Aotearoa Pie (the day Campbell Live died)


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A long long time ago
I can still remember how
John Campbell made me smile
And I knew if he had his chance
He could make those politicians dance
Even after they had left spitting bile

But last April made me quiver
When Julie Christie began to slither
Poor ratings on the Throng Blog
and Rachel Glucina being an attack dog

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read that the show was being fried
Something touched us all deep inside
The day Campbell Live died

Bye, bye Aotearoa Pie
Drove my Mazda to NZ on Air but NZ on Air had died
Walden and Joyce were thinking risky goodbye
Singin’ this’ll be the way real news dies
This’ll be the way real news dies

Did you watch his show on GE?
When Helen Clark called him a little creep?
Even Russell Brown said so.
Did you believe that John Key Troll
claiming no Mass Surveillance role
And Campbell rolling his eyes real slow

Well, I know that we’re in love with him
‘Cause we’ve donated cash beyond the brim
We’ve all kicked off our blues
Whenever he’s followed the 6pm news

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We were a lonely nation, a sitting duck
With the rich screwing us out of luck
But I knew we were really fucked
The day Campbell Live died
It’s started stingin’

Bye, bye Aotearoa Pie
Drove my Mazda to NZ on Air but NZ on Air had died
Walden and Joyce were thinking risky goodbye
Singin’ this’ll be the way real news dies
This’ll be the way real news dies

Now, for ten years he’s been in our home
Christchurch earthquake, Child poverty and combat zones
But, that’s not how the CEO want’s it to be

When Mark Walden sang for his king John Key
With a loan he got from the Ministry
He denied the voice that came from you and me

And while king John was looking down
Jono and Ben stole Campbells crown
The audience felt burned
No respect was earned

And while Henry read a book on hate
Hosking practiced for a slave state
And we all realised it was too late
The day Campbell Live died
It’s started stingin’

Bye, bye Aotearoa Pie
Drove my Mazda to NZ on Air but NZ on Air had died
Walden and Joyce were thinking risky goodbye
Singin’ this’ll be the way real news dies
This’ll be the way real news dies

Helter skelter in a ratings smelter
Key’s friends feed the rumour centre
3 terms long and falling fast

National started to harass
The viewers feared what was to pass
With Slater on the sidelines to lambaste

Now the 6 week review saw ratings bloom
but Mark Weldon wanted the show doomed
We all got up to dance
But Campbell Live never had a chance

‘Cause the management wanted to keep concealed
truths John Campbell continued to reveal
do you recall what fate we’ve sealed
the day Campbell Live died?
It’s started stingin’

Bye, bye Aotearoa Pie
Drove my Mazda to NZ on Air but NZ on Air had died
Walden and Joyce were thinking risky goodbye
Singin’ this’ll be the way real news dies
This’ll be the way real news dies

There we were, all in one place
an entire Generation misplaced
with no voice to call our own

Key was nimble and Key was quick
killing public broadcasting off with a flick
cause silence is National’s only friend

I watched Key on the election stage
my hopes and dreams chained in a cage
no press gallery journalist could yell
and break this Satan’s spell

And as the public sphere sank beneath the waves
replaced with the voices of right wing slaves
I saw National laughing amongst the graves
the day Campbell Live died
Key was singin’

Bye, bye Aotearoa Pie
Drove my Mazda to NZ on Air but NZ on Air had died
Walden and Joyce were thinking risky goodbye
Singin’ this’ll be the way real news dies
This’ll be the way real news dies

I met a child who’d eaten no food
and I asked her for some happy news
but she just cried and turned away

I went down to Pike River Mine and Gore
Where I’d heard people’s pain years before
But they said no one would speak for them anymore

And in Christchurch the people screamed
the insured wept and the buildings leaned
but not a word was spoken
all the hopes there had been broken

And the three journalists I admire the most
Nicky Hager, Jon Stephenson and Glenn Greenwald are toast
for a right wing media who have shifted all the goal posts
the day Campbell Live died.

And we were singing

Bye, bye Aotearoa Pie
Drove my Mazda to NZ on Air but NZ on Air had died
Walden and Joyce were thinking risky goodbye
Singin’ this’ll be the way real news dies
This’ll be the way real news dies



  1. Appropriate…….

    Tonight will be Campbell’s last night. And my last night watching TV3 news.

