EXCLUSIVE: Blogger threatened with lawsuit over questions of conflict-of-interest regarding Mediaworks

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The following story elicited a thinly veiled defamation threat by a senior Mediaworks boardmember.

Just when you thought Mediaworks couldn’t possibly dumb-down their television service any further;

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Come Dine with Me to replace Campbell Live

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TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

When I first heard this, my initial reaction was someone on Facebook, with a wry sense of humour, was playing ‘silly buggers’ at Mediaworks’ expense.

Then I was pointed to the media report on Fairfax’s website.

Honestly – how does one react to a decision like this? Deep sobbing tears and face-palming – or maniacal laughter that might do The Joker proud?!

If this is Mediaworks’ idea of a joke – exacted against Campbell Live supporters as revenge for daring to question executive decisions – then someone has a rather cruel, demented sense of humour.

If this is what passes for sound business decision-making in Mediaworks’ boardrooms these days – then their next round of bankruptcy will not be far away. I’m picking three months.

Whoever was responsible for this awful programming decision would be wise to never, ever admit  their part in this insanity. Their career would be in tatters if word got out. To quote a Mediaworks press release describing ‘Come Dine With Me‘;

“Week one features Monika, a Slovakian child carer, who’s all about silly with a side of spice; Tony, an eccentric real estate agent with some cutting critiques and a few ‘endearing quirks’; Hinemoa, a part-time tattooist and full-time eyebrow enthusiast; motor-bike riding, insurance broker Kyle; and stylish yoga enthusiast Sarah.”

Perhaps an answer to this incomprehensible decision to replace a highly successful, well-respected current affair show like ‘Campbell Live‘ with another (and somewhat gormless-sounding) “reality” programme lies with Mediaworks’ board member, Julie Christie.

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julie christie - gerry brownlee - mediaworks - minister - national government - TV3
“Politicians have also had a strong affection for her over the years. Murray McCully and Gerry Brownlee have been photographed out and about at her bar in the Viaduct.” John Drinnan, 15 February 2013
Image acknowledgement: Postman Productions

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In 1991 Christie founded television production-company, Touchdown Productions.The company was responsible for “reality” (aka “unscripted television“) programmes such as ‘My House My Castle’, ‘Whose House Is It Anyway’, ‘DIY Rescue’, ‘Trading Places’, ‘Treasure Island’,Game of Two Halves’,  ‘Pioneer House’,  ‘Dragons’ Den’, and others.

Julie Christie quickly acquired a reputation for being New Zealand’s own television “Reality Queen“, as TV3 itself described her, two years ago;

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Reality TV queen quits production firm - Julie Christie - Mediaworks - Eyeworks - Campbell Live - John Campbell

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More on Christie’s involvement with reality-TV and TV3 in a moment.

In February 2006, Touchdown was sold to Dutch media group, Eyeworks. She remained as CEO of Eyeworks NZ until 31 October 2012, when she resigned. Eight months later, in June the following year as Mediaworks was put into receivership, Julie Christie was appointed to the board of directors.

There is no telling how much earlier  Christie’s June appointment had been planned by parties involved, though this had been tipped by NZ Herald media columnist, John Drinnan four months earlier.

Julie Christie remained closely involved with the company, as confirmed by Eyeworks on their website;

Former CEO Julie Christie will no longer work for Eyeworks New Zealand but remain connected to the Eyeworks Group (15 territories, HQ Amsterdam) working in an international creative role.

There is indeed a strong, formal link between Christie and Eyeworks.

The directors of Eyeworks New Zealand Ltd are;

  • Greg Anthony HEATHCOTE (NZ)
  • Johannes Petrus Christoffel KERSTENS (Netherlands)
  • Peter LANGENBERG (United Kingdom)
  • Michael David Joseph MOLLOY (NZ)

The parent company of Eyeworks New Zealand Ltd is Eyeworks Holding New Zealand Ltd. It’s directors are the same four individuals;

  • Greg Anthony HEATHCOTE (NZ)
  • Johannes Petrus Christoffel KERSTENS (Netherlands)
  • Peter LANGENBERG (United Kingdom)
  • Michael David Joseph MOLLOY (NZ)

Christie has a separate company, JGM Investments Ltd, whose directors happen to be;

  • Julie Claire CHRISTIE
  • Greg Anthony HEATHCOTE (Director)
  • Michael David Joseph MOLLOY

And JGM Investments No2 Ltd, whose directors are also;

  • Julie Claire CHRISTIE
  • Greg Anthony HEATHCOTE
  • Michael David Joseph MOLLOY

Christie’s JGM Investments No2 Ltd company is described as;

JGM Investments No. 2 Ltd. is a public hotels and motel founded in 2010. With 11 employee, the company is larger than the average hotels and motel.

