Don Brash to take Hobson's Pledge into General Election---says Ordinary People Fear Speaking Out on accelerating Separatism

MSC Newswire - National Press Club service - Napier, Friday 3 March 2017  |  Nobody today in so many different roles and for quite so long has stood at the centre of public life so enduringly as Don Brash. Economist, businessman, banker, politician, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank and leader of the National Party has defied typecasting. At one and the same time severe yet extravagant, austere yet colourful, scholarly yet populist, he has contrived always to reconfigure himself around the times. Now he has stridently intervened in institutionally-fuelled separatism. Shrouded in a protective veneer of high-minded fashionable purpose that makes ordinary people fearful to question it, Dr Brash vehemently, unequivocally declares the voguish syndrome as ultimately destined to tear the nation apart......

You are often considered to be at heart primarily concerned with matters economic and their corresponding data. Yet here you are now immersing yourself in what many might consider a socio-ethical issue?

Yes, most of my career has been about monetary policy, banking, and economic issues more generally. But my interest in economics has always been because of my interest in the well-being of society more generally. I have long felt, for example, that it will be difficult or impossible to maintain a broadly egalitarian society in New Zealand – the kind of society in which I was brought up – if average living standards fall too far below those in Australia because of the ease with which skilled New Zealanders can cross the Tasman for very much higher incomes in Sydney or Melbourne.

If we want the kind of healthcare which those in advanced developed countries take for granted, we have to have the living standards to support that healthcare. A few years ago, there was a big debate about whether Pharmac should subsidize the provision of Herceptin for the treatment of certain kinds of breast cancer, and it was noted that Australia did so. The fact of the matter was that at that time virtually all the countries which subsidized access to Herceptin had higher living standards than New Zealand did; those which did not provide a subsidy, had lower living standards – we were right on the cusp. For me, interest in economics has always been about the implications of economic policy for the well-being of society.

Hence, I was strongly opposed to inflation in part at least because of the totally capricious effects which inflation has on wealth distribution – those who save in fixed interest instruments being thoroughly gutted by inflation, while those who borrow heavily to invest in, say, property, make huge and totally untaxed gains with little or no effort. That has always seemed to me to be grossly unjust.

Will the Hobson’s Pledge Movement become a force in the pending general election?
I certainly hope so. I find it very depressing that the National Party has moved such a long way from its roots in this policy area. In 2002, Bill English gave a lengthy and very thoughtful speech, demonstrating clearly that Maori chiefs had ceded sovereignty in signing the Treaty and arguing that the only way for a peaceful future for New Zealand was a “single standard of citizenship for all”.

In May 2003, he pledged that a future National Government would scrap separate Maori electorates, as the Royal Commission on the Electoral System had recommended in the late eighties if MMP were adopted. I made similar commitments when I was Leader of the National Party, as did John Key in the election campaign of 2008. And yet we’ve seen the National-led Government retreat a very long way from that position.

I applaud the fact that the current Government has accelerated the resolution of historical grievances, but utterly deplore the fact that too often resolution has involved not just financial redress but also “co-governance”.

We see the proposed amendment to the RMA requiring all local councils to invite their local tribes into so-called “iwi participation agreements”, involving co-governance on a grand scale. We saw the legislation establishing the Auckland super-city requiring an Independent Maori Statutory Board, with the Auckland Council giving members of that unelected Board voting rights on most Auckland Council committees.

We see the Government negotiating behind closed doors with the so-called Iwi Leaders Group to give tribes some form of special influence over the allocation of water, despite pretending to believe that “nobody owns water”. We see a proposal to make half the members of the Hauraki Gulf Forum tribal appointees.

The myth that the Treaty of Waitangi created some kind of “partnership” between Maori on the one hand (or more accurately, those who can claim at least one Maori ancestor, always now along with ancestors of other ethnicities) and the rest of us on the other is increasingly accepted as Holy Writ, subscribing to which is becoming essential for many positions in the public sector.

So I’m very much hoping that Hobson’s Pledge can help to substantially reverse this highly undemocratic drift after the next election.

