A rouge seal

This story has remained misspelled all day at NZ Herald.

Seal bites boy

A rouge seal attacked a 10-year-old in Mahia yesterday

A rouge seal attacked a 10-year-old in Mahia yesterday

I guess it’s mouth is pink, that’s close-ish to rouge.

The Herald must have a rogue editor.

Here’s a rouge seal:

Also a rouge Seal apparently:

A red seal:

Media changes

There’s been a number of media changes lately, indicating companies are looking at ways of reducing costs and trying to get sufficient revenue to survive in the modern media world that has been turned upside down by the Internet..

The Spinoff has been promoting themselves madly on Twitter. There are some familiar names amongst them.

The Spinoff is a New Zealand website covering television, sports, books and more. Founded in 2014 as a television site, in September 2015 it relaunched with a broader remit, but the same sensibility.

We also have a business-focused division, The Spinoff Custom, which creates content for brands, with the ability to generate high quality text, video or audio in a variety of formats. Our products include 1972 magazine, created for Barkers, and premium travel writing for Flight Centre.

Lightbox.co.nz are major sponsors of the television content on this site, and we are incredibly grateful to them. Part of their sponsorship involves us covering their shows – but only those we genuinely love. They understand for a site like this to work we need to be able to cover the entire TV universe, too. Which we do – and always with complete editorial independence. That’s a big part of how we can bring The Spinoff to you for free, while still paying our writers.

Our sports coverage is sponsored by PGA Tour Live and Premier League Pass. So we’ll pay extra attention to golf and the EPL, while also discussing the wider sporting landscape. Books are brought to you by Unity Books. Without any of these sponsors we simply wouldn’t exist, so please support them whenever you can.


  • Editor & Publisher: Duncan Greive.
  • Commercial Director: Fraser McGregor
  • Television Editor: Alex Casey
  • Sports Editor: Scotty Stevenson
  • Books Editor: Steve Braunias
  • Politics Editor: Toby Manhire
  • The Spinoff Custom Editor: Catherine McGregor
  • Staff Producer: José Barbosa
  • Staff Writer: Calum Henderson
  • Staff Feature Writer: Don Rowe

MediaWorks with Rachel Glucina launched Scout, an entertainment/celebrity news/gossip website on Monday.

The most entertaining thing about the launch was seeing non-Mediaworks journalists rubbishing it, which gave Scout some helpful promotion.

Midweek Scouts New Zealand announced that they were completely unassociated.

And on Friday Scout actually broke some news – about media competitors NZME:

Redundancies expected at NZ Herald

A huge shake-up is under way at the New Zealand Herald with several high-profile names facing redundancy, SCOUT has learned.

On Wednesday, staff at NZME – owners of the Herald – were invited to attend a company presentation announcing expansion plans to integrate its print, digital and radio news teams in a 24/7 operation. Lunch was served and staff were feeling positive. 

The next day, however, the restructure axe fell and several consultation meetings were held in offices off the Herald newsroom floor with employees affected by the redundancy news.

SCOUT has been told high-profile columnists John Drinnan, Brian Rudman and Michele Hewitson are facing redundancy.

NBR has expanded on this:

It’s now understood that other senior staff at the NZ Herald being ‘consulted’ about the proposed plans to facilitate the creation of NZME’s “world-class integrated newsroom” (ie, more than likely being made redundant) also include Canvas deputy editor Greg Dixon, feature writer Alan Perrot and columnist John Roughan.

One NZ Herald staff member says, “It’s a bloodbath.” Another tells NBR that 30% of editorial staff are getting the chop. The number is unconfirmed, but would still mean editorial is getting off more lightly than sales where sources suggest that up to 40% of staff could receive their marching orders.

This looks like a major culling of staff and restructuring of a mutli-faceted media company.

So print, broadcast and online media are going through major changes.

But no sign of any action from Freed since a minor sign of something insignificant from them a month ago.

Changing work hours for World Cup

A campaign including a petition has been started to change work hours to better suit the Rugby World Cup.

NZ Herald is promoting this – Push for Rugby World Cup-friendly working hours.

A petition advocating a later start to the standard work day during the Rugby World Cup has kicked off – will you Push Back For Black?

