Tuesday, 08 November 2016 10:45

New Zealand Herald Triumvirate


National Press Club Lifetime Achievement laureate Graham Stewart (pictured at the presentation) was on hand to greet the young Mike Robson when he signed on as cub sports reporter. Mr Stewart’s award was for his constant career in photo-journalism characterised in the second half of his career by his presence as a leading independent book publisher specialising in documentary subjects, notably transport. In this entrepreneurial role Mr Stewart was cited for his effort in generating employment for journalists. Also a presence at the Herald in that era was Sir Terry McLean who Mike Robson always described as one of his enduring mentors. Sir Terry was an inaugural laureate of the National Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Pictures below

1.  Peter Bush, Toby Robson, Marjie Robson
    2.  Krystina Tomaszyk and in background National Press Club          Life Member and INL editor Paul Cavanagh, and Barry              Durrant

 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 14:52

Yes, New Zealand Judges are Above Criticism

But their Judgments are Not

Napier, MSCNewsWire, Wednesday 18 May 2016 - In the entire sphere of jurisprudence in New Zealand nothing is quite so obscured or subject to so much ambivalence, tautology or sheer confusion as the matter of the right of citizens to censure members of the judiciary who in this matter give the impression of being as bemused on the topic as the public at large.

In the English speaking world the problem appears peculiar to New Zealand in the same way that otherwise learned and cultivated people describe here a collective of females as a group of “woman.”

The very simplicity seems to render it beyond any comprehensible analysis and thus definition.

This confusion visibly vexed Law Lord Leslie Scarman who, at a conference here, said, and we quote....

“I am going to speak to this only one more time.....It is this........You may criticise the judgment. But you many not criticise the judge.”

This succinct appraisal by Lord Scarman (pictured at the time of his visit to New Zealand) evidently fell on deaf years. So we will now paraphrase the rest of Lord Scarman’s discourse as his audience insisted on further clarification on this issue which has now entered such a fevered phase.....................

Judge John Doe, as we will call him, delivered a mild custodial sentence to an individual who painstakingly plotted the death of an innocent person going about their daily business. The individual thus sentenced, it transpired, had a criminal past and in the eyes of reasonable persons might sensibly be regarded as presenting an enduring menace to society.

Following their release after their relatively brief time in prison the individual in fact became a lethal menace to society.

A reasonable person might now reasonably cause to say or to be published words to the effect that the judgment was wrong , and misguided, and might be deemed to have even caused the death of an innocent person.

So far so good. The judgment is being criticised. Not the judge.

What cannot be said or caused to be published is that Judge John Doe came to the judgment because he, Judge John Doe, was:-
    * A drunkard
    * Of impaired mental powers
    * Knew or was otherwise acquainted with the accused

This type of criticism of a trial judge technically triggers extremely severe repercussions on those who utter them or cause them to be otherwise broadcast or published.

In New Zealand though such commentaries have been allowed to pass by, especially the one centred on the trial judge having some sympathy with the accused through acquaintance or some other common interest.

The current and demonstrable confusion on this matter and exhibited all levels of society including the judiciary itself must now be clarified and done so using the concise definition provided by Lord Scarman.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 14:44

Fairfax –APN New Zealand Merger Must Focus on Unified Christchurch Print Hub

Up up and away from Auckland (and Wellington)

Napier, MSCNewsWire, 17 May 2016 - Airfreight will determine the cost-efficiency and thus the success of the pending merger of the New Zealand subsidiaries of the Australian Fairfax and APN media chains which must now look to the skies for the mechanical economies of scale they know they must now find.

As it is the sparsely populated New Zealand is host to the two chains’ scattered printing plants strung out in a line between Auckland and Dunedin.

The opportunity exists for a forwarder to present the merging group with a scheme that would allow it to consolidate all its mechanical activities into one site.

A case for Christchurch would be the forwarder’s master stroke.

A problem for the two chains is the constant pre-occupation with three dimensional mechanical production issues at the expense of the idea ones, the ones that do not require capital investment, and which are central to success in the internet age.

In the event much of the Auckland and Wellington dailies are early material anyway with their sports updates, soft-peddle business re-hashes, generic environmental stories, and columns by local celebrities usually talk-back types presenting their glimpses of the blindingly obvious, along with political activists. Their vehicle, travel and property supplements meanwhile are hardly of hold the front page grade urgency.

A problem for the two subsidiaries is that in the past they have found it hard to cooperate and this curiously has become more evident in a shrinking market.

There was their failure to cooperate in the matter of the TradeMe acquisition. Indeed a suitable study for one of their question-marked “investigative” pieces might be entitled – What has the Newspaper Proprietors Association Been Doing?

