UPDATE: Eleanor Catton is a hero but Radio Live host calls her a traitor


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For pointing out how the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind have elected a “neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture”, one of NZs best writers has been criticised directly by the PM.

Prize-winning author Eleanor Catton throws the book at NZ
Author Eleanor Catton has criticised New Zealand as a country led by “neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture”.

The Luminaries writer, who won the Man Booker Prize has also taken a swipe at the “tall poppy syndrome” and Kiwis’ attitudes towards individual achievement.

Catton is right, but those “neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture” were elected, and that responsibility falls upon the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind.

This is a country where the working poor have been so starved of real wages that they turn on beneficiaries in envy of the pittance they are paid in welfare. This is a country where the subdivided middle classes are too entrenched in property speculation and the false sense of wealth their over inflated property valuations give them to care about those on the bottom. This is a country where the majority said ‘we don’t care the PMs Office instigated and colluded to falsify SIS information to smear the leader of the opposition months before the 2011 election on a far right hate speech blog’. This is a country that shrugged off Dirty Politics and the hacking of opposition computers, and the intimidation of public servants, and the attacks on journalism and the rise of mass surveillance.

It’s not just the “neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture” who are the problem. It’s the NZ voters who listened only to the right wing corporate media and voted them in.

I wonder if John Key is now trying to find a way to have Catton’s public funding pulled? Key is so laid back, he’d probably burn her book on the BBQ.


UPDATE: Sean Plunkett on Radio Live just called Catton a traitor for her comments. Unbelievable.


  1. Eleanor obviously wasn’t profit obsessed when she excepted the $105000 from the man booker prize. I have no doubt being so concerned about child poverty and funding for the arts she would of donated some of that money or the profits from her book to those two noble causes.

    • Excuse me: “excepted”?

      This is exactly the anti-intellectual cultural vacuousness Catton is talking about.

      Go back to school so you can articulate your opinion correctly.

      • You missed the ‘would of’. There is ‘would have’, and there is ‘would’ve’ (which can sound like ‘would of’) but only the semi-literate are klutzy enough to write ‘would of’. I agree – Stephen needs to go back to school and learn to spell.

        • Capital…”man booker prize”
          I guess people who can’t use English correctly are still entitled to express their opinion, even if that opinion often then appears to be rather ‘unedumarcated’.

    • @ Stehen . I wasn’t going to . Honest . But someone has to call you [Obscenity deleted. Thou Shalt Not Take a Woman’s Sexual Organ in Vain.- ScarletMod] .

  2. I imagine Catton will soon experience the wrath of the ugly New Zealander through hater comments on social media etc.

    • Indeed Plunkett on RadioLive has made your prediction accurate!
      It appears only media personalities can have opinions.

      • Poor old Sean Plunkett, at best a wheezing bore and a Johnny comes lately who ranks ever so lowly on the Key lickspittle fan club list, years behind the fanaticism and boot licking dedication delivered by the entire line up on Newstalk ZB and the likes of Paul Henry and sundry Herald “journalists” to the National Party.

        I guess he’s busting his arse to curry favour with the Nats but’s its all a bit too little and a bit too late and to be fair, fucking rude and low rent.

        But still, the neo lib nasty bastard National Party is alive and well!

  3. We need more Eleanors out there with a similar public profile to have some spine and show the courage of their convictions.
    Sean Plunket is your classic neo liberal , pretty thick and pretty basic, who has managed to envagle his way into a cowardly position to take cheap shots from .
    Gutless and thick. What a combination!!

    • How gutless and disgusting was it for Key to take a swipe at her?… I thought I couldn’t like that man less, and then this happens.

      Not to mention he throws in ‘besides she’s associated with the Greens so she must be biased’… it’s as if in Land Key there’s one political party that’s ‘right’ and all the others are ‘biased’. It really speaks volumes about how simplistic he views democracy and his inability to grasp the plurality of views in a society – the entire point of having democracy is that people are allowed their own political opinions and to support or be involved with whatever political party they like.

      • Key , like Thatcher doesn’t believe in societies.
        Everyone is an individual and we are all born equal is their simplistic mantra.
        Let’s follow that to it’s logical conclusion and all become ‘money traders’ then .
        It’s hard to argue against stupid people because they are… well… stupid!

  4. Yeeha, I am so excited! (On the day I decided NOT to listen to the radio while working as I start muttering under my breath and get really angry. I even had a moment today when I wondered why I was in such a good mood then I remembered the radio was OFF, amazing stories). I did caved in and listened to The Panel Jim Mora at 4pm and heard about Catton’s fantastic comments. My day couldn’t get any better! She is so right!
    P.s one of my paintings this morning made it into the second round of judging having beat out 5700 international paintings already to make it into the next round of 300 works on saatchiart.com in the Showdown competition! I’ve had a painting make the top ten in a Showdown before. Thank god for international competitions, like Catton mentioned you never get noticed here. In The Land Of The Long White Rigged Competitions).

  5. Bravo Eleanor for having the courage to publicly speak out and challenge the status quo. A champion indeed, voicing the sentiments of a good many Kiwis and doing it openly on an international platform, exposing the facade and flannel of the Key mob, the front of organised deceit, corruption and crime against Kiwi citizenry!

    Sean Plunkett’s disgraceful, rabid rant against Eleanor, calling her an ungrateful hua, as well as a traitor, proves he is one of Key’s many media attack dogs. All ready and willing to tear apart and draw the blood of those who dare challenge Key!

    For daring to speak the truth, Eleanor will be on the *to be watched* list!

  6. Time – high time ! – for a new intelligent humane vision to be called out and called-into-being, in Aotearoa and everywhere in the world.

    This may well be that time. And you may just be a, very significant, one in the leadership group to do it. And those of us who – like Lorde and Alan Duff – see the validity and value and importance of that call, now need to take that stand and raise our combined collective voices in support of it.


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