Newsroom launches with smashing egg story

Newsroom launched yesterday. They are promising big new things as far as journalism goes but have a lot of media experience behind them. Their About:

Newsroom is an independent, New Zealand-based news and current affairs site. We deliver in-depth storytelling for thinking audiences with an interest in the people, progress, and democracy of Aotearoa. Our team of experienced, award-winning journalists produces quality written and video stories that set the national news agenda and inform intelligent conversations at every level of New Zealand life.

The independence of our journalism is supported by our partners in the corporate and tertiary education sectors, as well as by private donations from New Zealanders. To add your support to our independent voice, make a donation using the Press Patron platform link at the top of this page.

The kicked off with a range of stories, but the one that made the most impact was a revelation that battery eggs were being sold as free range eggs. Following their publication the Serious Fraud Office announced they were investigating.

Millions of caged eggs sold as free range in NZ

Those free range eggs you bought at Countdown may not have been free range at all.

A Newsroom investigation has revealed that millions of free range eggs sold at Countdown before this year were likely to have been laid by caged hens.

They were packaged as Palace Poultry brand free range eggs laid at a South Auckland farm, but Newsroom’s Morgan Tait and Melanie Reid reveal a large quantity are from caged egg suppliers.

If these allegations are true it is a major scandal of deceit that is very embarrassing and for egg suppliers as well as for Countdown. Many customers are likely to feel ripped off and deceived.

They followed up yesterday with SFO investigating Palace Poultry eggs

The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it is investigating claims that Palace Poultry sold caged eggs as free range.

Countdown supermarkets have today removed all of the brand’s eggs from its shelves after a Newsroom investigation revealed that Palace Poultry was buying caged eggs from an egg wholesaler and using them to bolster its own supply of free range eggs.

The SFO previously “refused to confirm or deny” if it was involved, but today a spokeswoman confirmed it was investigating.

And more today: Countdown to audit all free range egg suppliers

Countdown says it will now audit all its free range egg suppliers following the caged egg scandal.

The supermarket chain removed Palace Poultry brand eggs from its shelves on Monday after a Newsroom investigation revealed that millions of those eggs were caged and not free range.

The audit will be carried out by Quality Assure and is expected to take several weeks. It will include Countdown’s own labels as well as other brands.

Brands caught up in the scandal are, Woodland, Farmer Brown and Countdown’s own brand, Select. Palace Poultry sourced and packaged eggs for these brands, as well as its own, but ceased providing eggs for Select in 2014.

Spokesman for Countdown, James Walker, said “We want to know what’s happening here and we want to know now. All our egg suppliers will be audited by a third party.”

Countdown says it will now audit all its free range egg suppliers following the caged egg scandal.

The supermarket chain removed Palace Poultry brand eggs from its shelves on Monday after a Newsroom investigation revealed that millions of those eggs were caged and not free range.

Brands caught up in the scandal are, Woodland, Farmer Brown and Countdown’s own brand, Select. Palace Poultry sourced and packaged eggs for these brands, as well as its own, but ceased providing eggs for Select in 2014.

And Video: Caged eggs sold in supermarkets as free range

This is a big and very promising start for Newsroom. It is good to have an alternative news source.

 

Little: “there’s not a great deal more”

While Labour and the Greens are ramping up their co-campaigning, announcing they will have a joint ‘state of the nation’ speech at the end of the month and will tour the country with a joint policy statement, Andrew Little has oddly said that “In terms of big, headline stuff there’s not a great deal more. There will be maybe one possibly two more.”.

That is quite vague as we head into election year.

The union between Labour and Greens seems to be Labour’s headline campaign strategy.

NZ Herald: Expect join Labour-Green policies in the lead-up to the election

Leader Andrew Little told media that his party had one, maybe two, big policy announcements to make in election year, but would mostly focus on existing messages around key issues including housing affordability, crime, education and health.

“In terms of big, headline stuff there’s not a great deal more. There will be maybe one possibly two more. There will be some rules about fiscal discipline that we are working on at the moment so people will have a clear understanding about what our priorities are when it comes to government spending and taxing.”

This lack of preparedness at this stage of the term is remarkable – Labour always seem to be working on policy at the moment, and with “not a great deal more” to announce I wonder what they are going to base their campaign on.

Little said he would not announce new policy on January 29.

That’s his best shot at being noticed in setting out Labour’s campaign plans and he’s not announcing any policy? Remarkable.

“You can expect to see one or two joint policy announcements in the next few months between Labour and the Greens.

“There are plans to do that in different sort of ways. One of them is to get around the country with a joint policy statement – talk to a collection of audiences right across the country on a policy area that we have common ground on. People will see that as the year wears on.”

The Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Greens seems to have been a flop. When it was announced there was a lot of hope expressed on the left that it would lift poll numbers, but that didn’t happen. If anything Labour looks more precarious.

Yesterday in Labour leader Andrew Little to stand as a list candidate, leaving Rongotai open Little acknowledged Labour’s poll problems:

“I have to lead a party that starts from 2014 at a 25 per cent vote, polling at the moment at late 20s, 30 per cent sort of mark.

So we have a lot of work to do, and I don’t underestimate that.”

The biggest emphasis from Little seems to be on what Labour and Greens have in common and how they can work together on. This seems a very risky strategy, and one that can’t be undone or diverted from easily.

It looks like Labour are putting Green eggs in one election basket.

Or is it the other way round?

redeggsgreenbasket

Is there not a great deal more than this for Labour?