Inside a youth justice residence

@JohnJCampbell : Do watch this if you have a spare 26 minutes this weekend. These are our kids, too. And making them safe is a challenge in the best interests of us all.

Young people tell their stories – Inside a youth justice residence

They come from violent homes, addiction homes, homes without safety and sometimes homes without food. Every single one of them has been exposed to gangs.

That was their normal. They followed in the only footsteps they knew. Stole cars, committed aggravated burglaries, and worse.

Now these 14 to 17-year-olds call youth justice residence Te Au rere a te Tonga home.

(A and production, shot and edited by )

What next?

TV1 has run a 5 night series of programmes looking at the future. They have proposed Plan A – doing much the same as now – and Plan B – making radical changes to how we do things over the next 20 years.

What next?

The last programme is promoting what they have done as potentially a ‘pivotal moment’.

Has anyone watched any of it?

If so has it changed your mind? Has it inspired you to do things differently?

What next?

An odd ‘panel of experts’ for media review

There’s a number of curious aspects to this story at NZ Herald: Campbell Live axing prompts review

A group of Kiwi movers and shakers will undertake a review of New Zealand public broadcasting in the wake of Campbell Live’s axing.

Campbell was axed from a commercial television programme that had nothing to do with public broadcasting.

Why the focus on one media presenter? John Campbell left his TV3 show a year ago, so why now?

Community campaign group Action Station is concerned about the decline of public-interest journalism since TV3’s flagship news magazine show was canned last year, amid a public outcry.

The panel’s findings will be presented to the Government in the run up to next year’s General Election.

So it is timed to be used as an election campaign next year.

It has enlisted a panel of experts – including economist Shamubeel Eaqub, singer Lizzie Marvelly, former MediaWorks news boss Mark Jennings, TV and film director Kay Ellmers and policy analyst Wendy McGuinness.

What is singer Lizzie Marvelly an expert on? “She is best known for her career as a classical crossover vocalist and her many performances of the New Zealand national anthem at rugby games” (Wikipedia).

Where is Eaqub’s media expertise? Elmers? She works for Maori TV. McGuinness? Mark Jennings is the only one who appears to have notable media experience.

Action Station spokeswoman Marianne Elliot said “People are very worried that this kind of campaigning is disappearing from television in particular.”

Action Station organises petitions, social media swarms and mass emails to decisions makers. It also creates crowd-funded creative campaigns and offline actions like creative stunts, vigils or hikoi.

The not-for-profit organisation was involved with the Save Campbell Live campaign and teamed up with Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon to help stop the trade of ivory in New Zealand.

I think that Action Station has had some close connections with the Greens. They don’t appear to be politicallybalanced or  non-biased.

Here are some of Action Station’s current campaigns:

What is Action Station? According to their website ‘About’:

ActionStation is an independent, member-led not-for-profit organisation representing over 100,000 Kiwis holding power to account, standing for a fair society, healthy environment & economic fairness.

ActionStation is a vital piece of democratic infrastructure for Aotearoa in the 21st century, here to reinvigorate our proud tradition of participatory democracy and people power, using the potential of new technology. 

While they may try to keep a separation they were set up by people closely involved with the Greens, and their campaigns are closely aligned to Green campaigns. The above list of campaigns would not look out of place on the Green website.

To all intents and purposes Action Station looks like an activist arm of the Green Party.

So an odd panel for a media review that is timed to coincide with the next election, run by the very Green-like Action Station. It may not be very politically balanced, nor does it appear to be a very vital ‘piece of democratic infrastructure’.

John Shewan on Radio NZ

Radio NZ – John Campbell interviews John Shewan on 13 April 2014 after Andrew Little made accusations against Shewan in Parliament earlier in the afternoon.

John Campbell: Did you go with Don Brash to the Bahamas to advise on tax policy?

John Shewan: Yes I did, we were both requested to go up there to advise the Bahamas Government on their VAT.

John Campbell: Requested by who?

John Shewan:By John Key, by the New Zealand Government. The Bahamas Prime Minister had requested John key for some assistance because they were having difficulty in the Bahamas getting acceptance for the proposed VAT legislation and we were sent up there to have a look at why there was such resistance and to make recommendations for change.

