Sunday, 11 October 2015 10:31

Clare Hollingworth

Celebrates 104th Birthday

Was National Press Club’s

Guest for Global Women’s

Suffrage Year.

She Announced Start

of World War 2 

Clare Hollingworth the reporter who announced the start of World War 2 has celebrated her 104th birthday. The war correspondent was brought to New Zealand in 1993 by the National Press Club to speak on the topic of continuing global conflicts.

She discovered in 1939 on the border of Germany and Poland on the German side an immense and camouflaged build up of armour being readied for the subsequent invasion that detonated World War 2. Her telephoned report of this observation to Fleet Street is considered the greatest scoop of the last century.

Her book on her reporting during World War 2 is entitled “There’s A German Right Behind Me.”

She went on to report every war up to and including the Vietnam War. A resident in her later years of Hong Kong, the Foreign Correspondents Club, of which she has long been a stalwart, convened a special commemoration to mark the birthday of its most famous member.

Pictured is Clare Hollingworth in London prior to World War 2, and in Wellington with National Press Club president Peter Isaac. Her appearance in Wellington was the National Press Club’s contribution to the International Year of Women’s Suffrage in 1993.  Below Clare as war correspondent.

Saturday, 10 October 2015 09:58

 Vocation Plunges into

Low Paid Avocation

Warns White House

Press Corps Dean

White House Press Corps dean and National Press Club of New Zealand Lifetime Achievement laureate radio reporter Connie Lawn cautioned would-be journalistic practitioners about the accelerating free model in an interview with Irv Chapman (pictured below), late of ABC, CNN, and Bloomberg.

Her lawyer father, recalled Miss Lawn, at the outset of her career a half century ago, had advised her that journalism was more of an “avocation” than a “vocation.” Even then, she noted, the portents were there about the now so-evident hobby nature and impermanence of the calling.

The free model increasingly involving unpaid chores such as blogs and other such commentaries combined with falling remuneration for practitioners served to emphasise the increasing reality of the paternal prediction.


Bloggers and others in comment and opinion if they were required to making a living out of it had to find their own advertiser-sponsors, thus restricting what they could in fact say.

An Honorary Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her work in assisting the New Zealand cause in the United States Miss Lawn is exclusively pictured above with the man who presented it to her, the New Zealand Ambassador to the United States Mike Moore. He is pictured with Miss Lawn and Mrs Yvonne Moore (at right.) Mr Moore like Miss Lawn has addressed the National Press a number of times.

Press-friendly Presidents

On one occasion the former parliamentarian and head of the World Trade Organisation used the club as a forum to conduct soundings on constitutional issues.

Meanwhile, Miss Lawn recalled to interviewer Irv Chapman that the most press-friendly White House incumbents in her experience had been Jerry Ford, Ronald Regan, and Bill Clinton. In spite of the rough time he had received at the hands of the press corps, President Clinton never lost his amiability around them.

Miss Lawn was speaking to Irv Chapman in a narrow cast arranged by the National Press Club of Washington in order to commemorate the final iteration of her autobiography which in part chronicles her many years as correspondent for Radio New Zealand.

The final chapter

The new edition is entitled I Wake You Each Morning: The Final Chapter. In it she talks about the time she met Nelson Mandela and he told her he listened to her radio reports while in prison.

Returning to contemporary times Miss Lawn noted that since the presidency of the “second George Bush,” the White House had become a “passive beat” with its press conferences becoming stage managed.

The National Press Club of Washington of which Miss Lawn and Irv Chapman are stalwarts is affiliated to the Wellington club.

Monday, 05 October 2015 09:40

Brand Manufacturer Member

Wants Advertising Standards

Authority Renamed as

Complaints Authority

NoJetLag 151002

Newsmaker wants agency title to describe actual role.


National Press Club Syndicated Services: National Press Club member Andrew Criglington (pictured) describes the Advertising Standards Authority as being itself non-standardised. Businessman Mr Criglington is the proprietor of the international travel palliative No-Jet-Lag.

The authority ruled against Mr Criglington’s flagship product No-Jet-Lag on the grounds of the claim being made for it that it really works.

As a result chemists are being warned to be careful how they market homeopathic remedies.

Mr Criglington noted that in the history of manufacturing there had been no claim to the effect that a displayed product failed to work.

Motor manufacturers for example, Mr Criglington stated, advertised their products as creating carefree or safe motoring. They did so without qualifications that the same vehicle could be involved in a road crash.

Foodstuffs were routinely advertised without the manufacturers advertising the possibility of reactions due to misuse, such as overconsumption.

Mr Criglington is a former economic journalist. His No-Jet-Lag product is thought to have the predominant market share in air travel palliatives.

The product is made in New Zealand. The product is described on its packet as The Perfect Travel Companion and is described as being Homeopathic Jet Lag Prevention. Its ingredients and directions for use are detailed on the back of the pack.

Mr Criglington noted that the term really works was a value judgement exhibited by the Parnell pharmacist visited by the original single complainant, a blogger and a tweeter.

Pharmacists observed Mr Criglington were by definition and qualification entitled to advise on medicaments including homeopathic ones.