You say that the National government is “pandering” to “separatist demands.” Which of these demands do you consider the most dangerous?

Where do I start? I’ve just listed some of the specific policies which are totally inconsistent with any reasonable definition of democracy. Most of those specific policies stem from the underlying myth that the Treaty established some kind of “partnership” between those with a Maori ancestor and those of us without, as I’ve just mentioned. But as David Lange said in the Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture in 2000, “the Court of Appeal once, absurdly, described [the Treaty] as a partnership between races, but it obviously is not. The Treaty itself contains no principles which can usefully guide government or courts.... To go further than that is to acknowledge the existence of undemocratic forms of rights, entitlements, or sovereignty.”

All the specific examples I gave in answer to the previous question stem from the underlying nonsense that there are two (and only two!) distinct groups of New Zealanders, those with preferential constitutional rights and those without them. This is leading New Zealand to disaster with a whole generation of part-Maori believing that they really do have superior constitutional rights to the rest of us.

To what degree would you ascribe this separatist development agitation as being primarily a project of the political class from whatever background?

Certainly, I think what you call the “political class” is the main driver of this separatist agitation, together with arguably most of the educational establishment, where adherence to so-called “Treaty principles” seems to be an absolute prerequisite for appointment to any teaching or leadership position.

The same is true in the public healthcare sector. But there is plenty of evidence that large numbers of the “general public” do not support the separatist agenda but are literally cowed into silence on the issue.

I regularly get people sidle up to me in the street and, after looking furtively up and down the street lest they are recognized by friends or acquaintances, tell me that they strongly agree with me. One university professor did this recently, but swore me not to mention his name or university department. And some of these people are Maori.

Of course, Hobson’s Pledge has two official spokespeople, one of whom is me and the other is Casey Costello, a woman of Ngapuhi and Anglo-Irish ancestry. But two of our very strongest supporters (though not members of our council) are Maori – one a prominent member of the Ngapuhi tribe and the other Ngati Porou.

The latter was a member of our council when we first established Hobson’s Pledge but, because he is closely associated with a political party, withdrew lest his membership of Hobson’s Pledge raise a question about whether we are a front for the political party he is closely associated with.

He resents the separatist agenda because he believes strongly that it is patronizing, implying that Maori aren’t quite good enough to make it successfully without these constitutional preferences.

Bearing in mind your underpinning career in banking, economics and looking now at the broader picture: where is the country now in your view in terms of nuts and bolts things such as balance of payments and foreign debt?

Compared with some other countries, we are in a good spot, with the economy growing, unemployment fairly low and government debt modest relative to GDP. Our banking sector is in reasonable shape. Even the extent of the country’s (public and private sector) total net external indebtedness is somewhat better than it was a decade ago, though still high by developed country standards.

But there are significant problems just below the surface of that apparently rosy picture. Yes, the economy is growing, but that is largely because the number of people in the workforce is growing strongly because of a high level of net immigration: productivity, and thus per capita income, is growing very slowly indeed, and the Government’s initial objective of closing the income gap with Australia by 2025 is not only not going to be achieved, the gap hasn’t reduced materially over the last eight years.

The ratio of government debt to GDP is modest by the standards of many other developed countries, but the Key Government did absolutely nothing to prepare the population for the need to adjust, for example, the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation if government debt is not to explode, relative to GDP, over the next few decades. (Mr English, to his credit, has refused to renew Mr Key’s pledge on this issue.)

And while the country’s net external indebtedness, relative to GDP, has improved somewhat in recent years, that external indebtedness remains at a high level, the consequence of New Zealand’s running a current account balance of payments deficit every year since 1974. Much of that deficit has been funded by banks borrowing on the international markets to fund the explosion of private sector housing debt, the result in turn of another serious policy failing, the failure to deal with the enormous increase in the price of housing (or more accurately, of residential land).

“Trying to predict President Trump through traditional means, such as monitoring after-the-fact media, is like using ouija boards, tarot cards, and horoscopes”---Scot Faulkner

The newly installed Trump Administration continues to catch New Zealand officialdom by surprise. So National Press Club president Peter Isaac asked Washington insider Scot Faulkner (above) what Wellington’s response should in fact be? Mr Faulkner was elected the first Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. His reforms became a model for the operation of national parliaments around the world.