  2. Key and Joyce will be scratching their heads and wondering what those strange, enigmatic lyrics mean long after they’re electoral toast!
    Well done Martyn

  3. WOW well done Martyn a fitting tribute.

    I would say to John Campbell…. don’t worry, be happy, everything is going to be ok .
    I’m sure we hav’nt seen the last of John Campbell , maybe Winston Peters will take him on a NZ First MP , he would do very well.

  4. got to get the record when it comes out.

    I imagine someone is shortly going to do a stunt to make this so real and place large billboards along the highway and international airports where the rich come here to rob us.

    The placard should read;

    Welcome – NZ for sale.

    Contact –

  5. John Campbell reminds me a bit of Peter Lavelle…civilised , intelligent ,versatile and a compassionate truth seeker

    …it would be great if he could have a Cross Talk sort of interview /discussion show …television online….with experts in their fields on NZ and international issues…

  6. Well done, Martyn, as an occasional songwriter myself (and an admirer of American Pie), I am impressed by the way you echo the original with really tight relevance to the Campbell Live saga.

    I have just watched the last show, flicking through the ads of course, and was astounded at how much of the resume of the last ten years was actually familiar to me, who rarely watches TV, even gave up TV news last year.

    A big responsibility now on bloggers such as yourself, Radio NZ and Maori TV, in keeping us informed. The new Fairfax won’t help, will it!

  7. We salute you JC and team, for all you have gone through, all you have done, over ten years of genuinely brilliant investigative journalism reporting.
    Palma non sine pulvere – no honour without effort.

  8. Good on JK to leave rather than compromise to ridiculous terms to undermine him. It is happening to a lot of journalists. What is the saying, and then they come for you. Unite investigative journalists, because your profession is under threat.

  9. How can Hillary Barry, who obviously has such great respect for John Campbell, be seen in the same studio as Paul Henry the glib, right-wing, sycophantic gobshite? Paul Henry is the absolute antithesis of John Campbell, who showed his class, his integrity and humility tonight, thinking of others ahead of himself.
    John Campbell you are bloody marvellous and I cried tonight for the attack on journalistic democracy, but also at your grace, your empathy and your open-hearted, kiwi, social conscience standing up for those without a voice. You lovely man, in every sense of the word. I will miss you. Kiwi battlers will miss you and seekers of truth will miss your professional journalistic skills. New Zealand at 7 o’clock will never be the same.
    Kia kaha John Campbell, you beautiful soul.

  10. Nice tribute Martyn, to an end of something real and what we could relate to. John Campbell and his great ! team ! – you hold your heads high because you deserve all of the appreciation and many of us will not be watching Channel 3 anymore. We are one of those families who dislike
    another boring cop show ! ! ! promoting more military, violent and fearful energy which is just what the plan is all about. Keep the people numb and dumb and brainwashed. They don’t want to be exposed so the John Campbell team need to hear that many of us GREATLY appreciated what you have done. You have helped expose what is now slowly crumbling as more and more are waking up and seeing the light. Also hearing about peoples issues and other topics was valuable.
    You will be missed and we have lost a bit of kiwi culture. We are also boycotting The Herald as well as Stuff.
    Stuff ==>> poor quality biased journalism and tonight we lost a bit of quality journalism we could relate with. The Joyce and Key corporate lapdog CRIM team are happy but NZ is poorer for it. Thanks John Campbell and team, job very well done. You all should have gotten raises instead of having the show cancelled. The M E G A I D I O T S at MediaWorks need to be put out to pasture.

  11. A great tribute to a fine Kiwi and a brilliant journalist, put to one of the greatest songs ever. Thanks Martyn. Very fitting.

    John Campbell was the consummate professional on his final evening on Campbell Live. He held his head high, dignified as he delivered his final programme. A great journalist. A kind, loyal Kiwi, whose passion for his country and fellow Kiwis never wavered. He will be missed.

    Campbell Live was TV3’s flagship. The flagship was killed. TV3 for me is dead!

    • Martin Bradbury… an excellent poetic tribute. …if I had a good voice I would be singing it at a friends birthday gathering tonite …hmmm maybe afta one or two wines ha ha

      I hope company,s pull out their advertising from T.V 3 as the ratings plummet..and Media Wrks choke on it. I cried too with disgust and still disbelief!
      FUCK YOU John Key!! We will ensure your demise before long…

  12. Awesome tribute worthy of a recording and a video Scribe Martyn. Not many, if any, could pull-off such a pithy, cutting satirical lyrical contribution.

