

You are over-rating the corruption... It is way more likely that the 'despots' will be extremely jealous and will be desperately trying to learn it all and so emulate everything so as to catch up.

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