By “coincidence”, the New Zealand version of ‘Come Dine With Me‘ – which has taken ‘Campbell Live’s‘ “plum” 7pm time-slot – is produced by none other than – Eyeworks NZ.

Eyeworks was not wrong when it stated that Christie “remains connected to the Eyeworks Group”.

Not exactly conspiracy theory stuff – but a possible conflict of interest?

I contacted Eyeworks and Mediaworks and put certain questions to them;

To Eyeworks I posed these questions;

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(1) Is Eyeworks currently involved in any projects intended for TV3 that might (or is intended) to be broadcast at that time?

(2) Is Julie Christie involved in any projects intended for TV3?

(3) Was Julie Christie involved in the production of ‘Come Dine with me’?

(4) Was Julie Christie involved in any way in production of ‘Come Dine with me’?

(5) Is Julie Christie involved in any production associated with your company, either currently, or planned for the future?

(6) Julie Christie resigned from Eyeworks on 31 October 2012. Your website states that she “no longer work for Eyeworks New Zealand but remain connected to the Eyeworks Group”. Can you provide details as to what capacity she ” remains connected to the Eyeworks Group”, and is she receiving any form of remuneration for her work?

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As at time of publication, Eyeworks has not replied to my enquiries.

Through a Mediaworks staffer, I asked Board member, Julie Christie;

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According to the Eyeworks website, you “remain connected to the Eyeworks Group”. This refers to your previous role as CEO of Eyeworks NZ until your resignation from that company, effective around 31 October 2012.

Can you shed some light on what your “connection to Eyeworks Group” consists/consisted of?

Did this “connection” remain in place after your appointment to Mediaworks’ Board, in June 2013?

Does the “connection to Eyeworks Group” involve two of the Board directors of Eyeworks?

Do you receive any form of remuneration from Eyeworks?

When did Mediaworks commission ‘Come Dine With Me’?

Were you connected with commissioning ‘Come Dine With Me’ for TV3?

Who initiated the project ‘Come Dine With Me’?

Were you connected in anyway with the production of ‘Come Dine With Me’, especially in the light of Eyeworks comment that you “remain connected to the Eyeworks Group” ?

What was your role in determining the programming schedule for ‘Come Dine With Me’?

What in-put, if any, did you have in deciding that ‘Come Dine With Me’ would fill the 7pm to 7.30pm timeslot, weekdays.

When was that decision made?

Do you perceive any possible conflict-of-interest between your membership of Mediaworks’ Board, and “remaining connected to the Eyeworks Group”?

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As at time of publication, Christie has not replied to my enquiries.

To Mark Weldon, CEO of Mediaworks since August last year, I put the following;

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According to the Eyeworks website, one of your Board members, Julie Christie “remains connected to the Eyeworks Group”. This refers to her previous role as CEO of Eyeworks NZ until her resignation from that company, effective around 31 October 2012.Can you shed some light on what your understanding of her “connection to Eyeworks Group” consists/consisted of?

To your knowledge, does this “connection” remain in place subsequent to her appointment to Mediaworks’ Board, in June 2013?

To your knowledge, has Julie Christie received any form of remuneration from Eyeworks?

Are you aware that two of the Board directors of Eyeworks are also Board directors of her own company, JGM Investments Ltd and JGM Investments No2 Ltd, namely;

 

  • Greg Anthony HEATHCOTE
  • Michael David Joseph MOLLOY

When did Mediaworks commission ‘Come Dine With Me’?

Were you or Julie Christie connected with commissioning ‘Come Dine With Me’ for TV3?

Was Julie Christie in any way involved with the production of ‘Come Dine With Me’?

Who initiated the project ‘Come Dine With Me’? Was it Mediaworks, or did Eyeworks “pitch” the project to Mediaworks?

What was your role in determining the programming schedule for ‘Come Dine With Me’?