In fact the NPA, as it is known, was the victim of its own success in the matter of cashing in at the height of the market on its collective shareholding in Reuters.

The old family proprietors trousered their winnings and sensibly left the field to the two Australian chains.

Enter now the problem of representatives around the NPA table who were several steps removed from the real decision-making which of course now took place in Australia. They were in the position of being policy implementers rather than policy makers.

There began to emerge a distracting preoccupation with things such as scholarships and also with an increasingly proliferating and bizarre swathe of awards.

Curiously, too, the emphasis went on makeup hubs at a time when subeditors and other process journalists can efficiently work from their own kitchen tables.

The Christchurch Press Johns Road printery adjacent to the South Island’s international-grade airport indicates that such an eventuality may have been anticipated.

But experience indicates localised pre-occupations with mechanical processes of the type that have become near-irrelevancies in the compoundingly disruptive internet age.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 14:24

Seriousness of Purpose is Club's Priority - President

This past year again saw the National Press Club adhering to the times and more specifically to an era in which the mainstream media pre-occupation adheres to contemporary culture rather than with the club’s mainstay of politics and hard news.

Even so our event earlier this year in handing back the green parrot artefact to the Green Parrot restaurant displayed a certain whimsicality on our behalf, admitted National Press Club president Peter Isaac in his annual report tabled at the annual general meeting in May.

The restoration event commemorated the era in which people from diverse occupations and callings were able to take up the role of newspapermen.

"Thanks to the wisdom of successive committees the club has refused to be panicked by the blend so evident today of the accelerating confluence of technical and sociological currents."

Instead the policy had been to conserve the club’s resources in order that they be deployed with an underpinning seriousness of purpose, he emphasised.

The club retains and develops numerous affiliations with other national press clubs and these "permit us to be engaged in the major ethical events of the era with www.nationalpressclub.org. routinely remaining at the very top ranking of these national sites."

One of the reasons for this was the club's new operational affiliations with the Napier-based news service MSCNewswire and the Washington-based EINPresswire service.

MSCNewswire he noted now has claims to being the pre-eminent dedicated internet news service in New Zealand and with its emphasis on commercial news is the one with the major international pick-up.

Touching upon membership issues Isaac noted that it was with deep regret that he had to report that Lifetime Achievement Award holder Connie Lawn remains severely stricken with Parkinson’s Disease. Two veterans of World War 2 also battled the effects of the passing years - Life Member Denis Adam and long time stalwart Mick Bienowski.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 08:53

 

 Green Parrot Jug returned to South Seas Longest-Operating Restaurant by VP Peter Bush, Australasia’s longest-practising journalist

MSCNewsWire-EIN-National Press Club Service, Napier, 30 March 2016 - Australasia’s longest-practising journalist Peter Bush returned to Australasia’s longest continuously-operating restaurant which is Wellington’s Green Parrot its signature and founding artefact, a green parrot ceramic jug made in Japan.

Mr Bush’s career as a photojournalist and war correspondent began in 1946, 20 years after the founding of the Green Parrot restaurant which also on this occasion celebrated its 90th birthday.

Mr Bush is vice president of the National Press Club which staged the ceremony. In fact the green parrot jug had lain unrecognised in the memorabilia of the club for many years. It had originally come into the club’s possession via an early stalwart, Tony Poynton.

He had intervened at a tense moment during the club’s post war years when it served as a de facto or curb exchange, most notably among scrap metal dealers such as Mr Poynton then was. A commanding presence, Mr Poynton’s intervention earned him the gratitude of the proprietor who stood to lose their trading licence if found to have conducted an unruly house.

The then proprietor gave the late Mr Poynton the signature jug which Mr Poynton, by now a newspaperman himself, had donated to the club to adorn any future premises.

The restoration event was emceed by National Press Club treasurer Bryan Weyburne, pictured above with Peter Bush at centre and Green Parrot proprietor Chris Sakoufakis.

Speakers noted that the occasion would in future years be viewed as recording also the transition turning point from the colourful heyday of print journalism to the present technology-pressured one.

It was noted that someone such as Mr Poynton could in those earlier days switch from metals trading to newspapers and in the process bring with them a variety of new approaches and ideas along with real-world experience.

The timing of the ceremony, it was said, also saw the era approaching of the 40 year envelope from the advent of a technology on the consumer market, in this case the internet and associated technologies, to the point at which it became pervasive and thus fully transformational.
Electricity and automobiles were quoted as two earlier examples of this 40 year take up phenomenon.

The Green Parrot restaurant was begun in 1926 by a United States merchant seaman paid off in Wellington who had acquired the jug at Yokohama and who then named his new restaurant after the fashionable ceramic ornamental piece of kitchenware.