John Campbell: OK, so VAT is exactly the same as our GST, well not exactly the same but more or less the same right?

John Shewan: It is exactly the same.

John Campbell: Ok. Did you recommend a zero rating for off shore financial services industry in the Bahamas?

John Shewan: No we did not. And it’s very disappointing to hear the statements made today because they’re completely and utterly inaccurate.

John Campbell: Sorry I’m just going to, because you, it’s absolutely been said in Parliament that you did. So without equivocation in a very singular way – did you recommend a zero rating?

John Shewan: No. And let me say that apparently what’s been said in Parliament today is based on a report from one of the Bahamas newspapers. I have in front of me the section of the report on financial services, and it’s very important just to cover the two points.

Firstly by the time Don Brash and I arrived in the Bahamas the draft legislation had been put before the Parliament and as is the case with most countries they had proposed to exempt financial services domestically and they financial services would be zero rated. That’s standard practice.

What we recommended was that the base be broadened so we recommended a number of other items be brought in.

In relation to financial services we recommended that they retain that exemption for domestic services, but they considered zero rating business to  business supplies just within the Bahamas as New Zealand had done a few years earlier.

John Campbell: So wait a sec, this is confusing now and it sounds like semantics to me, in other words is there zero rating for the offshore financial services industry in the Bahamas, and were you part of that? I guess that’s the nub of this.

Are you using semantics to get around the fact that somehow you were influential over that zero rating?

John Shewan: Absolutely not, as I just said by the time we got up there the draft legislation already had in it zero rating financial services, just as New Zealand does.

What we were looking at was in the context of the overall regime could they actually expand the base so for example…

John Campbell: So did they show you the draft legislation, did they say ‘what do you think of this’?

John Shewan: Yes they did.

John Campbell: Ok, and so did you sign off on the zero services, did you say ‘yeah that’s a good idea we stand by that’?

John Shewan: Well what we said was, what they were proposing in relation to financial services was entirely consistent with the rest of the world including New Zealand, and we recommended that they go have a look in due course and we said, and I’ll quote what we said here. I’ve got it in front of me.

“The Bahamas Government may wish to consider refinements to financial services provisions at some future point. The regime is complicated and based on the New Zealand experience it’s best added to an existing regime and it’s more practical experience. Attempting to implement this now would likely delay the implementation of VAT”.

So we did not recommend the zero rating for offshore financial services, that was already in the legislation and indeed it’s entirely consistent with rules in New Zealand, Australia and other countries.

So this is a complete red herring, a storm in a teacup, and very disappointing and I would have been more than happy to take a call  from Mr Little’s office to respond rather than people going off on the basis of what would seem to be a completely misleading newspaper article from the Bahamas.

John Campbell: Ok does this speak to a kind of broader sense coming from some quarters that you are a fox that’s been put in charge of the chicken house?

John Shewan: Ah well that may be the case, and I’ve been asked to do a job, I intend to do it, and I’d ask that the report be judged on the integrity of the report and it’s author, be judged on the basis of the report.

John Campbell: Which seems to be absolutely fair enough. And if you’re am empiricist, you say ok wait and let’s see what John Shewan comes out with.

But I guess what people are suggesting is gosh this is the man that quite likes zero ratings, this is the man that quite likes financial trusts.

And can I just ask you a couple of questions about this.

Have you ever placed foreign clients in New Zealand based trusts?

John Shewan: No I haven’t.

John Campbell: Never not once in the course of your career as a tax expert with PWC?

John Shewan: I’ve had no involvement whatsoever with foreign trusts. It’s not an area I ever worked in.

John Campbell: Have you ever put New Zealand clients in foreign trusts.

John Shewan: Ah no I haven’t.

John Campbell: Ok, have you ever put, have you ever been associated in any way with Monsack Fonteta?

John Shewan:No, never heard of them.

John Campbell: So you’d never heard of them prior to the release of the Panama papers?

John Shewan: No I hadn’t. I had no reason too John.

Can I come back to this allegation by Mr Little, because I really take it very seriously, because the assertion is that we made recommendations to protect the Bahamas state as a tax haven.

This is one hundred percent incorrect, totally wrong. And for such statements to be made without any consultation is to me quite alarming.

