And then they came for Campbell Live – the end of political journalism on NZ television



MediaWorks have released their decision on Campbell Live on budget day so as to minimise the media impact, they have made the same decision TVNZ did – walk away from their 4th estate obligations to peddle trivia and mindless entertainment.

By killing off Campbell Live the right have silenced one of their biggest critics – now it’s just wall to wall Paul Henry & Mike Hosking. Who will hold Key to account now? His chums Mike or Paul?


Maybe TV3 will appoint Cameron Slater as John Campbell’s replacement?


The totality of the right wing echo chamber our mainstream media have become just made Key’s attempt at winning a 4th term far easier. -Only National and the right will find glee in this decision.

Campbell Live was a beacon of light in an otherwise bleak media landscape – we are a lesser country for this decision.

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Make no mistake about it, this is a political hit job on the loudest critic of the Government.


Mark Weldon’s connection to John Key is well established

1: He’s the man John Key picked to chair the “Summit on Employment” in 2009(1)

2:He’s also the man John Key picked to lead The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal(2)

3: He’s also the man who used that position to breach the Bill of Rights Act and force “the advancement of religion” into the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust’s constitution(3)

4: And he’s the man Cameron Slater (Whaleoil) characterises as “allegedly a friend of John Key”(4)

5: Slater also asked on October 15 last year “Who will be the first (of many) casualties under Mark “I’m the boss” Weldon at Mediaworks?” with one commenter on that story saying “The man is a tyrant who doesn’t play nicely with others. Frankly, I love the idea of Weldon and John Campbell having to work together …”(5)

6: he’s also the man whom insiders were picking as a potential National Party candidate for the safe seat of Tamaki(6)

7: And he’s a man who praised John Key’s program of asset sales announced in 2011 as “bold, it was clear, it was early – and very positive…” and called those who were cautious about it “fearmongering”. That’s the same assets sales program that had to be drastically cut back and became something of an embarrassment to the government(7)

8: He’s the man who made a substantial personal gain ($6 million) as a result of Key’s asset sales announcement(8)

9: He’s also the man who, as CEO of the NZX, characterised those who voiced concerns about aspects of the Exchange’s operations as mentally ill(9)

10: He’s the man who’s already got rid of two of Mediaworks’s main financial watchdogs – chief financial officer Peter Crossan and company secretary and lawyer Claire Bradley(10)

11: He’s the man of whom blogger Cactus Kate (business lawyer and commentator Cathy Odgers) noted “Mediaworks currently does not employ anyone on your television or radio with a larger ego than Weldon, even Willie Jackson, Sean Plunket and Duncan Garner combined can’t compete” and that “NZX was the greatest reality soap opera in town under Weldon’s leadership, the casting couch of characters was enormous as disgruntled staff left and new bright eyed disciples were employed”(11)

12: He’s the man Odgers also described (in a blog post now deleted by referenced by another, also right wing, blogger) as a “weasel word corporate-welfared CEO…” and a “shallow self-promoting tool”(12)

13: He’s the man who said there was no conflict of interest in allowing the NZX to be the provider of NZX services, the supervisor of its members, a listed participant on its own exchange and the market regulator… a statement one broker described as “utter balderdash”(13)

This is a CEO who is Key’s best corporate friend and this is a foreign owned media company who have been given sweet heart deals from this Government. The lax regulation has allowed MediaWorks to gain a dominant market position so claims that they are a private company who can do what they like is bullshit. They have done well from NZ, they owe us fourth estate obligations more than they owe their vulture fund shareholders.

All we have left to hold the powerful to account is Native Affairs on Maori TV.

The less we are told about what Government do, the weaker our democracy – killing Campbell Live is a sad day for broadcasting & sadder day for NZ.



