Story out, The Project in?

I haven’t heard of ‘The Project’ from Australia but it is apparently coming to New Zealand to take over from the ‘Story’ timeslot on TV3.

Sydney Morning Herald: Australia’s The Project plans to conquer New Zealand

It’s a prime-time staple on Aussie screens – and now The Project is planning a Kiwi version.

Fairfax Media can reveal the current affairs show – which promises “news done differently” – is planning a Kiwi version, to launch in 2017. 

While a deal is yet to be inked, negotiations are underway between Roving Enterprises – producers of The Project in Australia – and New Zealand’s TV3 network.

It will be called The Project – but air as a half-hour program. (The Aussie version began in 2009 as The 7PM Project; in 2011, it was extended to one hour and moved to 6.30pm.)

I rarely watch Story. I might check it out but will probably rarely watch The Project.

Duncan Garner is thought to be moving from Story to the morning slot that Paul Henry will vacate at the end of this year, so probably starting next year.

New Zealand TV has struggled to deal with current affairs in prime time for a few years.

Story on the death of Moko

Story on Newshub devoted their whole programme last night to the death of Moko Rangitoheriri.

You may have heard the name Moko Rangitoheriri.

You may have heard about his brutal death.

Three-year-old Moko was so horrifically abused, tortured and beaten to death over days and weeks that his mother did not recognised him in the morgue when she had to identify him.

The coroner Wallace Bain says it’s likely to be worse than what happened to Nia Glassie who was murdered eight years ago.

This story is confronting and harrowing but one that must be told.

Young Moko was under the care of early childhood teacher Tania Shailer and David Haerewa who have pleaded guilty to his manslaughter after murder charges were dropped.

The couple was looking after Moko and his sister while their mother cared for her other son in Starship Hospital in Auckland.

Moko’s mother, Nicola Dally-Paki first heard of the harrowing details of Moko’s prolonged death from her daughter who was just seven years old at the time.

Ms Dally-Paki is speaking out publicly for the first time to get justice for Moko and because she wants her other children back from Child Youth and Family’s care.

She sat down with Story to talk about exactly what happened.

Video: Moko’s mum on her search for justice

Warning: This story contains graphic details which some may find distressing.


Psst, pass it round

Martyn Bradbury is asking social media to pass around the news about his “new progressive current affairs show”.

Pssst – there’s a new progressive current affairs show about to start 7pm weekdays to go up against Story and 7 Sharp

Pssst – TDB whanau – there’s a new progressive current affairs show about to start 7pm weekdays to go up against Story and 7 Sharp but it’s only going to succeed if you who want an alternative pass it around and share it on social media.

More details soon, but start the word now

This appears to be more about trying to stick it to the media man rather than coming up with a forward looking media format.


I’m not sure we will get any more of a good balanced idea of what is going in this country from Martyn Media. We shall see.

He gets some support from Clemgeopin:

Great idea. Looking forward to it. Make it interesting and informative. Be prepared for the attacks from the big media corporates, the right wing rogues and the RW blogs.

I don’t think the big media corporates will care much about it.


A big thumbs up for a courageous move to get the truth out there to the people. The beginning of the winds of change in visual media alternative news delivery. A definite positive.

Visual media alternative news delivery has been in the midst of a hurricane of change for yonks.

Judy Johannessen:

Looking forward to some unbiased reporting.

I look forward to seeing if that’s possible from a Bradbury enterprise.

An alternative view from Im Right (presumed apostrophe crimes –  ‘Im or I’m?).

Its the only media work you can get Martyn, internet and your own show, TV/Radio dont want to know you as you represent a tiny minority of marxist far left subvertives. Im sure your new show will all be about Key=evil, National the same, and each episode TTP bad etc etc. Good luck though, as long as my tax dollar isnt giving you a platform, its all good.

It’s good that in modern New Zealand private enterprise media is free to have a go. Whether Martyn Media makes much of an impact will be seen soon – he has indicated they will be starting up this week.

I’m curious and prepared to give it a go and see what it’s like.

More on HDPA and firearms

The purchase of a firearm by Heather du Plessis-Allan for the Story programme on TV3 continues to get attention.

The police have issued a statement:


Like the police raid on du Plessis-Allan’s house this has been criticised. Rummaging through personal belongings looking for handwriting samples seems an odd step considering she had openly described what she had done.

However while many kournbalists are condemning the police action David Fisher has written a brave and thought provoking opinion column:

Heather du Plessis-Allan and the gun: Did she find a loophole or simply break the law?