Any endorsement they made would be founded on the experience of No-Jet-Lag’s four million users claimed Mr Criglington.

He suggested that the Advertising Standards Authority use the more commonly used term of Complaints Authority which more properly described what it in fact did.

Monday, 05 October 2015 10:30

HaasMarkFoot 151002Making his mark: Author Haas with former Wairarapa district mayor and now Member of Parliament Ron Mark and National Press Club member Denis Foot.

South Seas Public Intellectual
Tony Haas Returns to Roots
to Launch Autobiography
Being Palangi

National Press Club member Tony Haas’ 50 year career as a South Seas public intellectual was capped in the remote New Zealand valley of his childhood with the publication of his book Being Palangi-My Pacific Journey.

The autobiography begins with Haas’ paternal grandfather, a prominent Bundestag figure of the inter war era telling his son, Haas’ father, to put as much distance as possible between he and Germany.

Which is what happened with Haas Snr settling in New Zealand and then taking up a farm near Pahiatua in a region itself geographically distant, the Wairarapa Valley.

Haas charts his own Jewish raising in the secular New Zealand, and how as a student at Victoria University, Wellington, he was to identify his trademark cause of Pacific multi culturalism which he was to pursue as researcher, publisher, broadcaster, writer, traveller, family man, and all-purpose advocate.

Also chronicled is how Haas fell under the spell of fellow journalist Michael King the pre-eminent chronicler of his era of the Maori experience. He recounts how he vowed then, with King’s encouragement, to do for Oceania what King had done for New Zealand.
HaasLineUp 151002Pacific stars: Long time Wairarapa local politician Bob Francis attentive while launcher-in-chief broadcaster Ian Johnstone outlines Haas’ life and times, and Mandarin Rob Laking listens,
as does Haas, and United Nations Lebanon-based refugee topsider Ross Mountain.

Hedly 151002Generating: Dynastic Wairarapa book retailer and publisher David Hedley (centre)with (left) assistant manager Steve Trotman and Bob Francis.

Saturday, 06 December 2014 13:34 Written by

Lifetime Achievement Award Laureate Connie Lawn is Dean of White House Press Corps

See: Tribute to New Zealand’s Presidential Insider


Lifetime Achievement Award Laureate Connie Lawn is Dean of White House Press Corps

Monday, 05 October 2015 11:13

NoOne 151002

Brazil Envoy Emphasises

Language & Cultural Objectives

The 193rd anniversary of the independence of Brazil drew as guests National Press Club president Peter Isaac and newsmakers Bill and Donas Nathan (pictured). Sometime soldier, IT executive, state protocol official and impresario Mr Nathan’s work in the performing arts corresponds with the Brazil embassy in Wellington work in supporting Polynesian and Latin American cultural links.

Meanwhile Ambassador Eduardo Gradilone drew attention to the accelerating Brazil/New Zealand student exchange scheme – an indicator of the flourishing relationship between the two countries.
He also spoke of the value in this of New Zealanders learning Portuguese and Brazilians learning English. With over 200 million speakers worldwide Portuguese is a substantially more widely spoken language than for example French.

Brazil opened an Embassy in Wellington in 1997 taking the initiative in the New Zealand Government’s Latin American Strategy announced in August 2000. This was followed up with the establishment of the New Zealand Embassy in 2001 which reinforced a trade office opened in São Paulo in 1999.

The 20th annual gathering of Central Districts/ Wellington region journalists this year also served as a milestone for perpetual host New Zealand Farmer editor Jon Morgan's own half century in harness.

He signed on under the old cadet apprenticeship scheme in his teens and soon began specialising in rural and agribusiness reporting which has remained his focus ever since. In recent years he has found himself shifting from the press bench to the judges rostrum, adjudicating on exhibits at agricultural shows and field days.

The event also gives his guest-colleagues an insight into their hosts' own pastoral and horticutural skills because the venue is the Morgan's own property in the Horowhenua - Kapiti district.

      Post prandial. Evening Post's Penny Harding Gary Connor

Continue here for more photos

Monday, 05 October 2015 11:23

Clumsy Emails Crash Through News Noise Level

 Interview with National Press Club president Peter Isaac

Q: We are now well into the internet age. You were a major player in the predictions industry. Looking back, where would you say you rank?

A:     Let us look at my foolish prediction made in this same feature several years ago about the citizen-journalist. I forecast well-intentioned amateurs taking over. In the event what has happened? Almost the opposite. Highly organised special-interest groups such as the Taxpayers Union are making the running. They are the ones revealing the sister-city jaunts and all the other newsworthy elements of local government life that were once a staple of the press. So my prediction of lone-wolves doing the leg work was wrong. What has happened is that doctrinally driven and very organised groups have taken the lead. Not the individuals that I had predicted.

Q: There seems to be this drift to the right in the internet political spectrum?

A: I utterly failed to see this. The evidence of this imminent swing was there to be seen, perfectly clear in the wisdom of hindsight. The chorus of symmetrically similar views from the mainstream print and the broadcast media bored the socks off everyone. Even if they  agree with it, people wanted some variety. This came from the right in the form of these agenda emails and blogs. The usual liberal and leftie ones are still there. But they have no pick up.