  1. Television New Zealand is supposed to be an independent broadcaster broadcasting a wide range of views about our country and how it is run. On that basis, neither Mike Hosking or Paul Henry should be fronting public affairs shows when both show such a strong bias towards National politics. Campbell Live provided a balanced view and it is a major loss to NZ broadcasting. The hand of John Key and Steven Joyce clearly both have a finger in this pie. John Key suggested that Andrew Little “get some guts” – I think it is about time Television NZ got some guts and stopped kowtowing to every whim of the National Party.

  2. Absolutely agree, but I would like moderator to delete this comment, and pass on the following suggestion to Martyn:

    Paragraph 1 – can be interpreted to mean that it is the obligation of the 4th estate to peddle trivia etc.

    Please change the wording to:

    “walk away from their 4th estate obligations, to instead peddle trivia and mindless entertainment.” –

    • Good heavens – are there really 8 people out of 20 who cannot see that the final sentence of the first paragraph can easily be interpreted to mean that it is the obligation of the 4th estate to peddle trivia and mindless entertainment?

      I blame our bloody useless schoolteachers… /Irony – I am a language teacher.

      And do the moderators even read these messages? (Sympathy – they are unpaid volunteers.)

      I guess we are all trying in one way or another…

  3. Just make sure those two bastards are the first against the wall when the…

    Oh right, sorry about that.

    Now that the last vestige of balanced journalism has left the airwaves we need to accept that the Ministry of Propaganda is all we have left for information. This is, of course, completely untenable. There must be a way to deal with this and redress this afront to freedom of speech. Hell has anyone got a transmitter on their back section?

  4. And here in lies the reason why extremely wealthy individuals, running a government, is a problem!

  5. Its also ironic that Stephen Joyce’s old company Mediaworks , that we the Taxpayer, via his direction in his capacity as a government minister, bailed out to the tune of tens of millions is now owned by a “Vulture fund”.

    Somewhere, somehow I think we got rogered!

    • Which is why Joyce can be very appropriately tagged as “Lord Haw Haw” but probably will not enjoy his namesake’s fate.

  6. Go online JC and rip them apart! We’ll be watching all the dirt flow…but won’t be surprise about the huge amount of it.

    • Hear hear Kim Dandy. I was thinking the same.

      Hope JC rips the proverbial out of the hierarchy of MediaWorks, the government, in particular FJK and in the process is able to expose a few truths! After all what has he to lose now?

      Go for it JC 🙂

    • Tempting, but if he needs a job he may be better advised to keep it under his hat right now. Of course, if he doesn’t need a job he should let rip!! Perhaps save it for his autobiography.

  7. New Zealand is now officially a dictator state. National has control of media, the ability to spy on its citizens, control over the supermarket aisles (especially around the baby formula section) and even the flag.

    Its leader, John Key Un can pull the hair of women with impunity. He can answer a question with “I can’t remember” and the only journalist that would actually call him on his faux amnesia is/was John Campbell.

    ..and now Campbell is gone:

    With a substantial nod to WH Auden’s Stop all the clocks

    Stop all the clocks, cut off TV3,
    Prevent the dog from barking or having a pee,
    Boycott the advertisers on three with muffled drum
    Put away the remote, let the other channels come.

    Let deep blue vultures circle in the sky
    Campbell Live’s gone, fans and Hillary cry
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    Campbell cared for kiwi battlers North, South, East and West,
    On our working week at seven he was best,
    His wit, his charm, his qualities list is long;
    We thought that Campbell would last for ever: we were wrong.

    The star’s not wanted now: knobbled by National’s Joyce
    Journalism’s dead, criminal loss of a justice voice
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come on 1 OR 3 at seven and be any good.

    It’s a sad day for New Zealand and with Campbell Live gone, we are now officially on par with North Korea, Goebbel’s Germany, Syria and Zimbabwe. I’m disgusted. I’m gutted. Such a shit day for democracy.

    • Interesting comment, although it seems a little bit extreme to be comparing our own Government to the ones you mentioned… North Korea executes officials for falling asleep; Goebbels Germany was responsible for mass genocide; Syria executes homosexuals; and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe systematically stole back land from white farmers and drove their economy into the ground. How has anything that has occurred in recent times remotely compare to any of those?