Whoever filled in the form provided some of the required details by using a bogus name and credit card number.

The section seeking the number of a firearms licence was filled using an invented number. (The invented number was checked by Gun City staff and came back from police as genuine, clearing the way for the purchase.)

Lower down the form was a section marked “Police Use Only”.

Whoever completed the form created the name of a fictitious officer and included what appeared to be a police registration number.

The requirement for the police officer’s involvement is explained at the top of the form. It quotes section 43a of the Arms Act 1983. That’s the section of the law which makes it legal for guns to be sold by mail order.

Of interest to the Story team was the legal requirement for the form to be signed by the person buying the gun, and the legal need for it to carry the endorsement of a police officer who had seen the buyer’s licence.

The “Police Use Only” section wasn’t just for decoration – it was a stated legal requirement for a mail order purchase, as was the use of a proper name. There are penalties for selling a a gun without consideration of all those steps.

I believe there was great cause for serious thought before the form was completed using bogus details. There are serious penalties around forgery, with a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

As Fisher goes on to say, this wasn’t a loophole, it appears to be breaking the law.

The law doesn’t stop anyone from walking onto the street and punching another person. It provides clear guidance why it should not be done and sets out penalties for stepping outside that law.

Almost always, a “loophole” is what is exposed when you do something the law does not cover but should. In my opinion, a “loophole” is not what you have when you break the law just to show how easy it is to break.

While it’s fair enough questioning how the Police are investigating, it’s also fair enough questioning whether the degree of law breaking was justified to point out a potential weak part of the online purchase process.




Story on the Lusk for power

Duncan Garner ran a Story story on Simon Lusk last night.

Shadowy political figure’s motto: ‘Dominate, intimidate and humiliate’

This was a risky assignment – heading into the bush to shoot wild dear with a political hitman carrying guns.

Simon Lusk is ruthless, remorseless and has no boundaries.

He’s a hunter, a fisherman, and a shadowy, secretive and mysterious backroom political operator.

People pay him to win – to take out their opponents – and he calls himself a profession political campaigner.

He is best friends with controversial blogger Cameron Slater and this is their game.

Mr Lusk has been anonymous in many campaigns but has a massive reputation, is low-profile and is supremely confident.

Story went to investigate this figure whose motto is to ‘dominate, intimidate and humiliate’ and discovered who his next target is.

His next target was named as Phil Twyford. He claimed credit for Hone Harawira losing Te Tai Tokerau last election – but Kim Dotcom might claim that dubious honour.

Lusk also said he expected Paula Bennett to be National’s next leader, and that Judith Collins had blown her chance.

Has even Lusk cut off Cameron Slater, who has still been promoting Collins and attacking Bennett?

Lusk hit jobs used to provide Slater income but the blog begging bowl seems to predomionate there now.

While dirty politics Lusk style will never disappear altogether I think his influence is over-rated (by himself), and with increasing sunlight on murky political dealings politicians with a view to future prospects will be more wary of doing business with the politically toxic.

Hamish Price is obviously not a fan:

Simon is a bit of a fantasist, actually. Many of his candidates and campaigns have flopped.

I’ve only spoken to Simon once, when I taunted him about a campaign he’d just lost. Doesn’t speak much.

His disastrous vote for change anti-MMP campaign being the most visible.

His nutty plan to take over the public service didn’t demonstrate a lot of political brilliance.

The Brash coup in Act was after Lusk had ostracised himself from the Nats.

Lusk has come out of the shadows now because his pitches for sleazy local body campaigns haven’t won any business.

Lusk is legitimate light entertainment. A great political parody.

He’s a blundering assassin who tends to shoot himself and his hunting partner in the feet most often.

Slater goes hunting with him.

Garner disappointed me at the end, seeming to accept the dirty lusk for power as just part of the game. W\e don’t need to accept that nonsense.

While they score a few victories they seem to be self defeating anyway.

UPDATE: For previous exposure of Lusk see Seriously happy to upset the status quo (Andrea Vance, May 2013)

Illegally buying a firearm

Story (TV3) ran a story last night showing how Heather Du Plessis-Allan bought a firearm, pointing out how ridiculously easy it was to buy a rifle online.

This is a serious concern – but serious concerns have also been raised about the use of a fake name and a fake firearms license number, and also allegedly used the name, ID number and signature of a fictitious police officer.

(Reports refer to a gun license – they are called firearms licences. And the ‘gun’ that was purchased was a rifle).