The Bahamas was and still is a low tax country, a tax haven, that’s correct.

Our role was actually to enable them to start raising taxes through the implementation of it’s VAT that worked . The regime was actually in not a good shape when Don Brash and I arrived and we made substantial recommendations to broaden the base.

Ironically what we did, and this makes what’s been said in Parliament today such a joke,  we materially increased the level of VAT that will be collected by the Bahamas government by broadening the base, and including key areas such as general insurance and…

John Campbell: Absolutely. But I guess and this is the point, and, but you didn’t include the offshore financial industry right?

John Shewan: No we did not.

John Campbell: Ok. One final question. Everyone’s talking about this Westpac case. Now I’d only read reports of it so today I got the judgment of Justice Harrison.

So this is Westpac versus Inland Revenue, you know the case, and if we turn in to point 564:

“Mr Shewan recommended that Westpac pay thirty to forty million annually even though that sum represented a rate of only 6.5% against the reported profit.”

So that’s in Justice Harrison’s judgment from the high court. Is that true?

John Shewan: Ah well it’s been taken out of context but it was part of an overall letter which I’m limited in terms of what I can say about that, but actually what it was saying is, and most tax advisers at the time were saying the same thing, is that there were likely to be changes made to the banking and tax rules to tighten the tax base, and that was in fact done. And then these cases came before the courts after that, but the rules had actually already been tightened so they were historical.

And actually that advice was actually in line, in terms of saying the banks should be paying tax.

John Campbell: And by golly they had to, right. I mean there was a huge award made against them.

John Shewan: The entire banking industry was included in that…

John Campbell: Absolutely…

John Shewan: …and it would have been fifty to eighty tax advisers involved, and all I can say is in the context of 38 years working in the tax area there are cases that you will win, there are cases you will lose.

I’m entirely satisfied with my record and I’m entirely satisfied that I have consistently acted with integrity. I accept that some Members of Parliament have had more litigation experience than me and they may have a better track record and good luck to them on that.

But I absolutely reject any suggestion that I’ve acted in anything other than a totally professional way, and I do object to some of the very misleading so-called facts which are complete myths that are now being perpetrated in Parliament.

Radio NZ Report: Trust reviewer rejects Labour’s Bahamas accusation

Audio: “Completely and utterly inaccurate” – Listen to John Shewan’s live interview on Checkpoint with John Campbell

Andrew Little’s comments in Parliament: Little slams Shewan who slams Little

Dotcom claims National killed Campbell Live

The Herald has an item previewing a John Campbell exclusive “I was devastated” due out in Metro today that gives Campbell’s views on the demise of Campbell Live earlier this year.

John Campbell breaks his silence: I was devastated we couldn’t make show work

John Campbell has finally spoken of the dramatic cancellation of his show Campbell Live and his subsequent departure from TV3, saying his axing came as a shock and left him grieving.

“I still feel sad about it,” he said. “It wasn’t about me or my career or anything, because what I believe we created was a model of constructive, illuminating, empathetic television that also had enough going for it to commercially be sustainable. And I was devastated by our inability to make that work.”

There’s no mention in the Herald article about Kim Dotcom but he refers to it in a tweet:

Kim Dotcom Retweeted nzherald

Your brave investigative journalism about my case killed your show. National killed it. I’m so sorry .

So Dotcom is claiming his story killed Campbell Live, and somehow National is responsible. I’ve seen this claimed on the activist left but I’ve never seen it substantiated close to adequately.

Dotcom could claim his story mortally wounded the Mana Party election chances but somehow I doubt he was responsible for all the ratings problems of Campbell Live and TV3 (Story is a similar story with no stories done on Dotcom).


Campbell who?

Around about now they will be having either a party or a wake on Campbell Live.

A programme usually watched by about 5% of people suddenly became an essential part of New Zealand life, according to about 1% of people.

John Campbell seemed ok to me, and did some ok stuff on television amongst a bunch of fluff. As far as I know – which isn’t very much, I hardly ever watched Campbell Live. I hardly ever watched Holmes either. And I mostly don’t watch whoever is on One now nor Paul Henry’s vanity show in the morning. I just don’t care much about personality based infotainment.

