TV Review: Will Seven Sharp hosts criticize their sponsor Rabobank’s tactics that saw 3rd Degree Journalist assaulted?



3rd Degree can still surprise. Melanie Reid’s brutal autopsy of the manner in which Rabobank took a farm out from under the feet of a family that had farmed that land for 150years should win a journalism award.

The tactics used by Rabobank’s receivers are eye-watering and the $2million earned in interest payments to Rabobank and their utter rejection to negotiate to the benefit of the Gray Family must be seen to be believed.

The assault of Melanie Reid however poses ethical questions to the hosts of Seven Sharp. Do they criticize the roughing up of a fellow journalist by their shows sponsor or do they stay utterly silent about it?

I’ll go a step further.

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Seeing how draconian Rabobank were in the Gray family case, did Rabobank sponsor Seven Sharp to silence the main current affairs show in NZ from criticizing banking practices that are vicious and possibly par for the course of their business model within our country?

How many other small farms have Rabobank leaned on in this manner?

For the hosts of Seven Sharp to hide from discussing the wider implications are one thing, but refusing to criticize the physical intimidation and roughing up of a fellow journalist is unconscionable.


  1. Hi Martyn We don’t watch TV here but was this another case of toxic Mortgage Swaps sold to the farm by the banks ? Keep up the good work.

  2. This case demonstrates the credibility of the “free market” well. The Gray’s create competition in the diary market, the corporates resort to dirty tactics to undermine them, a so called “free market” that favours the establishment of large, wealthy, private monopolies. Then on top of that a bank supportive of callous thuggery to strip them of their assets.

    Expect no critical response from Seven Sharp – it’s a programme that’s an insult to the concept of current affairs.

    How many other small farms have Rabobank leaned on in this manner?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if what was observed in this case is a glimpse at their operational culture.

    What is the fate of this farm? Land freed-up for overseas investment? Last week, news the OIO approved the sale of 14,000 ha of prime forestry land to the Chinese government and a 1,300 ha dairy farm to Harvard University in Otago near two other farms it owns.

    Does anyone remember the man whose car exploded in Cuba Mall, Wellington last election day? The man – a former banker and the explosion probably a mishap from his protest action against fractional reserve banking. Notice how little media coverage there was? He likely sought a platform to make his concerns known to the public, but the media never allowed it. Why?

  3. No great surprise to see that the scumbag of the story is an ex-copper. I wonder if he perfed out?

  4. Interesting that Rabobank has been promoting itself as a “good guy” bank.

    Yeah right!

    I was on the point of depositing a million dollars with them.

    Yeah right!

    • I really was going to invest a reasonable amount of money with Rabobank, but after seeing the programme on TV3, have decided against it. Will stick with Kiwibank, even if the interest rate is lower.

  5. Know of several cases here in Central Hawkes Bay where banks resorted to bully boy tactics when farmers were struggling rather than trying to work out a solution. One of the farmers killed himself. Don’t think we’ll see the end of corporate bullying in a country where greed is considered a virtue.

    • It is truly remarkable how rapidly and easy NZ has embraced American style politics (especially cronyism), greed, selfishness, corporate worship, propaganda etc. It is no longer the country I grew up in, that much is certain.

  6. This isn’t the first time tactics like that have been on air Campebll Live last year aired the takeover of the new owners at Zion Wildlife Gardens. Rabobank left Patricia and Megan Busch to the wolves. Rabobank has a habit of taking things by force. They don’t care who suffers, and on top of that Meadow Fresh engaging in anti-competitive practice to shut the Gray’s down. There are no protections in place to control the conduct and behaviour of these cowboy operators going under the guise of so called Liquidators. They can do what they like, when they like and to hell with the damage it causes. Rabobank, their receivers and Meadow Fresh are an absolute utter disgrace. The Commerce Commission should be encouraged to look into Meadow Fresh and how it conducted it’s under mining of the Gray’s business. We’re supposed to be a democratic country not a Fascist State.

  7. Denis Woods and Rabobank must be brought before the courts for their actions; They have broken the law and must suffer the consequences!

  8. What we have here is State Sanctioned Extortion!

    Rabobank get out of New Zealand we don’t want you here!

  9. ex·tor·tion [ik-stawr-shuhn] Show IPA
    an act or instance of extorting.
    Law. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.
    oppressive or illegal exaction, as of excessive price or interest: the extortions of usurers.
    anything extorted.

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