What you should do is print off an order form, fill it in and then go to a police station with a firearms licence to get Police to verify it and sign the form.

The Story report simply says they didn’t visit a police station.

Highlighting a problem with the ease of purchasing firearms has some merit. But forging police officer details and ‘obtaining by deception’ are potentially serious offences and the police “would not rule out charging the woman who bought the gun”.

Story reports (video at the link): Loophole in gun laws needs to close.

Story was able to obtain a rifle, but it should not have been able to happen and it was too easy to get.

There is a serious weakness in the gun laws that should be closed.

Perhaps – but how tough should procedures be to prevent false claims and forgery?

It would be interesting to know what led to Story doing this? Did someone suggest it to them? Were the ways of faking application details also suggested?

A mail order form was printed off the gun dealer’s website. A fake name and gun license number was used, and the form was not taken to a police station.

Duncan Garner says “we bought it under the name who simply doesn’t exist and who doesn’t have a firearms licence” – obviously if they don’t exist.

The form was sent to Gun City and on the same day, Story received a call.

Two phone calls happened, but information was not checked either time.

A few days later, a parcel arrived.

I could imagine someone in a rural area wanting to obtain a firearm (legally) but why in a city like Auckland? It would be far quicker and easier to do it in person at a shop – and easier to check fraud. Firearms llcences have the holder’s photo on them.

Story wants to stress that someone with a current firearms license was nearby who took possession of the rifle. It was locked away in a steel cabinet as the law requires.

Complying with bits of the law is not a defence against others. Du Plessis-Allen says they also didn’t have any ammunition for the rifle (it was .22 calibre) – a firearms licence would be necessary to purchase ammunition.

And I presume ammunition can’t be delivered along with a rifle,

Gun City is taking a private prosecution against Story and does not believe criminals exploit this weakness, so think nothing needs to change. However, they have admitted they will make changes.

I can imagine them being very unhappy about being duped into selling a firearm to Story.


$300 sounds cheap for a .22 rifle but what do you expect when the manufacturer can’t spell Sporting on the instructions.

Stuff reports that Police are investigating – Gun shop owner vows to prosecute TV3 reporter:

A gun shop owner is vowing to privately prosecute TV3 reporter Heather du Plessis-Allan, claiming she bought a gun without a licence for her current affairs show.

Auckland City Police has announced it has opened a criminal investigation into the purchase of the gun over the internet.

The police investigation stemmed from a report “from a woman alleging that false details had been used to fraudulently obtain a firearm via an online dealer”, the police statement said.

“For anyone to possess a firearm without having the necessary license is a criminal offence and, if proven in court, could result in a sentence of up to three months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $1000.

“Charges for obtaining by deception, if proven, carries penalties ranging from three months imprisonment up to seven years imprisonment depending on the value of the item obtained.”

And Gun City isn’t happy:

A gun shop owner is vowing to privately prosecute TV3 reporter Heather du Plessis-Allan, claiming she bought a gun without a licence for her current affairs show.

Owner David Tipple said the store had broken no laws – but claimed du Plessis-Allan and TV3 could be in trouble.

If police didn’t prosecute the journalists, he would take a private case against them, he said.

He claimed that: “We’ve done nothing wrong. We have completely and absolutely complied with the law.”

The form for the gun purchase had, he claimed, been forged, using a fake name against a fake gun licence number that just happened to be a valid number for a licensed New Zealand gun user.

Tipple said maybe du Plessis-Allan just got lucky with the licence number.

His bigger concern was that the gun form also featured the name, ID number and signature of a fictitious police officer.

That is a concern.

To what extent of illegality should journalists be able to go to prove deficiencies in legal procedures?

I could imagine Police not being very happy if Story did a story on how easy it was to buy drugs by buying drugs.

The Garner and du Plessis-Allan Story

Mediaworks have announced hosts for their Campbell Live replacement. Duncan Garner and Heather du Plessis-Allen, who will front a 7 pm current affairs programme called ‘Story’ on TV3

I think this will be worth checking out when it starts. I rarely watched Campbell Live but could be more interested in this combination, depending on what they cover and how they cover it.

Garner will stay on his RadioLive slot from 3-6 pm. That could work quite well with Story able to be a television follow-up on stories of the day.’

And du Plessis-Allen, rated one of their better journalists, has been nabbed from TV1.

I wonder if the Left Mob who campaigned to boycott Mediaworks after Campbell Live was scrapped will campaign for viewers to support double the front line journos on story.

The proof of Story will be in their stories, but they should at least be given a chance to prove their worth.