What in-put, if any, did you have in deciding that ‘Come Dine With Me’ would fill the 7pm to 7.30pm timeslot, weekdays.

When was that decision made?

Does Mediaworks have a Conflicts of Interests Register for Board Members?

If so, has Julie Christie registered any conflicts of interest on such a Register?

Do you perceive any possible conflict-of-interest between Julie Christie’s membership of Mediaworks’ Board; Ms Christie “remaining connected to the Eyeworks Group”; whilst Mediaworks purchases productions from Eyeworks?

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Mark Weldon did not reply, but Rod McGeoch, Chairperson of Mediaworks sent this response the following day;

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Dear Mr Macskasy
I am the Chairman of Mediaworks. I have been a lawyer for more than 40 years and a director of many companies over the last 20 years.
Mediaworks is a private company with one shareholder. Short of breaking the law it is entitled to run its affairs as it wishes.
As it happens Julie Christie has made all the appropriate disclosures. The board and the owner value very much her experience and connections. My views as expressed here ,mean I believe, that the answers to your enquires are unnecessary.
Any suggestion that her behaviour or interests have in any way interfered with her duties would in my view be likely to be defamatory of her.
Yours faithfully
Rod McGeoch

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I seem to have “touched a nerve”. When thinly-veiled threats of defamation lawsuits start flying, it suggests that someone finds the tenor of questioning to be uncomfortable.

To make it crystal clear for Mr McGeoch and his 40 year old lawyering career, I am asking questions, not making assertions. It would be a fairly simple matter to refute the questions with simple answers.

Thus far, no refutations or clarifications have been forthcoming.

However, an apparent conflict-of-interest still remains to be addressed by Mediaworks. Especially when the programme that replaced ‘Campbell Live‘ was created by a company – Eyeworks – with which Julie Christie is still associated, and whose Board members also sit on two companies with which Christie is involved with.

The perception of murkiness in all this cannot easily be overlooked.

The Director’s Guide, from the Financial Market’s Authority, refers specifically to potential conflicts of interests;

• Be aware of possible conflicts of interest

Make sure any conflicts you personally have are officially recorded. All companies should have an Interests Register and a process for managing potential conflicts

Where you have an ‘interest’ in a transaction, you need to be able to show how your company (or your parent company if your constitution allows this) benefits and gets fair value from it.

• Check if your company constitution allows related party transactions (transactions between related companies). If so, do any special
conditions apply and are they in the best interests of your company?  Related party transactions are also likely to be material to investors and should be disclosed in any disclosure documents.

• Ensure you have a good understanding about what falls within the definition of a related party.

There is no telling how Christie has benefitted from Eyeworks acquiring the contract to produce ‘Come Dine with Me‘. But what we do know – from Eyeworks’ own admission – is that Christie continues to “remain connected to the Eyeworks Group… working in an international creative role”.

Whilst Christie is no longer a Director of Eyeworks, she is still closely associated with two  Eyeworks Directors via two other companies.

We do not know how Eyeworks acquired the contract to produce ‘Come Dine with Me‘. But we do know that Christie is on Mediaworks’ Board of Directors.

We do not know what role Christie played in the production of ‘Come Dine with Me‘, except;

  • her involvement in the reality TV industry is well known
  • Eyeworks admits that she continues to “remain connected to the Eyeworks Group… working in an international creative role

The 7pm-7.30pm time slot is prime time, and a lucrative slot for advertising within programmes, as  Rod McGeoch, Chairperson of Mediaworks, stated candidly on 11 April 2015;

“We put news on, but only because it rates. And we sell advertising around news. This is what this is all about.”

For Eyeworks to produce a product and schedule it at prime time would have meant a profitable exercise for the company. That required, first of all, to get rid of ‘Campbell Live‘, thereby leaving the slot open.

As usual, it boils down to money.

Someone has made a lot of money out of this.

The final question; is Mediaworks new owners – Oaktree Finance – aware of all this? They should be.

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In a rare moment of sanity (hopefully) prevailing, this also appeared in  Fairfax stories (9 June);

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John Campbell talks to Radio New Zealand about possible role

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There is hope yet, that the corporate lunatics have not gained complete control of  Asylum Aotearoa. John Campbell and Mihingarangi Forbes is a Dream Team, second only to a full non-commercial, public-service television broadcaster being re-established in this neuron-deprived nation of ours.