      • John that was a harsh and typically monocled haw-haw response.

        Campbell Live stood for justice, freedom and the kiwi battler.

        What do you stand for? Hair-pulling with impunity? Knee-capping – “constructive dismissal” of any journalists who won’t accept “I can’t remember” as a legitimate democratic response?

        The dictatorship reference links with Pastor Niemuller reference in the headline of this blog.

        The fascist references in my post are absolutely relevant to NZ at the moment and if they offend your right-wing sensitivities, then scurry back like a slater to the Whaleoil blog and proffer your opinions there, where they might get a warmer reception.

    • Winnie,

      You need an award for that post it was brilliant. 1000%.


    • I would have loved it so much if Hilary Barry had stuck up her middle finger and said on air: This is for your Weldon!

      • Somewhere I read that Kathryn Ryan was a possibility. Kathryn’s OK as a presenter, at least on radio. but she doesn’t ask the kind of searching meaningful questions or have the analysis of things that John had.

        • @ MARCUS – Kathryn Ryan isn’t bad and does a good job on radio.

          Kim Hill is John Campbell’s equivalent, when it comes to investigative journalism, asking the hard questions. She goes for the jugular 🙂

          However, Hill comes from the left, so MediaWorks is unlikely to employ her, knowing how uncompromising and feisty she is when doing interviews, particularly with politicians.

    • there should be a nation wide boycott of TV3 and their advertisers…and Mark Weldon

      …but going to TVNZ wont be the alternative

      …any other suggestions to take action?

      • Yes Chooky,

        I suggest you do what I am going to do: explore what is on the internet and only use the TV to play videos/Dvds.

    • Many like Campbell Live – but to be honest the ratings were what the programme faced and TV3 are reliant on vewiers for commercial reasons. A short flurish in ratings when the the review was first announced was not consistent and the fact that Campbell was not prepared to share the hosting of a new programme as announced today.

      I am sorry to see Campbell Live go, but the viewing audience at the 7pm time is premium and for this reason can understand the difficult decision made by TV3.

      • So obviously TV 1 believes Seven Sharp is great prime time television then?
        Great prime time tom foolery and b….s perhaps, not much in the way of news or current events.
        But if that is what New Zealand wants then that is what they will get, and I hope they choke on it, the philistines.

        • It doesn’t have to be “great” prime time television. It just needs to draw in viewers – this in turn relates to advertising etc etc so is purely a commercial decision.

          Instead of hating on the people who make the programmes, why not direct your grievances towards the viewing public?

        • This is what TV3 have been saying. People may well like Campbell Live, but a commercial channel cannot continue to subsidise this programme. 400,000 (plus or minus) more watch 7 Sharp – I think ratings are important and this is more critical when you are commercial channel. Like TV3

          For example, I would not like to outlay $1 to gain a return of 70 cents. Would you?

          • Fourth Estate obligations for the lax media regulation TV3 enjoy under this Government is the least TV3 can do. This is about politics, not commerce

          • It is a prime time media slot following hard on the heels of the evening news; historically a focal point for news related media. If there were even just a few other such services at this time that were of a similar scrutinizing nature and prime time profile then perhaps your argument might carry more weight but as it stands with only one other competing show that is notably light weight there is nothing to compare with it. Given the reasons you have already succinctly outlined it is highly unlikely it will be replaced with anything quite as journalistic as Campbell Live. Taking a cue from 7 sharp the emphasis is now more on light edutainment. Commercial pressure may be the ostensible reason for this move but personally I am tired of it being given as the reason by which more and more of our liberty’s are imposed upon. We are supposedly living in a democracy but to me it feels more and more every day like a plutocracy.
            Commercial pressure is not an acceptable reason to strip away the means by which a society may collectively critique itself.

