Our print media are currently up in arms over the proposed member of Radio NZ and Television NZ at a ludicrous cost of a third of a billion dollars. They claim it will produce a dominant news powerhouse and destroy competition.

Feasibly that’s possible albeit I’m a news hog yet never listen to the radio and being unable to speak maori, don’t watch our television news. But then I’m not necessarily representative of the wider public.

I was actually on the Broadcasting Commission of Enquiry three decades ago, which resulted in Radio and TV being split into two entities and I protested at the proposition which for the life of me seemed pointless, doing something for the sake of it. But my fellow commissioners ran with the British consultants who’s principal argument seemed to be that every other country was doing this.

The big problem for the print media’s future is not with this unnecessary mergers’ allegedly overbearing competition but instead, that reading is now unfashionable. The cell-phone is now the total supplier of information for the entire 8 billion people on earth, only new-borns (and me) being the exception. Stupidity now rules the roost.

That said, in campaigning against this idiotic and pointless costly re-merger, our newspapers should note the decision of the Commerce Commission declining their efforts a few years back to amalgamate, on the grounds it was anti-competitive. It wasn’t in fact as they covered different (geographic) markets, nevertheless they were fighting for survival and as a single entity would have produced a superior product.

The current government have a disgracefully shameful record of wasting taxpayers money on absurdities. This proposal ranks as one of the worst and is apparently the brainchild of Willie Jackson, an amiable former small audience talkback host, now Broadcasting Minister. But Willie apparently possesses a maori ancestor and this must not be crossed.

I like Labour governments. They’ve shaped New Zealand bringing about usually overdue reforms. But one thing is absolutely irrevocably certain and that is never, never allow them a third term. After two they become indulgently cock-a-hoop, treating the public purse as a cornucopian bottomless pit of gold. I say that vis a vis their usual announced future intentions as Helen Clark’s government excepted, in the post-war era the public were wise enough to dump them after one term (twice) and two terms, also twice. Helen alone survived two terms by behaving like a standard dullard National government, not rocking the boat and simply minding the shop.

The Ardern government got there initially by a fluke (Winston) and gained a second term by creating a Covid panic then hogging the news-media with daily pronouncements. It was a shameful period in our history although I concede Jacinda achieved something no-one else could have, at least according to numerous writers to The Herald, namely telling White Island to behave itself and stop showing off. That will go down as her major accomplishment.


Please, Sir Bob, those deckchairs on the Titanic aren’t going to rearrange themselves 🙂

I don’t listen to RNZ and rarely watch TVNZ so I don’t think it will make any difference . All it will be is a large Maori Broadcasting entity and a complete waste of money

I still think the bicycle bridge of hot air will be the current Government’s greatest claim to fame. A dumb idea, as any cyclist would tell you, but they managed to spend 50 million just talking about it. It beggars belief.

Wayne Senior Fairbrother November 1, 2022 at 10:06 am

I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization. God help the taxpayers: no one else will.

Both Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand should be put on the Block and sold, if for no other reason to find out what they may be worth or if anybody would be interested in them without Public Funding. Should there be no interest, Both should be closed down and the over bloated staff sacked.

Willie tells us the merger is necessary because of a lack of trust in public media broadcasting. That’s like turning up the thermostat because people think it’s too hot.

Nice one Wayne. I once used God as a pillion passenger (seeking guidance while riding home drunk on my new EB) ditching my diesel guzzling, air polluting Ute. You wouldn’t read about it a bloody police officer ticketed me for two on a bike.

Thies Isgood Readit November 2, 2022 at 5:06 am

Philip Newdik

What a wonder woman, in 2 terms as prime minister of what “was” a great little country. She has fixed the housing crisis, overcome child poverty, tackled inflation, put Pike River to bed, sorted out the labour market, the ChCh earthquake, the Mosque slaughter, The White Island eruption, the climate horror, shown New Zealanders that they don’t need to work when money can be borrowed and printed, publicly had a baby, almost got married, set the UN and Nato on the straight and narrow and now she is advising the world’s richest man how he should behave. To coin the phrases of a great New Zealander “we don’t know how lucky we are Fred”.

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