This must be one of the top priorities (along with addressing child poverty, polluted waterways,  and housing problems) of any incoming Labour-Green(-NZ First?) government. Every New Zealander with a conscience and deep, abiding interest in the future of our country, must be on the back of a new progressive government to get this done.

I know I will.

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References

Fairfax media: Come Dine with Me to replace Campbell Live

TV3 “News”: Come Dine with Me launches on Monday

Mediaworks: Management

NZ on Air: Julie Christie

Wikipedia: Eyeworks Touchdown

TV3 News: Reality TV queen quits production firm

Scoop media: Sale of Touchdown Television to Eyeworks Group

NZ Herald: Julie Christie quits Eyeworks

NBR:  MediaWorks in receivership

NZ Herald: Media – MediaWorks eyes TV queen Julie Christie

NZ Herald: Anger over Campbell Live’s replacement Come Dine With Me

Business.govt.nz – Companies Office: Eyeworks New Zealand Ltd

Business.govt.nz – Companies Office: Eyeworks Holding New Zealand Ltd

Business.govt.nz – Companies Office: JGM Investments Ltd

Business Profiles: Greg Anthony Heathcote

Business.govt.nz – Companies Office: JGM Investments No2 Ltd

Find the Company: JGM Investments No. 2 Ltd.

Financial Markets Authority: A Director’s Guide

NZ Herald: New majority owner for Mediaworks

NZ Herald: John Campbell enlists lawyer as replacement rumours swirl

Fairfax media: John Campbell talks to Radio New Zealand about possible role

Additional

NZ Herald: Prime News outrates TV3 as audience numbers halve

Previous related blogposts

Campbell still Live, not gone

The Curious World of the Main Stream Media

Producer of ‘The Nation’ hits back at “interference” allegations over ‘Campbell Live’

This is news?!

Radio NZ – Mediawatch for 24 May 2015 – TV3’s Mark Jennings interviewed re Campbell Live

Friends, Kiwis, Countrymen! I come to praise John Campbell, not bury him

Other bloggers

Postman Productions: Media ‘crack whores’ & dirty deals

The Daily Blog: Dirty Politics – Coming To A TV Station Near You

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Sam Caughey - @peachysam - twitter - John Campbell - TV3 - Come Dance with me

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36 COMMENTS

  1. A lawyer of 40 years who can’t spell and his punctuation leaves something to be desired. Is he saying that a private company can do what ever it wants? Not if it’s receiving public money it can’t!

      • The letter from Geoch is laughable to the point where if I didn’t respect Frank’s integrity I would think it a fake. If they didn’t want to address the issues, my advice would be to just shut up.

    • But… But… TIME IS MONEY. Each comma, each semi-colon (Or is that semi;colon? Such trifling matters!) is time spent wasting money that could be returned to shareholders as dividends. And that is really all that matters.

  2. Seriously? you think media works are accountable to you? As was quite accurately pointed out, they are a private company with 1 shareholder. Are they acting in that shareholders interest? well that’s for the market to decide. If you are being defamatory, why should you be exempt from Defamation laws?

    If you don’t like the fact a private company doesn’t listen to you, set up your own private media organisation and don’t listen to people who tell you are doing it wrong. you can also not listen to people when they say your media organisation is rubbish and you won’t get any market share and you aren’t doing anything for the thinking members of New Zealand society as you are too partisan.

    wait a minute…. you sly old dog! you are way ahead of the curve aren’t you?

    • Oi! Who you calling “old”!!

      More seriously, are you suggesting that because ‘XYZ’ are “a private company” , that somehow that exempts them from potential conflicts of interest?

      In which case, “Tighty Righty”, why have an Interests Register, as promoted by the Directors Institute and Financial Markets Authority?

      Your suggestion that “If you don’t like the fact a private company doesn’t listen to you, set up your own private media organisation and don’t listen to people who tell you are doing it wrong” is a typical do-nothing response from free market proponents.

      Unfortunately, that tactic allows companies to get away with all manner of questionable and anti-social behaviour, in some bizarre corporate “Wild West” environment, which defies the idea of good corporate citizenship. Do you support the notion of companies being good corporate citizens, TR?