        • Seven Sharp is absolute vapid gobshite. Still, it is entertainment so the PM should like it.

          Seven Sharp, or as some of my friends and I call it, SS (irony not intended) does for political debate and journalism, what massaging dogs’ anal glands does to improving animal welfare in NZ.

          It’s entertainment. It’s unashamedly right-wing biased with Mike Hosking and his Skycity and National Party link biased. But at least there was a left-of-centre voice on another chanel.

          Now there’s nothing on the left of centre. How fair is that???

  8. There goes the only reason I had left for turning on my TV. New Zealand television is now officially brain dead.

  9. Visit Hackpad : Honest John ,…for a comprehensive list of the corruption , lies and subterfuge this subversive fake PM has been involved in since he took power.

    If you are the average curious person who wants to understand a little more…you will not come away from that site not being shocked at how dangerous this ‘ PM ‘ is to our country.

    The penny will also start to drop about how we have , in fact , had a PM installed who was groomed by Zionist American financiers.

    It wont take long….half an hour? And you will be truly informed….

    – And alarmed.

    • Katipo – don’t feed the troll. It must be difficult to type, or think with his/her head firmly jammed up his/her anal cavity. PS you ended with “honest John”. There’s nothing honest about him/her. His/her name is probably Judith or Rachel!!!

  10. Right, so now there’s no real reason to watch television in this country at all. It’s either brain-atrophying sludge, or right-wing propaganda. I guess my advertising dollar is going to charity.

  11. And so it comes to pass….just another dark day under the dictatorship of this bunch of Neanderthal fucking thugs!!! Wats New Zilind going to do about it ? …well, nothing of course …the sleeping hobbits of this country are continuing and will continue to sleep…so what do we do?? All you left brains on here?… whats the point of this blog site if nothing changes…ha ha there was talk of the pony tail saga being John K’s. down fall? ….what a joke!!

  12. So we’re left with the front bench of the Ghengis Khan Party as our media front-persons: Mike Hosking, Paul Henry, Paddy Gower, Sean Plunket, Leighton Smith.

    Trouble is half the country won’t even see/hear them for what they really are. Pity for all of us.

    Reckon Mr Media Manipulator, Hon. JJ, will get a knighthood out of this!

  13. We’re not allowed to talk about killing Gnats here – but Key deserves a black eye for this – from every New Zealander.

  14. Do we really have to dust off that old ’81 crash helmet? This Fascist government is hell bent on that happening. Surely they aren’t that stupid to think we dont see whats going on? Its either they are criminal in their actions, or they are complete imbeciles. I pick the former.
    I’m pretty sure that something will fuck them up, big time.
    They are running out of shot feet.

  15. Mediaworks seems to be in the pocket of the National government. Mark Weldon in particular seems to be ultimately where the buck stops for the decision to can Campbell Live. Obviously political motivation has exceeded common sense. I somehow don’t think they will have a new program that will reach the ratings of Campbell Live. As such, shareholders of Mediaworks should be very worried that they have a loose cannon CEO in Mark Weldon. Weldon new to the job and of no journalistic background has clouded judgement and can’t identify and retain staff that in reality are of the utmost professionalism and an asset to their endeavors. Having a tunnel vision and acting as John Key’s lapdog will cost the company dearly. Good luck with that.

    • Mediaworks sold out to vulture Oakridge an American company , so your comment that media works are in Keys pocket is no longer true.Key is in Americas pocket, where he always has been.

    • @between the lines.

      Weldon is NOT a loose cannon. On the contrary, he is National’s hitman, along with Julie Christie. Key/Joyce used Weldon to get rid of “that left-wing bastard”. There’s nothing loose about that. A few astute kiwis get this. If the 300K + kiwis that watched Campbell Live transferred that anger into votes against Key, Joyce and the Nats who “constructively dismissed” John Campbell.

      Take them to the employment court John Campbell.