Event seen as Line in the Sand between Old & New Eras

Kay Poynton, Tony’s sister with Yvonne Weyburne

Richard Laurenson, Hamish Hancock, Gordon Stewart, Stephen Underwood

Carol Armstrong and Luba Perry

George Westermayer and Mark Dunajtschik

Ian and Adrienne Stewart

Anne Stewart and Barry Durrant

 

Monday, 14 March 2016 13:57

Connie Lawn is First to Talk to
NZ Washington Ambassador Tim Groser

 

Greatest farm surplus ever is the
prime problem for the career trade negotiator

MSCNewsWire-EIN-National Press Club Service, NAPIER, 14 March 2016After a lifetime massaging trade deals as an official and then as a Minister of the Crown, Tim Groser finds himself negotiating his trickiest mercantilist tightrope to date. As his country’s freshly installed ambassador to Washington the urbane yet wily bureaucrat must bed down his country’s role in the TPPA which he last year described as “New Zealand’s biggest ever free trade deal.”

His problem? How to get value from the Trans Pacific arrangement for an agrarian nation at a time when parties to the arrangement, along with the rest of the developed world, enter the era of hyper farm surplus?

Nothing unusual in this, even though the surplus is of greater magnitude than anything that has gone before.

In the past, trans Pacific parties such as the United States, Australia, and New Zealand have shared a simple solution. This was to ship the surplus to the always hungry Soviet Union, or Russia as we would describe it now.

This is no longer possible due to the US invoked and vigorously policed embargo on sending anything to this old disposal market.

Neither does the vast North American market offer much hope. Nobody is more conscious than Mr Groser of the surgical delicacy required in persuading Canada to sign up to the TPPA in the face of the opposition from its French-speaking dairy farmers, the most protected anywhere on the globe.

Should Mr Groser turn his attention to Europe he can only contemplate still greater surpluses as more farm categories come off the restricted production quota list. Next off the rank, the EU sugar beet production limits.

And yet...and yet....markets are never static. Mr Groser would never utter it, and may even have disciplined himself never to think it. But daily the odds are increasing in favour of Britain’s exit from the EU.

From his Washington command-post, it is hard to imagine that Mr Groser does not see just one more trade deal, on top of all the other ones to which he has been a party?

As he suavely goes about his official rounds, might not Mr Groser be forgiven if his thoughts are pulled away from a Pacific contemplation to considering now the nearby Atlantic Ocean?

As someone as close to the epicentre of world trade as it is possible for anyone to reach, might he not just be contemplating from time to time, oooh, something like a new Commonwealth Preference regime?

One in which Euro-soured Britons return to the supplier that rescued them until quite recent times from what Mr Groser and his diplomatic colleagues would delicately describe as “food insecurity.”

When the dean of the White House Press Corps and holder of the National Press Club, Lifetime Achievement Award Connie Lawn (pictured with Mr Groser) was first through the embassy doors to discuss events with the the new ambassador, these and other elements of realpolitik became the background tapestry to the official politesse.

The lesson of very recent years, and to which the Russian embargo bears witness, is that not only is the United States run from Washington. But in large measure, so is Europe.

Photo: Dr Charles Sneiderman

Monday, 11 July 2016 09:23

Dr Liam Fox MP: Shire party members will decide next British Prime Minister

 

GP MP has had two runs at becoming leader of the Conservatives.

Napier, MSCNewsWire, Monday 11 July  2016 -  British Conservative Member of Parliament and Brexiteer Dr Liam Fox was matter of fact when several years ago he reminded a Wellington audience that leaders of the Conservative Party were chosen by “135,000 party members, most of them resident in the shires.”

Dr Fox (pictured) who put himself again this year in the running for Conservative Party leader, and thus this time also Prime Minister, has found himself dealt out of the pack prior to this decisive demonstration of grass roots party power.

The party members will now decide the result in the final run-off between contestants and joint finalists Theresa May MP and Andrea Leadsom MP.

Dr Fox, an engaging speaker responded in connection with party leadership contests in New Zealand involving National (caucus) and Labour (caucus and union). He was talking to a National Press Club meeting.

Dr Fox was then in New Zealand as shadow foreign secretary as well as Conservative Party chairman a post from which he sought initially and unsuccessfully in that era to launch himself into the full Tory leadership.

General practitioner Dr Fox has been dogged by British Parliamentary expenses revelations which were a factor in 2011 for his standing down as secretary of state for defence.

Meanwhile the party’s membership now said to be 150,000 can vote for Theresa May MP or Andrea Leadsom MP– with the result announced by 9 September. The result will be announced then in time for the Conservative party conference on 2 October, the date David Cameron gave for his successor to be in place when he resigned after the vote to leave the EU.

 

 

 

 

Page 2 of 4