The Push Back For Black petition calls for employers to change their standard working hours to 10am-6pm from 9am-5pm to allow employees to catch early morning Cup matches before heading to work.

NZME radio brands Hauraki, Radio Sport and ZM together with the Herald were among the first to support the petition.

Why is a petition needed? Any business can choose to retain or change their work hours as they see fit.

But I’m not sure whether the Herald is going to change it’s printing or delivery schedule. Delivering newspapers a few hours later may annoy quite a few of their customers.

Herald managing editor Shayne Currie urged other employers to follow suit. “To allow New Zealanders the opportunity to stay up during the night to watch the All Blacks play – or enjoy a full game at home from 7am or 8am – seems the patriotic thing to do.”

Good grief.

Mr Currie may not be aware but with modern media it’s possible to watch games of rugby via recordings, streaming and replays at a wide variety of times.

Then bizarrely:

The campaign comes as an Oxford University researcher claimed that forcing staff to start work before 10am was tantamount to torture and was making employees ill, exhausted and stressed.

Dr Paul Kelley said there was a need for a huge societal change to move work and school starting times to fit with the natural body clock of humans. Before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults were completely out of sync with normal nine-to-five working hours, posing a “serious threat” to performance, mood and mental health.

“Staff are usually sleep deprived. We’ve got a sleep-deprived society,” Dr Kelly said.

“It is hugely damaging on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body.Your liver and your heart have different patterns and you’re asking them to shift two or three hours. This is an international issue. Everybody is suffering and they don’t have to.”

Sleep deprivation has been shown to have significant effects on health. A week with less than six hours’ sleep a night led to 711 changes in how genes function, one study discovered.

Does that mean Kelley and the Herald would recommend that New Zealanders shouldn’t allow themselves to become sleep deprived during the World Cup? That would mean not watching games live but watching replays after 10 am. So then they would have to delay their work until noon.

The Herald and NZME can change work hours for their staff however they like – I’m not sure how that will work with Radio Hauraki – but this campaign seems to be poorly thought through.

It almost seems like a September Fools joke of some sort.

But there really does seem to be a petition – http://www.pushbackforblack.co.nz/

Work starts when play ends.

Sign-up to our petition to push back the start of the working day to 10am for the duration of the cup.

The battle for rugby’s greatest prize is nearly upon us. But the time difference with England means that majority of games will be shown early in the morning back here in NZ.

Many of us will be preparing for our working day or will already be at work at the very moment our team need our support.

We say this cannot happen. Let the nation gather in their homes and public spaces to cheer on our boys.

Good grief. Someone must be taking the piss. But this part seems to be true – Sleep expert Dr Paul Kelley wants the business and school day to begin at 10am.

Herald/Digipoll August 2015

Audrey Young reports on the latest Herald/Digipol – Labour’s support recovers to 30s

Labour are up to 31%, not as bad as being in the 20s but still struggling. Other polls recent polls have had Labour in the high 20s and low thirties.

  • National 50.8% (down 0.2)
  • Labour 31.0% (up 2.3)
  • Greens 9.3% (down 1.6)
  • NZ First 6.9% (up 0.8)
  • Maori Party 1.0% (up 0.2)
  • Conservative Party 0.6% (down 0.5)
  • ACT Party 0.2% (down 0.6)
  • Legalise Cannabis 0.2 (up 0.2)
  • Mana 0.2 (up 0.2)

The latest polling took place during a particularly bad period for the Government, between August 14-24.

It doesn’t look bad for the Government. National have a majority on their own (just) and Labour are about 20% behind, but that’s what Young talks up.

Labour’s support has climbed back to the 30s for the first time in a Herald-DigiPoll survey since Andrew Little became leader nine months ago.

The result, 31 per cent, will be a major psychological boost for Labour because 30 per cent represents a credibility threshold for parties that might expect to lead a government.

It is the first time the Labour Party has polled over 30 per cent since June last year.

Back then, it polled 30.5 per cent before a steady decline under David Cunliffe’s leadership to a humiliating 25.13 per cent in September’s general election.

But on past performance, it still has a way to go before it will be satisfied with polling under Mr Little.

Quite a way to go. A long way to go if Labour is going to avoid having to deal with both NZ First and Greens in coalition.