      • [Your submitted comment constitutes a personal attack against Frank, Martyn, and others. You’ve made your remarks under the cloak of anonymity, hardly an act from someone willing to stand by their beliefs. Judging by the level of vitriol you’ve levelled, it seems you feel very threatened by what has been published here. You are permanently banned from Tdb. – Scarlet Mod]

    • The question is: Are people at MW and Eyeworks acting corruptly?

      It certainly looks that way and that is a concern for the whole community. We need strong laws against corruption in this country.

  3. Excellent work there frank,
    Gosh we are lucky you are unwavering to get to the truth here.

    This is indicative of another secretive black ops event.

    ” I seem to have “touched a nerve”.

    When thinly-veiled threats of defamation lawsuits start flying, it suggests that someone finds the tenor of questioning to be uncomfortable.

    To make it crystal clear for Mr McGeoch and his 40 year old lawyering career, I am asking questions, not making assertions.

    It would be a fairly simple matter to refute the questions with simple answers. Thus far, no refutations or clarifications have been forthcoming.”

    Frank we are living in very dark times aren’t we all?

    • We seem to be living in a time of ever increasing corruption in the rich and powerful. Similar times have happened throughout history – usually just before the collapse of the society that had become corrupt.

  4. When they start issuing veiled threats, you know you’re onto something that is more than it appears. These people work within a system of wheels within wheels, and you’ve got to be both tenacious and thorough to get to the truth of it all. First rate work, Frank.

  5. [Not only anonymous, but a fake email to boot. If you can’t provide any true details to indicate your good faith, why should we post your comments? Try again. – ScarletMod]

  6. “Just when you thought Mediaworks couldn’t possibly dumb-down their television service any further” That is about the understatement of this century considering what Campbell has been replaced with.

  7. Well done you Frank 🙂 Thanks for the hard work put in to expose this bunch of foul, odious sewer rats. Much appreciated by us TDB supporters.

    As far as the “legal” threat of defamation, a glaring “subtle” hint of intimidation is obvious from McGeoch. No professional, legal or otherwise worthy of their status, acts in such a threatening manner towards members of the public.

    The whole issue involving Christie, MediaWorks, Eyeworks and the dumbed down programme, stinks to high heaven. More than a mild stench of corruption in the air I’d say.

  8. You are very good at what you do Frank, and your investigative tenacity is much appreciated! It broaches an interesting topic, that of Corporate accountability and to whom. The wonders of the free market approach is that accountability will somehow be regulated by the market. It’s bollocks. That’s why everything is in such a mess. If you have your finger in a pie, or many pies, and if you’re smart, you can get away with almost anything. That’s how it works in politics too. Although there are actually supposed to be clear divisions and oversight of business vs political interests. Just look at Judith Collins, we know this doesn’t happen in reality. Mediaworks perfectly represents the corporate model. That of a pathological entity who operates with mercenary opportunism, is devoid of any sense of duty to anyone outside itself, and the corrupt individuals that operate within them. Corporations are ultimately about self interest vs the enemy, public interest. If the TPP / TTIP and Tisa get through, we are well and truly going to be f**ked from every conceivable direction. No doubt Julie Christie and Mediaworks will be there to document the downfall of life as we have known it, with an Eyeworks commissioned reality series. Most likely, anyone who is brave enough to dig deeper into the associations between said entities in this new world, will be subject to more than just a veiled threat by a veteran lawyer.

    • Fayrestorm,according to Herald we might well be F***d on wed next week when the lobbyists expect the vote again ,according to Grosser it will be good for NZ but it might exclude agriculture, other countries have protected their agriculture but NZ will take any old deal ,Key just wants to please the corporates so bugger NZ.
      Frank maybe you could join NZ First in the next bye election, we need people like you who are not afraid of bullying lawyers and reality show dollies.
      Funny before tv3 lost John Campbell I never heard of her,seems like a loser to me .

  9. Frank I do appreciate your investigation, and certainly share some of your concerns, however I do question your motivation. To claim that Campbell Live was a “highly successful, well-respected current affair” is verging on delusional. Campbell was the doyen of the left, sure, but that is a declining audience, and that showed in the programs falling ratings over time. (According to http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11430250 CL’s viewer numbers had halved in 12 months). Many here have tried to justify Campbell’s continuity by the ratings achieved in the last days of the show, but that isn’t how commercial broadcasting works. Campbell has done some good work, but after 10years it had run its course, and the public verdict was in. Finally you seem to be suggesting that Come Dine with Me is a permanent replacement for CL. My understanding from what I’ve read is that CL’s medium term replacement will be a current affairs how to compete with 7sharp.