The New Zealand Foreign Ministry has set up a special focus group solely for the purpose of identifying early warning of new policies promulgated by President Trump, the ones which will have an impact on this country. Can you short circuit this by helpfully forecasting any of these pending surprise policies?

The New Zealand Foreign Ministry’s Trump Task Force will only be of value if it discards long held assumptions and embrace a totally new way of thinking and acting. Trying to predict Trump through traditional means, such as monitoring after-the-fact media, is like using ouija boards, tarot cards, and horoscopes.

The Ministry’s primary objective should be to move at “Trump speed” and navigate in Trump’s world. Non traditional sources, non traditional methods will be keys to success. Thinking like a visionary risk-taking entrepreneur instead of a politician is the first step into this new reality.

Trump is unique. No one like him has ever been the President of the United States. While a few Presidents had business experience, their main credentials were either the military or government. America usually faced political or military crises. The 2007-2008 economic collapse convinced most Americans that something radical was necessary. So they rallied around a businessman who was known to most as a reality television star. As Trump stated, “everyone else has failed you – what do you have to lose? Try me.”

Trump’s unique background means unique thought patterns and processes. President Trump gets his ideas, news, and validation from places never before involved in governing. He is fearless, non linear. He embraces chaos, acts on intuition, moves quickly, and uses surprise as a strategic weapon. Sometimes only he knows the ultimate objective. He is a student of military history, especially Sun Tzu. That is what gave him the winning edge in business, the Republican primaries, and the 2016 general election.

Trump’s new Administration is already being tested by China, Russia, and a variety of other nations. President Trump’s responses will indicate many things: how fast he responds, how he responds, how he views the challenge and the challenger, how he frames the challenge within his existing world view, how willing is he to vary from stated positions to address a unique situation, how willing is he to escalate, whose advice does he value, who he collaborates with, and who, how, and what does he communicate regarding the challenge to Congress, the American public, and other nations.

New Zealand needs to understand that the next four to eight years has a very different global player. Trump’s approach will be very personal, intimate, intuitive, immediate, chaotic, and against all conventional wisdom, very successful.

All the indications are that the New Zealand diplomatic apparatus in New York and Washington was wrong footed by the Trump ascendancy. This led to falling in line with the Obama era last moment positioning of New Zealand as co-endorser of the UN anti-Israel resolution. Does New Zealand need to backtrack here?

New Zealand should always be wary of being pulled into American politics. Obama’s last minute swipe at Israel during his waning days as President should have been avoided at all costs. Obama’s behind the scenes orchestration of the resolution, which was being delayed until the new Administration, was ill-advised and dilatory. It undermined decades of America being a positive force in the region.

President Trump is a great friend of Israel. He and his team believe that, historically, enemies of America have funded the radical elements of the Palestinian cause.

Trump is committed, heart & soul, to destroying radical Islam and reining-in Iran. His priority is working with those nations that share his view. He sees Israel, and the moderate Arab governments, like Egypt and Jordan, as allies in eradicating ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and their regional and tribal affiliates throughout the Arab world, Asia, and Africa.

Trump and his foreign policy team fundamentally differ from the Neo-conservatives who surrounded President George W. Bush. They adhere more to the Reagan-Thatcher/John-Paul II approach of destroying tyranny, but not trying to second guess centuries of local custom through nation building. America’s role is to inspire, not intervene, in a nation’s journey toward a freer society.

Israeli settlements are far more complex than the media portrays. Palestinian contractors and workers build Israeli settlements. West Bank unemployment soars whenever Israel slows or suspends new settlements. The chasm between peaceful, free, and democratic Israel and violent, oppressive, Islamic failed states in the region is stark. Land for Peace has been a chimera for Israel. De-radicalizing Palestinian leaders and their movement would go further in creating lasting peace than continuing to place the onus on Israel.

The Anti-Israel Resolution validated Trump’s view that the United Nations is currently there to promote radical anti-Western policies while wasting vast sums of money. It further proves his wisdom of pursuing America’s interests through bilateral, not multilateral, arrangements.