  16. @winnie, after reading your verse, it feels like NZ is roughy placed in about the middle of the second LOTR’s movie…when all seems lost.
    My hope is that NZ makes it to the third movie, when all the different lands unite and defeat the ‘all seeing eye.’ Fantasy? Wishful thinking? Time will tell.
    Meanwhile lookup what else media works owns – and boycott those stations (channel 4) and many radio ones also. A little dramatic? So is slowly losing your country to a dictatorship.

  17. Did you see who got a gong for best presenter YUP ! Mike Hosking. The new owners of what was State owned media have rewarded him for his services to the NatParty, not officialy of course,but that’s what it is in reality.
    We are seeing Hoskins face displayed and promoted continually on the Herald sites.
    Vulture owners Oakridge have stolen NZs voice. Radio, Tv and Print all American owned courtesy John Key.
    Key has his foot on our necks now,His American cronies have been given free reign on news so don’t expect to get anything of balanced news anymore.
    Key can now do what he likes with impunity now ,we will never be told of it.
    T D B will be our source of info,maybe John Campbell can be a
    writer,but without his team behind him it would be hard for him to get a lot of the stories he once did ,but he would still be an asset.
    We all need to boycott tv 1 and tv2,maybe the advertisers will boycott them as well.

    • So Mike Hosking got a dong award?

      I bet the first thing he does with it is to attach a mirror to it so that he can gaze adoringly at himself as he gazes adoringly at his dong.

      Sorry – I misread Elle’s comment, I thought she wrote “dong”, instead of “gong”. Freud would have had a field day with my misreading. I have just re-read my post and it still makes perfect sense. Do you have a pic of Hosking and his dong gong. If so, I have bought a second hand version of Photoshop and can photoshop it accordingly.

  18. I wouldn’t mind betting Paul Henry could be offered the 7pm TV3 slot. He’s already a Natsy gobshite, working for Natsy broadcasting machine MediaWorks!

    In the event of that becoming a reality and God forbid it does, that means Key and his sordid bunch of cheerleading Natsies, will have prime time TV broadcasting sewn up, with their two sycophantic mouthpieces Hosking and Henry, using TV ONE & TV3 to spew forth Natsy propaganda, to reach the masses!

    For the first time in years, us two old codgers in this household, didn’t watch TV3 news and we won’t ever again. Neither did we watch TV ONE either. Instead we sat and had an intelligent discussion, something very unlikely we would get from TV in NZ now Campbell has gone!

  19. Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

    Abraham Lincoln

    JC used his position and influence to empower the powerless, what are the motivations of the ones that brought him down? are citizens the enemy ? wtf

  20. Quote Martyn: “By killing off Campbell Live the right have silenced one of their biggest critics ”

    Ah, so you admit Campbell does have left wing bias?

    • Wow, that’s just so petty, even for a right winger. No Andrew you clown, Campbell held the PM to account. Criticism doesn’t equate to bias, how old are you? Seriously?

    • Andrew – to live in a state with no political opposition, dissent, and critical media is to live under a totalitarian regime.

      Tell us, please, is that what you are advocating?

    • I don’t see John Campbell as left-wing, it is just that he isn’t right wing like the television clowns you idolize.

        • @ Kevin. I don’t normally feed trolls like you Kevin, but Campbell took a caring, human, socialist “kiwi” view on matters.

          Sorry that doesn’t fit with your hard-hearted, “modest-proposal style” ACT-party views on kiwis in struggle-street.

          And maybe that’s why Hillary Barry cried, having to put up with gobshite, right-wing mouthpiece like Paul Henry every week day, while a real journalist gets shafted by National and its cronie capitalist appointee Weldon.

          And FYI Kevin, he took Helen Clark to task as well, you myopic red-neck. Couldn’t get more left-wing than her eh? How would Campbell have handled this right-wing post Keving?