So while I guess in ways it’s a bit sad Campbell Live will soon be dead I don’t think it will be the end of New Zealand as we know it.

Nor the end of democracy – the vaguely democratic stuff on Campbell Live was usually text polls which are not scientific or democratic or reliable at all.

The main television channels have evolved into advertiser driven lightweight paff. There’s no point in crying over the demise of a dinosaur programme.

There’s one plus for the lefties who think Campbell ceasing is a travesty of something – they will have something else to blame losing elections on (apart from themselves and their own blinkered embubblement).

Too bad John, but you had not a bad run and programmers move on. So will the rest of us.

Sorry, I just don’t think it’s that big a deal.

Claim that Mediaworks engaged hitman for Campbell Live

In a very ironic post at Whale Oil Cameron Slater blasts Joe Trinder for a “concocted a story based on innuendo and gossip with no documentary proof” and then concocts a story based on innuendo with no documentary proof.


The tinfoil hat wearers at Mana News have concocted a story based on innuendo and gossip with no documentary proof, kind of like the Herald does as well. Joe Trinder, the union hack who wrote the article gets slammed in the comments.

Slater is fairly slow on that story, it’s two days old. But he then concocts a story of his own:

Not everyone will know that I had a secret meeting late last year with Mediaworks to talk about the future of media in NZ.

They came to learn.  It appears those at the meeting picked up the major points.

It is pleasing to see that things are working out as planned.

One by one I will make people who executed Dirty Politics against me realise that there are consequences for their decisions.

A claim as outlandish as Trinder’s. No documentary proof as per Trinder.

Who are we to believe?

I’m sure Mediaworks will be rapt with this, especially if there’s any truth to it – all media companies will be rushing to Slater for advice now.

UPDATE: And then Slater seems to contradict himself in Quote of the Day:

I don’t want to see it go. no journalist would ever want to see a current affairs show axed – but if it is axed, there is no-one to blame except the public. New Zealanders killed Campbell Live, because New Zealanders stopped watching.

It might be brutal but that is reality, not the lala land that Smalley usually inhabits along with her other pinko mates. But then again she is a “serious” journalist don’t you know.

If only the other media luvvies all wringing their hands over the Campbell Dead would learn these basic truths.

Trinder’s Key/Campbell conspiracy

Mana News editor Joe Trinder has made some ‘claims in Key: I want that left wing bastard gone:

Last year Prime Minister John Key and Mark Weldon had a phone conversation in regards to John Campbell.  Mr Key was overheard saying “I want that left wing bastard gone”. The prime minister had insidiously conspired with Mark Weldon to end John Campbell’s broadcasting career and have Campbell live taken off the air.

That someone overheard a phone conversation between between John Key and Mark Weldon is a bit of an odd claim. There must be some evidence. Or at least a credible witness.

Mark Weldon’s crony appointment as the CEO of media works was made by John Key.

That’s just as bizarre. Mediaworks is a privately owned company and I’m not aware of any evidence that Key has any financial or management connection.

After the Campbell live exposed the exploitative Zero Hours contracts a letter was sent from Burger King to Campbell live and Mark Weldon was mysteriously CC’d into the email.  The email was from someone at Burger King who obviously has a relationship with Mark Weldon. Burger King has used its influence to help terminate the  Campbell Live show.

Another weird claim with no evidence.

The decision was made by the National party caucus with strong influence from former radio works CEO MP Steven Joyce. This is another attempt by the National government to control the media and any criticism of its policies.

So the National caucus is ion the board of directors of Mediaworks? Yeah right.

So where is the evidence? Trinder appears to have been asked on Facebook:


This is one of the dumbest attempts at a political hit job I’ve seen. Winston Peters might get away with this sort of thing but Trinder’s trash talk has even been treated with dismay at The Standard – I want that left wing bastard gone – why ‘Notices and Features’ wanted to associate The Standard with this is, ah, interesting.

But maybe not surprising, given this comment from Te Reo Putake:

Well, this is rubbish, isn’t it? I’m reminded about the discussion here on the weekend about corruption. The takeaway from that chat is that whenever the left makes overblown and unprovable allegations like this, we look weak and it makes the right stronger.