New Zealand has supported in spirit the US-EU trade embargo against Russia called up by President Obama. Is there a defined timetable to conclude this embargo?

There is no defined timetable for ending or modifying the trade embargo against Russia.

President Trump and his inner circle have a non-ideological practical “America first” world view. It harkens back to the 17th/18th Centuries. During that era, Western nations united to stop the expansion of the Ottoman Empire then competed, sometimes violently, to dominate world trade.

President Trump wants to build relationships with Russia and China for ridding the world of rogue players – radical Islam, Iran, and North Korea. This is why he picked Rex Tillerson, who has strong relationships with Russia as his Secretary of State, and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who is friends with President Xi Jinping, as Ambassador to China. This is also why Trump picked a skilled fighter, James Mattis, as his Secretary of Defense.

Trump’s trade and business team is equally ready to help America win in world commerce. Wilbur Ross, Steve Mnuckin, and Robert Lighthizer will aggressively negotiate favorable trade agreements and rebuild U.S. competitiveness.

Russia remains problematic as its adventurism in Ukraine and intimidation of the Baltic States complicates Trump’s desire to be “frenemies”. Tillerson will be challenged to craft the right mix of incentives and punishments to refocus Russo-American relations. The current US-EU trade embargo will be assessed within this context.

The Transpacific Partnership Agreement signed in Auckland last year was No 1 on President Trump’s hit list. Looking at the longer term where do you see the advantages/disadvantages in this?

President Trump is all about building one-on-one personal relationships with world leaders. Bi-lateral relationships were his strong suit in business and will serve him well as President. They allow him more flexibility and agility. He has little interest in multi-lateral agreements or entities.

This is why TPP was in his cross hairs as a candidate and now as President. New Zealand and other TPP nations need to offer their best “value proposition” for trade relationships that will benefit the U.S. as much as themselves. These are the kinds of agreements that will get Trump’s attention and become his priority.

Trump prides himself on the foreign investments in America he has facilitated or promoted. He wants American companies to “come home” to America, and foreign companies to settle in America. Trump’s goal is to bring the best of the world to America to rebuild infrastructure and generate lasting employment opportunities. There is a new world of opportunity for New Zealand investment and partnering in America.

Given the available evidence it is hard not to conclude that officials here have only a threadbare understanding of what is going on in the relevant circles of United States policymaking. Where should they be looking? Who should they be talking to now?

Trump’s tweets remain the best original source. Trump won the nomination and the general election by going directly to the public. Over 50 million Americans follow Trump on Twitter and Facebook. The Washington-New York media have become completely irrelevant to the Trump Administration and to Trump’s America.

President Trump has revolutionized the way policy is created, promoted, and implemented. The establishments within the Federal Government, Congress, media, academia, and policy forums, still do not have a clue about what is happening before their eyes.

America’s post-Cold War drift through four failed Presidents has come to an end.

Reagan won the Cold War by using skills he developed in movies and television to command the world stage. Those skills destroyed the Soviet Empire, relaunched the U.S. economy, and redefined the role of government. Trump is using his business and reality television skills to command the world stage for himself and the United States. Like Reagan, Trump is seeking to defeat tyranny, in this case radical Islam, relaunch the U.S. economy, and not just redefine, but completely reinvent government. The establishment dismissed Reagan until he succeeded. The establishment is dismissing Trump, and will be just as embarrassed should he succeed.

Conservative talk radio speaks for Trump and puts his actions and tweets into context. They aggressively expose the liberal media and the Democrats when they promote fake news and conspiracies about Trump. Trump watches Fox news, listens & calls into conservative talk radio, and avidly follows their social media posts. Each validates the other. The most articulate and insightful conservative commentators are Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levine, and Chris Plante. Washington-based WMAL radio hosts all three.


 

Warco Chris Turver
Honoured for Services
To Local Government,
Community & Journalism

 

National Press Club’s Chris Turver, appointed MNZM is drawn to the very different spheres of action, ideas, and public administration. He was born into strife in the industrial north of England at the height of the Blitz. He went on to become the first official war correspondent from New Zealand at the height of the Vietnam conflict.