  21. Let us not forget the real losers in this debacle. They are those people in Christchurch still waiting for a liveable home 4 years after the earthquake, they are those who were “employed” on zero hour contracts, they are children who go to school hungry daily, they are the voiceless, the disempowered and the marginalised that Campbell Live advocated for.
    It is disgraceful.

  22. Theres hope for us yet, Wake up New Zealand article this morning tell of worldwide turn off from mainstream media and are turning to alternative media, they are sick of the lies on msm.

    • thats a good point, most interested in real news get information from sources other than the msm.

  23. C’mon, Campbell was never about political or investigative journalism, he was/is a left wing advocate who made his position on any issue or topic clear from the outset, and spent the rest of the show lecturing on why you should agree with him.

    He could do tough, challenging interviews – when it suited him – but would also give armchair rides to those he cosied up to – like Dotcom and Len Brown – where were the really tough questions and calls for accountablity then?

    Sad to see so many think his departure is the end of political journalism in NZ, when JC’s only contribution to it was to balance out Hosking’s right wing bias

    • Maybe because at the time …as we later found out ,….the GSCB under the auspices of this phony PM Key had broken the law in spying on 88 New Zealanders INCLUDING Kim Dotcom.

      Furthermore…Key was caught out lying about surveillance , the XKEYSCORE program , and finally put this country’s national security at risk (according to the agency that Key dragged out classified data from ).

      – Even though that data was completely irrelevant to the issue and eventually – and under public and media duress , – admitted he was lying all the time.

      So perhaps that’s why it might appear to you that JC was giving an ‘easy ride’ to some….for as you can see….there were issues surrounding govt lies and corruption to be accounted for.

      Serious stuff.

      And it appears JC thought so as well.

      As do a lot of us, actually.

  24. The corporate monster is fast eating democracy alive. Campbell Live was a single beacon of light in a pit of corporate greed controlled by sleazy fat cats whose only intention is to create a mass of compliant zombies addicted to cheap, repetitive dross. John Campbell has integrity and a lightness of touch which make him incredibly popular and influential. He is a threat to the current establishment led by those who pretend they are persecuted when someone dares to expose their unlawful and anti-democratic actions.

  25. Just as thousands have tuned off The (govt owned) Herald, we can also tune out
    Channel one and Channel three. Just stop watching and when you need reliable news,
    tune into RT.COM or Democracy Now.
    The Herald stops most comments now as they just can not be bothered to hear the people.

    The NZ dictatorship is now truly alive and well with “out of touch” idiots at the helm –
    ===>>> Obama’s and the UN’s little lap dogs. Corporate greedy lackeys.

    Joyce and Key, could care less as long as they get rid of those who want to expose their elitist, corporate sucking greed.

    Thanks John Campbell for your great efforts and helping us see the light that just went a bit dimmer with the loss of you.
    Mike HoseKing and Paul Henry are biased examples of what bad journalism looks like –
    not to mention how BORING and lacking in ethics – they both are. They actually think they are funny. What a joke.
    ========= >>>> Mental midgets who think they are gods.

    NZ is, unfortunately, heading down the same direction that was planned a long time ago.
    Again, check out Agenda 21 and see exactly why all of this is happening. No accident.
    Keep the masses numb and dumb and controlled with brainwashing media etc.

  26. I’ve advocated before setting up a countrywide talkback channel, streamed live online and rebroadcast where possible on local radio frequencies, with hosts from a range of political backgrounds not represented by corporate media. More recently I’ve been thinking that it could be talkback TV, so that hosts could show their audience online photos and video, including photos taken and videos made specifically for their show. Now I’m also thinking if John C was willing to be one of the hosts, perhaps this would help bootstrap such a new channel?

  27. I expect TVNZ to offer Campbell a job in a top slot as otherwise they would be idiots. Perhaps sack Hosking and his arrogant demeanor, and replace him with John Campbell?!

  28. @DJ – you may find that ‘our darling’ PM will never lose the ‘ponytail puller’ association… It will always be ‘with him’…

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