    I would add though that Campbell Live was undermined by the 3News newsroom, along with the other anti-competitive cartel-owned major news outlets of New Zealand. Why? Because NZ’s major news outlets feign neutrality on crucial issues such as imperialist projects (commonly called war), the continued deployment of ‘the Shock Doctrine’ (aka ‘free market shock therapies’ or economic warfare) and the refusal to broadcast (or publish) retractions of the major news stories of the last 100 years (including the real reasons for WWI, as the sentiments in “Top (dissident) tweets about Anzac Day” allude to. See:; and see also: “Missing in News-action: Confronting ‘Deep State’ Power Crimes” at:

    When Hilary Barry and the rest of the 3News newsroom (& other major news outlets) dispense with the ‘once over lightly’ approach to news gathering, find the resolve to go after the powerful for rife crimes of power, and actually express real empathy for real people here and abroad who are bearing the brunt of the psychopaths jostling for control of the world, then maybe their on-air tears might begin to show they really care.

    With these criticisms of the major news outlets in mind, I think its important to ask at this juncture, are we to sit on our couches and allow the dystopian PooTube media cartels to continue to dominate real peoples’ view of the world, or do we strategise, organise and mobilise to crowdfund a new newsroom model?

    See: The $4 Million Newsroom: Crowd-funding a new newsroom model that has ‘The Shit’ at:

  13. Very clever lyrics Martyn, and lets give credit to DON McLEAN who wrote the song that you added your lyrics to.

    I do like what you did with his song and it shows how creative you continue to be. Again thanks – you are one journalist who puts a smile on my face at times.

  14. John Campbell potentially will be more of a problem for key now he isnt constrained, imagine if he was to report outside the mainstream as an investigative journalist, team up with Hagar and/or ddotcom or/and go into politics
    reminded me of this 🙂
    obiwan to vadar
    You can’t win, darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

  15. Hi Martyn,

    Yes this tribute was an incredible display from you.

    So why don’t we use the sale of the record when produced to begin the fundraising for our new project?

    For instance, your “John Campbell live” lead TV station or another “Free speech” TV7 “public affairs” type station to begin our new campaign to “wake up kiwis” with?

  16. That’s beautiful Martyn, I’m sure John will have a chuckle.

    The lesson continues to be that you have to own the media.

    You have done a great job on this website, what is the possibility for a fully functional web based media organisation? With the rise of Smartphones as a key viewing screen with mobile apps formatting the delivery, with Chromecast and Apple TV enabling easy playing of web video on TV’s, we must be close to enabling a media organisation across web, mobile and TV without needing any traditional TV distribution, and that is more personal and responsive to the viewer. Creating the brand is the hard part, and of course funding, governance etc. Would a mix of viewer funded and advertising funded work?

    Maybe it would be better to partner with Guardian to create Guardian NZ? I don’t know the answers but one thing is clear, unless we fully own a mass market media channel then the debate will continue to shift rightwards and alternative views will become less and less heard.

  17. John Campbell had HUMILITY and he shared and displayed the FEMININE Virtue of CARE – CARE – COMPASSION is not specifically related to women – we all have a male and female virtue within our Human existence – women of course show more CARE and NURTURING as mothers…..which is something also under attack today……feminism made women more like men – forcing women to go to work….forcing them to shed the Caring nurturing feminine values that they are so good at.

    So John did not just lose his place because he was POPULAR it became a reason for his removal – he was becoming too popular and able to sway the popular opinion of many.

    John the other reason you were removed was because you CARE….which means you are NOT a psychopath.

    Psychopaths show no empathy, no care, no humility and no compassion or remorse……you exemplified the feminine virtue of CARE and compassion.

    Why is this so important – search the “CREMATION OF CARE RITUAL” – its all about destroying the Feminine Value of CARE – removing it from Humanity.

    NZ is the first country to see the light of the new day – will we be the first to awaken to the deliberate destruction of Humanity – the deliberate destruction of CARE and COMPASSION……

    if you get this – then you will understand the desire to introduce Gender Neutral School Uniforms – its to destroy the distinction between man and women – to deliberately remove altogether the Feminine Values of CARE…….Compassion and Femininity……..

  18. The first weekday night without ‘Campbell Live’…

    We switched on to TV1 News.

    After which, 7pm will be filled by ‘Shortland Street’ (yes, we have a Shorty Street fan in the household!)… then nothing until 8.30, when we watch ‘Native Affairs’.

    As Ike said above, “TV3 is dead to me”…

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