As the New Zealand Press Association’s war correspondent of the era he was to touch down on several other conflicts of various intensities, notably in Borneo. He was embedded on the RNZN deployment to Mururoa.

Subsequently Christopher Turver (pictured, above) was to deploy here his own and still earlier experience gained as a pavement-level daily newspaper reporter in his native UK.

His near two decades as divisional editor, notably on the political desk, on Radio New Zealand brought a seasoned print-journalism level of unremittingly disciplined concision and impartiality to RNZ during its glory days before its eclipse by privatisation and then by the audience fractionalisation wrought by the internet.

At the conclusion of this tour of duty his career went anywhere but on the spike. He launched himself into local government as Kapiti district representative on the Wellington Regional Council. He became chief executive of the Royal New Zealand Coastguard Federation. He served on the district health board.

Later his public service career has embraced still further roles in which he has become president of the Paraparaumu RSA and chairman of the Electra Trust which represents district power users.

Christopher Turver JP’s Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit citation was for “services to journalism, local government and the community.”


 

Morgan's Runabout
On Display at
 Annual Journo
March Past

Energetic agricultural specialist Jon Morgan decided to acquire a new car in order to commemorate his 50 years in journalism. The hands-on reporter opted for both substance and style. He acquired the very last of the British premium luxury cars in service in the New Zealand corporate and official sphere--- the Rover that was once also  the standard limousine for diplomats and cabinet members.

The vehicle with its smooth leather and wood upholstery is barely run-in.  The acquisition went on display at the 22nd annual review of long serving Wellington region journalists which is always held in January on the Morgan estate near Otaki.


 


 

Death of Clare Hollingworth
Greatest reporter of
Last Century

Clare Hollingworth, the outstanding reporter of the last century, has died in Hong Kong at the age of 105.

Her greatest scoop was the announcement of the start of World War 2.

Clare Hollingworth (pictured) was the National Press Club’s International Year of Womens’ Suffrage guest speaker. She was brought to Wellington by the National Press Club in association with the British High Commission.

At that time the war in the Balkans was underway

Miss Hollingworth in her talk to the National Press Club outlined the ethnic and religious rifts and their genesis which were to become so evident in this century.

“Just because your neighbour watches the same television programmes that you watch does not mean that they will share your opinions,” she said.

Miss Hollingworth was the first British female war correspondent.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong announced her death.

''The FCC is very sad to announce the passing of its much beloved member Clare Hollingworth at age 105.”

 


 

Washington Club Member
Runs Central Districts
Radio Station

Washington National Press Club member Victoria Gaither (pictured at right) is now running a radio station in the heart of New Zealand’s Central Districts.

She worked for many years for ABC and NBC and began her career with ABC’s Ted Koppell one of the signature broadcaster anchors during the heyday of network television.

After her tour as news anchor, reporter, and producer she anticipated the present era of narrow-casting and decided to focus on community broadcasting.

It was now that she encountered New Zealand community broadcast specialist Stu Frith. The result is the Central Districts station, International Connection Radio.

The region has long been regarded as favourable to news media in all its forms. In recent memory the two main centres, Wanganui and Palmerston North, each supported morning and afternoon daily newspapers.

In the Westminster sphere, New Zealand was a pioneer in the introduction of private radio and the region has long hosted an in-depth variety of broadcasters.

The station is based in the old flax port town of Foxton which remains the region’s heritage focus.

She has found the area quite literally receptive to the introduction of enhanced community participation broadcasting which she describes as being in essence a form of networking.

Under the New Zealand club’s reciprocal arrangement with the Washington National Press Club, Victoria Gaither enjoys full membership rights.

 

 

 

 


 

Le Parisien Determined to Identify What Voters Believe in place of what elites believe they believe.

Paris’ leading daily newspaper, the tabloid Le Parisien-Aujourd’hui en France has outlawed from its pages all poll-based predictions on the pending presidential election.