    • D you are dangerously close to being troll, if all you have are Cameron Slater’s media salesperson to go on as evidence, I suggest you move onto whale oil – TDB has run numerous blogs pointing out the political machinations that have been behind CL getting cut, are you serially pretending that we haven’t?

      • Your censorship of my reply to you is a disgrace. If you don’t want debate, just put up a sign.

  10. Thorough as ever Frank. Your efforts are laudable, admirable and an example to us all.
    Now I am going to go and throw up in the dunny.

  11. Frank, you are a very valuable asset to us all!

    Thanks for your investigative work, this is another great example of how we can via blogs expose the “rot” that appears to have set in, not only in broadcasting and the media, but in much of present day New Zealand business and society as a whole!

    With the many years of privatisation, of corporatisation, of outsourcing and so forth, we have now a very complex, diverse and “murky” field of operators and players in all areas of business activity, also increasingly cutting across into government activities.

    The individualisation of employment contracts, of increasing mix of public and private interests, and the now dominant influence of vested interest parties is leading to endless conflicts of interest all over the place. NO wonder then, they got rid of Campbell Live, who did not fit the agenda of some, who now call the tunes.

    What comes to my mind again is, how the recent welfare reforms were conducted, and how they have led to the increasing outsourcing of employment referral and work ability assessment services from late 2013 onwards. This has benefited some providers, who in at least two cases had also acted as “advisor” on the so-called “health and disability panel” established by MSD and Paula Bennett in 2011/12, to “advise” on welfare reforms. Sorry to go a bit off topic, but here is what ‘NZ Doctor found out and published 29 Feb. 2012:
    http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/in-print/2012/february-2012/29-february-2012/four-gps-advise-on-new-benefit.aspx
    (if the link does not work, try to Google ‘health and disability panel NZ Doctor) to find the link to the story).

    An extract from that article says:
    “Other members of the panel are: Fit For Work medical director David Beaumont; psychiatrist and former Ministry of Health director of mental health David Chaplow; disability advocate and accessible communications specialist Robyn Hunt; employment and mental health expert Helen Lockett; Auckland University of Technology rehabilitation professor Kathryn McPherson; Allied Health executive director Janice Mueller; Capital & Coast DHB chief medical officer Geoff Robinson; What Ever It Takes disability support director Charmeyne Te Nana-Williams; Wellington Pasefika Disability Network chair Pati Umaga; and Hamilton-based Career Moves Trust chief executive Roy Wilson.”

    Here is a post shining more light on that Panel, used to “advise” on “welfare reform”:
    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/

    So on that panel were Helen Lockett (originally from the UK), who is the ‘Strategic Policy Advisor’ of the Wise Group, which also includes ‘Workwise’ as one of their charity register listed “companies”. ‘Workwise’ was rewarded with a WINZ contract to provide “services” to get mentally ill into jobs. Mental Health Employment Services is the area they are active in, under contract now with MSD.

    Helen Lockett, Workwise, the Wise Group and interests:
    https://nz.linkedin.com/pub/helen-lockett/25/1b/86b
    http://www.workwise.org.nz/news/2014/02/21/workwise-hosts-employment-support-symposium
    http://www.workwise.org.nz/news/2012/02/27/analysis-shows-strong-financial-returns-from-employment

    David Beaumont, chair of the above mentioned “Panel”, and his former ‘Pathways to Work’ business and other interests can be found here:
    https://nz.linkedin.com/pub/david-beaumont/2a/780/943
    http://www.fitforwork.co.nz/team
    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/speakers/speakerbeaumonttext_2011_south.php

    And as then President Elect of the AFOEM, Beaumont invited this man and his ideas, to pave the way for all that followed:
    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/racp-faculties/australasian-faculty-of-occupational-and-environmental-medicine/realising-the-health-benefits-of-work/may-2010-video-presentation-professor-sir-mansel-aylward/

    Beaumont was running his own rehab and job referral business ‘Pathways to Work Ltd’ in Otago, while “advising” government on welfare reforms in 2012 and 2013, as leader of the above mentioned panel, to bring in measures to get sick and disabled into work!