Q: How did this step-change come about?

A: It had its beginnings in elements of talk-back radio and this is pretty much where it stayed and still stays. But these outfits such as the Taxpayers Union picked up on it, detected the trend, and pursued it.

Q: The Taxpayer Union relies on clumsily designed mass emails to get its counter-message across?

A: This surprised me too. My thinking had revolved around slick web sites padded with entertainment sucrose and with the emails merely calling attention to them. In the event they went direct and the email became the message.

Q: This pick up happened quickly?

A: This surprised me. When I started receiving these emails I thought they were banging their heads on a brick wall. The reason being that the journalistic mentality usually has to be led backwards over a story, rather than have their reportorial faces slammed into it.

Q: Let us turn to the big picture now. You are an old print man. How do you see the chains?

A: The problem for the chains is that the advertising agencies are successfully persuading them to aim at those in their teens, twenties, and thirties.

Q: What is wrong with this demographic?

A: When did you last see anyone under the age of 50 read the print version of a newspaper? They are compounding this with these full front page splashes. This is all the more weird with the Dominion Post which is a broadsheet. They are forever seeking to make the pulling out of a bath plug seem like the sinking of the Wahine. Print must distinguish itself from broadcasting. John Campbell found himself on the eclipse because his bosses kept seeing numbers that indicated that frantic sensationalism was falling as a viewer demand.

Q: Is this pick up of these rightward email news-breakers a long or a short term phenomenon?

A: They are doing the old fashioned leg and tipster work and as long as they do this there will continue to be pick up. Curiously the same thing now applies on the email commentaries, however highfalutin’. The New Zealand Initiative, the rump of the old Roundtable, also now enjoys pick-up via its rather more stylish email bulletins.

Q: Is there a formula here?

A: ACT started it with their cheeky emails. You are about to delete it. Then you think to yourself – better have a look, might be something important . Someone else might see it. Pick it up. The others followed in ACT’s footsteps with these acerbic snippets. Meanwhile our friends on the left of the political spectrum relied on their web sites and their ponderous essays therein.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015 14:42

Remembering Thea Muldoon

An Interview with National Press Club President Peter Isaac

Dame Thea Muldoon Personified an Era. 
She Gave Shortest New Zealand Speech Ever

Max Farndale publisher of MSC Newswire.Washington-based news agency EIN Presswire has embarked upon a joint venture with the National Press Club. The venture sends news about the New Zealand productive sector to North America and the rest of the world. The arrangement was put together by Max Farndale (pictured at side) publisher of MSC Newswire. It is the affiliate of the Washington news company.

The proprietor of EIN Presswire David Rothstein (pictured underneath) declared that the joint venture was part of his organisation’s world-wide emphasis on the productive sector and especially in manufacturing.

"New Zealand has this reputation in North America and Europe for honesty of purpose blended with an inventive sense of industry. There is now this opportunity of presenting the products of this to the world at large."


The Washington news agency turned to MSC Newswire to develop the channel for New Zealand manufacturer news into the North American market. It was then that Mr Farndale talked to the National Press Club to assist in the venture.

MSC Newswire is the only such organisation in Australasia dealing exclusively in productive sector news. All the other agencies focus on the financial news and politics spectrum.

Mr Farndale observed that New Zealand’s economy rests on its ability to produce products that people need and which are three dimensional..

Since the 1987 crash in which New Zealand lost all its banks and insurance companies along with 150 years worth of accumulated capital, it had ceased to be regarded globally as a repository of financial expertise, an impression confirmed since 2007 when almost all its finance companies had gone to the wall.

“So our focus is on manufacturing, production engineering, and processing, spheres in which New Zealand enjoys a high and sustained reputation.”

The joint venture organised by MSC Newswire has run since the start of the last quarter of 2014. According to Mr Farndale data reveals that over half the audience for the New Zealand productive sector stories is now within North America.

“It is one of those examples of an outsider, in this case Washington’s EIN Presswire, seeing an opportunity that was hiding in plain sight of the locals,” commented Mr Farndale.

MSC Newswire is based in Hawkes Bay which Mr Farndale considers one of the hearts of the productive sector. The company was formed two years ago.

The National Press Club’s role is to use its members own resources to identify products and companies of interest. The club’s newsmaker category includes industrialists, technicians, and administrators in the productive sector.

The procedure is for the New Zealand productive sector stories to enter the project via MSC Newswire and for these stories then to be vectored onto EIN Presswire’s global network.

“It is an example of the kind of leverage that can be obtained through this joint approach. In this case it means that New Zealand’s productive sector news is seen by an audience hundreds of times greater than if the same stories had been restricted to just local consumption,” added Max Farndale

“It overcomes the problem of New Zealand producers marketing back to themselves and to the people who already know all about them, and what they are doing. It has opened up an entirely new world for the productive sector here.”

The proprietor of EIN Presswire David Rothstein (pictured underneath) declared that the joint venture was part of his organisation’s world-wide emphasis on the productive sector and especially in manufacturing.