The centrist popular daily blames unquestioning reliance on polls, known in France as “soundings” to have led to the embarrassing set of circumstances in which Alain Juppe was unanimously predicted to become the successful candidate of the right-of-centre Republican Party.

In the event, and as MSC Newswire’s European correspondent had predicted, (see our story below) the successful candidate was Francois Fillon who now becomes the favourite to win the pending presidential (i.e. general) election.

In the same forecast, MSC Newswire had also predicted that current president Francois Hollande would not be the Socialist Party candidate in the election. In the event, and several days after our prediction, Mr Hollande stood down.

Meanwhile, according to Le Parisien, the elimination of polls, soundings, and other tendentious content will be replaced by plain and simple reporting.

The objective being to report what people are in fact thinking in place of the former practice of reporting on what a narrow elite believe, or want to believe, everyday people are thinking.

According to our European correspondent, Alain Juppe’s “Happy Identity” slogan was only finding approval among the media.

Similarly Mr Juppe’s involvement with a funds scandal, which had caused him to live in Canada, was taken seriously by voters, if not the media.

Also, the idea of a Clintonesque co-presidency (see front page), while attractive to the media, nonetheless dismayed the public at large, as it did voters in the United States presidential election.

From the MSCNewswire reporters' desk  |  Thursday January 5 2017  |

 


The End of the Politically Correct

Our foreign correspondent forecast the Trump victory, and now previews the fall of France’s Francois Hollande ....

| Napier, MSCNewsWire, Nov 24, 2016 | - The predicted fall of France’s president Francois Hollande in next year’s election will bring to a close the initial era of political correctness. He is scheduled to become the third big-economy leader victim within less than a year of the accelerating electoral power of the non-political class.

Mr Hollande is known as the King of Consensus. His determination prior to any decision to canvass every opinion and nuance in his own Socialist Party and also in the string of other French leftward parties conveyed an impression of dithering in the face of islamic insurgency.

Instead of being seen to be heading a tough reaction Mr Hollande’s nature lead him to be more at home leading candle lit marches, vigils and uttering trite panaceas in the face of the emergency. It was left to his prime minister Manuel Valls to express the public mood about the threat throughout France of rampant religious extremism.

Worse still, Mr Hollande was viewed as being over-preoccupied by the star studded Paris climate conference with its breathtaking ritual insights into the blindingly obvious instead of with the much more visible and immediate terrorist threat

The most visible manifestation of Mr Hollande’s pending loss of the presidency is the number of his own hand-picked cabinet members who are deserting the sinking ship. The “frondeurs” as the rebels are known are setting themselves up, they are still in their 30s and 40s, for the 2022 election.

There is though in the anticipated disappearance of Mr Hollande a signal point of difference with those other landmark scupperings of the political classes, Brexit and Trump. The difference is that this time everyone is expecting it.

The winner of the French Republican Party primaries is now looked to as the winner of the presidency. This is looking, in fact, increasingly like former premier Francois Fillon.Mr Hollande’s political career has been an inch-by-inch bureaucratic progression characterised by a reverse Clinton-effect process.

His life-mate Segolene Royale (pictured above with Hollande) with whom he has four children was the glamorous one. Her attempt to crack the French version of the glass ceiling was more spectacular than anything attempted by Hillary.

In the event she lost to Sarkozy.

It was now that that the blander Francois entered the lists and in doing so streamlined his approach by parting from Segolene.  The go-it-alone Francois now beat the unpopular Nicolas Sarkozy and the ElyseesPalace was his and his Socialist Party’s.

Four and a half years later he looks like a president who knows he can’t win. He is unlikely to hand over to the rather more decisive figure of his prime minister Manuel Valls.

No major economy leader, not even President Obama, personifies so closely as does Francois Hollande the twin pillars of diversity and multiculturalism which in France’s case are supercharged by the Revolutionary code of the Rights of Man.

Few doubt his sincerity of purpose. It is just that as with the other casualties of this new wave politics, the Clintons, he found himself reading from an out-of-date script.

