A feature Stuff article a few days ago by Amanda Cropp should become compulsory in journalism schools as a study of bad, bad, bad and in case you haven’t got it, screamingly bad journalism. First however, this is no fault of Amanda Cropp. She didn’t write the ridiculous heading and simply reported the various, mostly fatuous comments, which I won’t bore you with. But two stand out.
The article was about the sharp drop-off in German and British backpacker visitors to New Zealand and was headed, “Brexit hits the Backpacker market and spending plunges by $167million.” Whoever was responsible for that should be shown the door pronto. Holding stop-go signs awaits as an appropriate career. For God’s sake, Brexit hasn’t happened yet and basically remains just an idea. But even if it had, what on earth would that have to do with British and German backpackers giving New Zealand a miss?
Well, we got an answer of mind-blowing stupidity from Rotorua’s Economic Development Agency’s Chief, Michelle Templer. “Brexit is a big issue”, she told Amanda, despite the fact it hasn’t actually eventuated. She followed that abominable rubbish with world-class garbage, specifically, “there are higher levels of unemployment, lower wage growth and a general economic uncertainty, not just in Britain but…” and she named other European countries despite the issue being about disappearing British and German backpackers.
Plainly Michelle just tossed this nonsense off the top of her head. Currently Britain is booming and has its lowest unemployment figures in 70 years, plus it’s enjoying rapid wage growth. It had the second highest growth rate in Europe last year and investment money is pouring in. As for Germany, it’s major economic issue is its now crisis level labour shortage, compounded by it’s low birth rate. Additionally, both Britain and Germany are competing vigorously for foreign labour.
Backpacker Adventure Tourism and Youth Association chairman Simon Cartwright was then quoted and refreshingly after Michelle’s rubbish, talked sense in explaining the drop.
Apparently, Simon informed us, a few years ago Tourism New Zealand ran a highly successful campaign in Australia aimed specifically at German and British backpackers there, persuading them to continue on and visit New Zealand. Subsequently TNZ stopped targeting this market, rightly in my view as there’s no money in backpackers, just cost, thus the fall-off. All perfectly logical.
So an article which could have been reduced to 200 words by simply quoting Cartwright and not the idiotic waffle such as that from Michelle Templer, was spread over 5000 words.
I’ll say this. When I eventually carry out my military coup, and trust me it’s coming, this rubbish will stop. I will immediately instigate burning at the stake for the crime of talking unadulterated nonsense. The spectacle of Michelle roasting will hopefully deter others from spouting claptrap. And let’s face it, burning deserving buggers at the stake will have massive tourism appeal, so should Michelle be the first of the mark she can face her fiery demise knowing she’s contributed to our booming tourism industry.