I agree, it does look like rubbish, especially after Trinder’s ‘prove me wrong’ response. It’s ironic that Putake can see rubbish claims from others but is oblivious to his own – unless of course he does it deliberately.

I don’t agree that this makes ‘the right’ stronger.

But overblown and unprovable allegations that are rife on the left do make them look like wallies – in this instance at Mana News and at The Standard.

Trinder is a unionist and socialist who stood for Mana in Manukau East last election.

And is a wishful thinker.

 So, you’re the liberal equivalent of Whale Oil, and post whatever you want with no evidence or actual facts to support?

No I protect my sources I leave it to the Mainstream media to investigate to prove me wrong.

So far the media don’t appear to have picked up on Trinder’s lame attempt at dirty politics.

Terrorist bombing suggested in reaction to Campbell Live

There’s been a lot of bizarre claims about the politics involved in the suggested review of Campbell Live. ‘Sanctuary’ is one of the more extreme. At Dim-Post (commenting on Leadership! which only talks about the commercial aspects):

I guess if John key’s cronies get to shut down all critical debate we’ll just have to start stocking up on fertilizer and diesel and try to find new ways of informing them.

That seems to be a clear suggestion of some sort of Oklahoma City bombing.

rayinnz responded:

Is this the same Sanctuary who while busily calling for a real Public Broadcasting Service was also demanding utu against journalists who he felt didn’t follow his party line
Now its armed revolution.


No one is advocating armed revolution, just suggesting the usual alternative methods of gaining the attention of politicians when all the democratic ones are taken away.

In “the usual alternative methods” he was fairly clearly advocating bombing. Reviewing Campbell Live, and shutting it down if that happens, has nothing to do with taking away democratic methods.

That isn’t the only p[lace Sanctuary has been commenting on it. At The Standard:

Public broadcasting – by which I mean not just TVNZ but all the free to air broadcasters – are almost at the logical conclusion of the free market experiment.

TV3 are obliged by the conditions of their license to offer news and current affairs. I’d revoke their licence and give it to Maori TV, along with their frequency.

I don’t know how much they are ‘obliged’ to offer news and current affairs but they are not required to continue poorly supported shows.


it is actually quite scary that the last bastion of prime time current affairs can be shut down by frankly pro-government cronies with barely a murmur. In the end, if democrracy proves to “to risky” for John Key, will it go the same way as Campbell live, accompanied by a cackle of soothing and supportive noises from Hoskings, Henry, Larry Williams and David Farrar?

That was on a post that says:

So there we have it – Key’s loyal and personal friend is out to shut down the last investigative journalism left on TV. Just a bit too inconvenient for an arrogant and incompetent government in its third-term death spiral I guess.

This is over the top drivel, but not as bad as suggesting something like this:

Disgraceful from Sanctuary, but that’s just an extreme example of a lot of nonsense being spouted over something that hasn’t even happened.

Cunliffe versus Key – debate #3

Another debate, another round of media obsessed with declaring winners and losers, another reliance on ‘polling’ that is so unscientific it should be eliminated as potentially misleading.

The debate revealed little other than more practiced lines.

Both Key and Cunliffe sounded competent enough at media presentation but both talked over their opponent and squabbled childishly too much.

There was not much indication of how a National led or Labour led Government might look.

The quality of the respective party candidates was totally absent from consideration.

How potential coalitions might look and might work was not examined at all. One party’s policies matter but what might be negotiated post-election is also critical.

What are the chances ACT push National into bringing forward their proposed tax cuts to early in the next term rather than in the third year?

Would Greens push Labour to increase the top tax rate to 38%? The minimum wage to $18?

What Cabinet position might Winston Peters negotiate? Russel Norman? Colin Craig?

I have no more idea now than before any of the three debates Cunliffe and Key have had so far.

I’m no closer to deciding who to vote for.

I doubt many people will have changed their minds after watching last night’s debates.

Pundit perceptions can be quite different to normally how disinterested voters see things.

John Campbell did a reasonable job most but struggled to control the squabbling for superiority (or sneerority)  at times. He closed the debate with a bizarre speech that tried to liken voting in New Zealand in 2014 with standing in front of a tank in China in 1989.

The fourth debate on Sunday is likely to reveal nothing other than more practiced pontificating.