Nearly three weeks after the discovery of the remains of two young Korean children in a suitcase, the NZ Herald created a non-story that’s right up there with their greatest ever piece of creative writing, namely the never to be forgotten “The Tragic Life and Death of Sonny Fai.”

It will be recalled that nonsense story was created over a decade back, about a young chap of no particular note (Fai) drowning after going swimming in the ocean. It was invented during the January silly season when everyone is on holiday, including journalists, and padding out newspapers is always a problem.

What made it unique was over the next decade it was periodically dragged out and given another run when padding was required, albeit no longer following my relentless teasing of The Herald about it.

So last Saturday The Herald gave the Korean children story a lengthy re-run again but, with a world-class absurdity attachment.

This was to show a large photo of a local Manurewa councillor, Daniel Newman, uncouthly standing with his hands in his pockets. Newman was quoted saying the matter “had a huge impact on the local community, brought intrigue and questions upon an innocent family and the Clendon community where they lived,” that assertion being an unmitigated fictional nonsense, the Police from the outset making it clear the family who discovered the corpses being innocent parties.

However, in case there was any doubt, Newman assured the readers, “they were innocent” and that the investigation of this double murder was “rightly the subject of a Police investigation” and that “anyone responsible needs to be held accountable.” Then he repeated “the Clendon community is not responsible.”

Newman presents a wonderful opportunity for The Herald to hugely entertain readers. They should contract him for a weekly interview on life at large.

He could advise readers of his life-long beliefs, such as that night follows day, that one and one make two, that fish swim and birds fly, and so on and on.

Every Christmas The Herald could publish in hard cover, an annual containing the Newman pearls of wisdom. It would be a best-seller, specially if it included The Tragic Life and Death of Sonny Fai for readers suffering from withdrawal symptoms and missing it.


They could call it ‘Thoughts from The Master of The Obvious’. That was what our English teacher used to call it when reading out such schoolboy creations to the class and having us rolling around laughing. It’s nice if you get someone else to read your creation at least.Thanks for the memory. I’m sure Reginald Lockstone, the aforesaid teacher, would like that too.

Excellent plan. Perhaps once in a while the Herald could also run a column by other folk pointing out other things that different communities are also not responsible for?
“Let me reassure you-in no way is Mangere’s vibrant community responsible for the war in Afghanistan…”
“Lets be clear here people-the Otahuhu borough did not take part in the 9-11 attacks”
” The Mission Bay neighbourhood watch association is hurt by rumours of their involvement in the war in Ukraine”
This could be shipped out as a monthly supplement to readers ala the Readers Digest system.
Suddenly a lifeline appears for newspapers…

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