Recent polls:

  • Roy Morgan (August) National 50.5%, Labour 27%
  • One News/Colmar Brunton (July) National 47%, Labour 32%
  • 3 News/Reid research (July) National 47%, Labour 31.1%

Bizarrely the Herald continue their promoting of Jacinda Ardern with this at the head of the article:

The rising popularity of Labour front bench MP Jacinda Ardern is evident in the latest Herald DigiPoll survey.

I wonder if Ardern selected those two photos. She appears to be ranked 9 in Labour’s pecking order, and I don’t recall her being prominent in politics lately.

Could you be proud of this?

While rows of forty flags looks a bit boring and conservative NZ Herald has done an interesting exercise with the flag designs favoured in a poll – they have put the flags into real situations.

Most of them don’t stand out at all – see them at Would you stand and wave this flag?

But what about the first one here?

(The graphic included all examples in one).

Most of those do nothing for me, but the top one featuring Mahe Drysdale – yep, I could feel proud of that. I don’t even mind the Southern Cross – it adds to the star quality.

Mood of the Boardroom 2015

NZ Herald has published a summary of their annual ‘Mood of the Boardroom’: Dairy and infrastructure top worry lists which shows that business confidence has slipped.

Confidence (out of 5) in:

  • Local economy 2.3
  • International economy 2.54
  • Own business situation 2.99

 The country’s senior business leaders are becoming increasingly concerned about the slowing economy, the Government’s strategy and our reliance on China and dairy exports.

The 2015 Mood of the Boardroom, published today, surveys 110 top corporate chief executives and company directors as well as heads of our leading business organisations.

The results show 75 per cent want to see the Government formulate a Plan B in case the dairy slump continues. Eighty per cent want diversification of the economy accelerated.

Sixty-four per cent of respondents agreed that indicators pointed to an economic slowdown from their own business perspective.

On political performance:

  • Bill English 4.6 (down from 4.75)
  • John Key 4.28 (down from 4.49)

Drops for both is not surprising given the worsening economic conditions and increasing number of embarrassing issues. If this downward movement continues through to the election it will pose re-election difficulties for National.

Jacinda Ardern was rated the most impressive Labour MP for the second year running.

This makes National’s re-election chances less difficult unless Andrew Little and Grant Robertson can gain some credibility in the business world.

Slater versus NZ Herald and “inherent dishonesty”

When I posted Slater cleared of hacking claims yesterday I left out trivial side issues that the Herald chose to highlight, like a couple of spelling mistakes in the police report, in Dirty Politics: Police clear blogger over Labour hacking claims.

That seemed to be irrelevant to the story apart from being a dig at the police, and as was pointed out on Twitter, it’s almost inevitable that those complaining about spelling and grammar make mistakes in doing so.

. I mean, if you’re going to take a cheap crack at the Police’s spelling – don’t cock it up.

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The article now says:


But there was a more serious mistake according to Cameron Slater. in THE INHERENT DISHONESTY OF DAVID FISHER.

Yesterday David Fisher wrote an article in a newspaper about me.

At the bottom of the article he said this:

Slater – who did not wish to comment – has denied any wrongdoing.

There is a problem with that statement…I never said I did not wish to comment.

I saw that comment. I also noticed later that it had changed to:

Slater, who has denied any wrongdoing, said he would be seeking an apology from Andrew Little over the accusations.

Slater explains what happened:

At 4:19pm David Fisher emailed me for comment.


I responded to him:

Please provide me a copy of the Police advice to the Labour party, then I will consider a response.

Little did I know that David Fisher had already published the story a mere 9 minutes after he emailed me for comment.

He provides evidence of that:

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 5.01.18 pm

.The article still shows that time of publication, despite at least two edits since then.

Inherent dishonesty? Or hurried and sloppy plus lax editing protocols?

Herald story on poll changes

Newspaper stories aren’t always like the used to be, fixed in print once the presses roll.

David Farrar pointed out in A Labour member complains:

First let’s deal with the headline of the story:

Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour

The headline writer should be shot.

Labour has lifted by six points to its highest level since March 2014 in the Roy Morgan Poll.

Labour is up to 32 per cent in the poll – up six points from a fortnight ago while National was down six points to 43 per cent support.