 

Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to Family of
Mike Robson who
Led Rupert Murdoch
Era Interests Here

At a ceremony in Wellington in November the National Press Club presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to the family of the late managing director of the INL Group Mike Robson. The citation read:- In recognition of Mike’s extraordinary contribution in many roles and over many years to journalism.
Mr Robson died suddenly in 2000 at the age of 61 at the height of his powers in guiding New Zealand’s 12th largest company with its interests in daily newspapers, commercial printing, periodicals distribution and retailing along with broadcasting.

Mr Robson’s career began as a sports reporter on the New Zealand Herald. He gravitated to general reporting and it was now that he became a wire service correspondent in the United States and Europe. He then became editor of Wellington’s Evening Post and it was here that Mr Robson’s low-key and thoughtful approach came to the attention of INL managing director Alan Burnet. Mr Burnet appointed him as assistant managing director. Upon the retirement of Mr Burnet it was Mike Robson’s turn to take over as managing director.

The skill of this duo, according to National Press Club president Peter Isaac, was to integrate the diverse media and printing organisation into direct input electronic handling and then to ensure a smooth transition into the internet era. Mr Robson’s death occurred only several months after INL’s internet site Stuff went live.

Their success in bringing about this transition was characterised by Mr Burnet going on to lead the government’s Communications Advisory Council responsible for setting national standards and governance.

Singled out at the gathering for special mention was Mr Robson’s easy relationship with the then proprietor of New Zealand’s INL Group, Rupert Murdoch. The strength of this working relationship, it was noted, played out to the benefit of the group’s journalists of that era.

It was observed that Mr Robson’s era encompassed Wellington’s epoch as Oceania’s media city with its two newspapers which co-existed long after other centres had been forced to shut down their evening daily.

The holding of the presentation ceremony in the heart of Wellington’s entertainment district symbolised Mr Robson’s tenure as editor of the Evening Post which had flourished through exercising a street-level ability to portray Wellington in all its nooks and crannies and diverse ways of life. It was said that Mike Robson never fell into the “trappings trap.”

The plaque was presented to representatives of the family by National Press Club vice president Peter Bush, an early colleague of Mr Robson’s on the New Zealand Herald.

In response, Mr Robson’s widow Marjie recalled how her husband possessed a literary passion as counterweight to his sporting enthusiasms. This had been nurtured by his parents during his years growing up on a Pukekohe dairy farm. His quest to educate himself had accelerated during his tour of duty in the United States where the couple had met. She recalled that when Mike had enrolled at university in the United States the other students stood up for Mike, imagining him to be one of the professors.

In the photograph (above) Master of Ceremonies Bryan Weyburne with Marjie Robson, son Toby and National Press Club vice president Peter Bush.


BELOW:

1.  Media lawyer Graham Holmes with The Dominion’s long time financial editor Terry Hall.
    2.  Pixers pose. INL Photographers Barry Durrant and Peter Bush

 

 

Our prediction in February 2016

Odds Favour Melania Trump as next United States First Lady
Will bring much needed internationalism to White House

National Press Club/MSCNewsWire, 26 February 2016 -  The permutations in the Republican Party selection process in which some delegates carry more value than others indicate that Donald Trump will be the party’s presidential nominee. The polls indicate too that he has at least a 50-50 chance against a Democratic ticket.

These favourable odds are not reflected by the international media and hardly surprisingly. The Republican front-runner routinely describes his media entourage as being comprised of the “worst people in the world.”

Also by passed is that there is a 50 percent chance now of the next United States First Lady having been born behind the Iron Curtain, and indeed, only the second to be born abroad after Louisa Adams, the English wife of John Quincy Adams.

A former architectural student in Yugoslavia Mrs Trump, 45, (pictured) is expected to bring a much-needed internationalism to the White House and especially so in a mastery of the main European languages.

A failure in the United States’ much-vaunted Arabism capability has meant that its Middle East policy has now spilled over into Europe. This emergency in turn has collided with the United States continuing policies to contain Russia. The two US thrusts have blended into an unmanageable human and economic blend of what is increasingly being viewed in Europe as being insoluble.

With her background of life on both sides of the Iron Curtain who better to explain the US-created imbroglio than Mrs Trump?

 From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk  |  February 26, 2016  |

 


 

 

 

 


 

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