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

So 90% of the poll was before the release. So the headline is trying to manufacture a story.

However NZ Herald currently has this headline with the story:

Poll boost for Labour

By David Fisher, Claire Trevett

Labour has lifted by six points to its highest level since March 2014 in the Roy Morgan Poll.

Labour is up to 32 per cent in the poll – up six points from a fortnight ago while National was down six points to 43 per cent support.

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

What Farrar probably doesn’t know is that the story has changed since the headline was written, and then the headline was changed.  I saw the original version, as did Keith Ng who pointed out:

Oi . I mathed it for you.

The data was released by Labour with substantial help by NZ Herald six days prior, not a week.

One of the article authors responded:

ha! I was so busy trying to find it in the fine print I didn’t look at the top bit!

Since then the headline and story have now been edited:


Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour

However it us unclear how much of the poll was taken before Labour released it’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate agent data, which was a week ago.


Poll boost for Labour

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

Farrar must have copy pasted after the story was edited, but before the headline was edited.

Did Rawshark dump and flee New Zealand?

Ben Rawshark has had another wee splurge on Twitter today and in response there’s an interesting claim – that Rawshark dumped and ran.

I’ve lost a lot of support, followers and ‘credibility’ in the last 7 days since the story broke in MSM. Fortunately the cops are digging.

He can smear any truth tellers that pop up using proxy blogs, analysis of the tellers enemies and rarking them up.

Yes, Scientology does exactly the same thing. You might want to study the history of the movement against them.

He is extremely good at what he does. Look at how they hit Catton. She is wholly light side. It’s the state of play now.

Haha Project Chanology? Or something non-hacktivist? I’m not newborn to Scientologies BS.

 This is stuff that both pre-dates and post-dates Chanology. But Chanology was a decisive moment because you can’t smear Anon.

General chitchat with Daphne Lawless who describes themselves:

Daphne Lawless


Musician, indexer, translator, political activist, footballer, sci-fi geek… if you are a renaissance woman, start a renaissance (after Ché Guevara)

Auckland, Aotearoa

She’s of political and media interest, with followers like Sue Bradford, Laila Harre, Duncan Garner, Tova O’Brien, Bryce Edwards.

Rachinger retweeted…

Slater is powerful because he’s useful to those in power. The correct strategy would be to end his usefulness.

So ideally one of Slater’s good buddies could be persuaded to turn against him.

…and then exchange tweets…

But that’s the beginning and the end of it. I was burying my grandmother as I dealt with it all. I apologised to QoT.

 Even if you were a serial arsehole as bad as Slater, I STILL wouldn’t dismiss your revelations about Slater.

I appreciate that. I admire your quest for facts, proof and the truth. Don’t push them too hard though. They don’t like that.

Ever thought of doing a Rawshark? Dox dump to friendly journos then skipping the country?

That was tried and it didn’t work .. Whistleblowing under own name doesn’t work. It’s not the facts… It’s what happens after

How friendly was Rawshark to the journalists? Those who were given access to Rawshark data and reported on it were David Fisher of NZ Herald and Matt Nippert of Sunday Star Times.

Familiar names in the current hacking story.

And did they then leave New Zealand?

And a wee search finds that Cameron Slater had an interest in Daphne Lawless, claiming she had non-public information about the Rawshark hacking.


Meet Daphne Lawless, an aptly named hard left political activist who likes to blog like the big kids

She published an article on the Marxist Fightback blog (Struggle! Socialism! Fightback!), a post titled The Whale Oil leaks: Anti-politics from above.

In it, she writes:  


The 8 and the 2 keys are not next to each other on a keyboard, so I assume that was exactly what she meant to type.

How does Daphne Lawless know the 8GB stick only contained 2GB data?

She seems to know a bit about Rawshark and friends.

Rachinger denies everything on Williams

Ben Rachinger took to Twitter again to totally deny anything to do with RadioLive political editor Jessica Williams.

The Phone put up as proof on that blog. It’s a Blackphone. As owned by one Mr Cameron Slater.

It’s a sad day when one can bring a story to light after having been smeared repeatedly and parents doxed by a pseudo-anon blog….

… But this is the first credible connection between Mr Slater and the blog LF. This was beyond dirty. Mr Slaters phone should be examined.

I would encourage everyone to lay a complaint with the credible evidence that the LF source has a blackphone, Slater has a blackphone and…

… Only Mr Slater benefits from the actions and timing of the actions of that blog. There is no way the LF source should remain Anon.

I never dated the victim of that websites actions and nor have I ever contracted to MW. I never messaged those pics to Press Gallery.

I was never involved in some plot to blackmail the victim of that blog. I was never informed there was allegedly a plot involving me.

I respect the space of the victim of LFs posts and don’t wish to have any comment beyond a Wow at depths to which some parties have sunk.

I’ll close with saying… The story came out about TS hack job and suddenly this comes out. A++ Hit Job. Bye.

If this is all true (I’m sceptical at this stage)it makes the apparent acceptance of the story by Williams and Williams supporters (there were no denials nor challenges to any detail that I saw) as very strange.

If true this would mean Slater obtained risque photos of Williams, simulated Rachinger’s phone, and colluded with Lauda Finem to dump on both Rachinger and Williams at the same time.

It would mean that NZ Herald was incorrect in the article they posted and then later pulled down – except that it’s still online via syndication overseas and at the ODT:

Journalist’s private photos published

Intimate photographs purporting to be of a leading journalist have been published online, revealing gaps in laws protecting people from having personal images used against them.

The pictures were understood to have been taken and sent in a private context to an individual not involved in the blog which published the images.

It claimed it had obtained the images when they were circulated with the intent of embarrassing Williams and harming her career but gave no explanation for why it had published the pictures.

A MediaWorks spokesman said the company was aware of “certain matters relating to the publication of private images” of Williams.

“The matters at issue are not ones MediaWorks will comment on. Jessica is a senior journalist with significant responsibility for RadioLive and will be on leave until these matters are worked through.”

The pictures emerged following a story broadcast on TV3’s The Nation last weekend in which claims were made that Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater had paid someone to hack into a left-wing website.

If MediaWorks or NZ Herald thought this story had been a total fabrication by Cameron Slater I would have expected them to deal with it quite differently.

But the media have generally been very quiet on this whole topic, and thee has been a succession of weird turns in this saga, so it’s difficult to know what is the truth and what isn’t.

And it continues in response to others:

Dude, those Photos are damning proof of how easily trust is destroyed with you, hey? You made a massive mistake sharing those.

Where is the source? Where is the Threema ID proof it’s me? I never dated the victim and never attempted to blackmail her.

k.they are spreading the muck thin, if this is the categorical truth then I withdraw my accusation. huge collateral dmge tho


… Only Mr Slater benefits from the actions and timing of the actions of that blog. There is no way the LF source should remain Anon.

Did you share the pics im question with Slater, Ben? You’re inferring it but should state so I believe, if that is tje case.

Can Mr Slater prove that? Or does he just send whatever he wants to LF and get them to release at his bidding? Where’s the proof?

Just trying to understand how, if Slater had those pics, he came by them? It reads that you are certain he did have them.


Don’t infer anything. I’d like to see the LF source front up and show their evidence/proof and for LF to prove their allegations.

I’m not having a go just trying to understand context, evidence and implications.


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Categorically false. I have never spoken to Bomber personally and he has never seen any info from me. A smear.

Bomber shouldn’t be getting smashed for what are demonstrably lies. He may have been referring to hearsay unrelated to pics but not to pics.

I could see what was coming (though not this) which is why I tweeted a few weeks ago about that blog post of his.

That last comment is interesting, needs looking in to. There may be more to add on this.

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Categorically false. I was JW source for the Hager raid. We never dated or were in a BF/GF relationship. Smear on MB.

He provided Williams with what information about the Hager raid? That was in October.

Bradbury has apparently removed that reference from the Daily Blog, according to Disraeli Gladstone:

Quite on the contrary, though, it seems like he was threatening/considering to threaten the current victim (let’s not identify her at all for her sake). How do we know this? At the time, fucking Bomber made a passing comment in a blog post that Rachinger had something to hold over someone (he named the profession, so we know it was most likely the victim).

The fact that Bomber saw the evidence and didn’t do anything about it except make a snide remark (which he now deleted from his blog) is horrible in of itself as well.

Bradbury was not likely to be colluding with Slater.


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