    As for Workwise and their contracts with MSD/WINZ, see this OIA response from 24 April last year, page 8:
    https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/msd-o-i-a-reply-d-power-mhes-waa-information-complete-24-04-2014.pdf

    Other useful info on all this is found here:
    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/17163-mental-health-employment-service-sole-parent-employment-service-oia-info-implies-msd-trials-a-failure/

    You can look at various other areas in NZ business, and you will find that we have increasing ties between central and local government activities, and on the other hand clear business interests. And with the media becoming increasingly commercially focused and dominated, the same applies there.

    Dirty Politics only slightly scratched the surface of what goes on.

    Everything is for sale now, everything is a commodity, it seems, and all else is compromised. Welcome to NZ Inc 2015!

    • Paid executioners all, getting paid by the government to bring other people down. These people don’t care who or how they effect the ill the disabled and other unfortunates,the road to hell is paved with bad intentions.How NZ has changed for the worst since the advent of Key ,all the other greedies follow his lead .

    • I notice that ATOS was featured quite heavily. The same corporate mercenaries who who routinely assessed terminal cancer patients, the severely disabled and the mentally ill as “fit for work” in the UK — which resulted in a spate of suicides and deaths by starvation in freezing bedsits.

      Apparently, if you’re poor, crazy or a hopeless cripple, no one cares if you waste away in a gutter or hurl yourself in front of a truck. I mean, if you’re dead, then we don’t have to pay you anymore money. Win-win for Tory scum the world over.

    • Thanks, Karen, indeed, thanks to gossip “queen” Glucina, we can relish this bit:

      ‘The best tiffs and tantrums of 2009’, compliments the NZ Herald, from 09 Dec. 09

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10613997

      “Julie Christie’s other brother, Michael Molloy, was involved in a scrap of his own last month when he let loose a tirade of abuse towards TVNZ’s head of programming Jane Wilson after she decided to put the second series of Burying Brian on hold.”

      “The TV show belongs to Eyeworks NZ where Christie holds the position of chief executive and Molloy is business affairs director. The shocking verbal attack by Molloy on the woman who holds tremendous power over their work was particularly embarrassing as it took place in the middle of a swanky luncheon at Euro restaurant for Melbourne Cup day celebrations.

      Wilson told Spy Molloy’s vicious diatribe was “very humiliating. I was really embarrassed and I was trying to calm him down but I couldn’t.” An eyewitness described it as “appalling. He was being incredibly aggressive and intimidating to a woman. It was disgraceful and totally unacceptable. He was f***ing angry.”

      It is therefore also a bit of a “family affair”, is it not?

      Molloy on LinkedIn:
      https://nz.linkedin.com/pub/mike-molloy/32/3b3/233

      Who needs to watch soap operas, when we have real life “soaps” happen before our eyes?

  12. Hi Frank

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your thought provoking posts, and the occasional sparring. What I cannot tolerate is the censorship of opinion here, including my response to the moderator above that was deleted. I don’t know if labelling someone the blog disagrees with as a troll is normal behaviour here, but I will follow your own blog, and give TDB a miss.

  13. Frank speaks of a “full non-commercial, public-service television broadcaster being re-established”. Maybe I’m a dreamer (ok, yes, definitely a dreamer) but I think we can go one better:
    * a publicly-funded free wireless internet, along the lines of the Free Network Foundation vision (thefnf.org)
    * a non-commercial, public-service internet broadcaster, independent of the government of the day, and all political parties and corporations.

    Television as we know it is a dinosaur. Like newspapers, it’s domestic audience is easier to measure than that of internet media, and there is a significant sub-industry whose only job is to measure those audiences, and who will peddle the perception that old media are still the primary perception shapers for as long as they can. However, as the last of the Boomers parents pass on, and the Boomers themselves pass on, the last of the significant television and newspaper audiences passes with them.

    So far we haved mostly resisted the forces who are trying to balkanize and corporatize the internet into something resembling commercial television (SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, internet slow lanes etc). This has been a boon for radicals (anyone opposed to neo-liberalism), opening up an opportunity to create a more democratic mediascape using the internet, and there are now a multitude of partially and completely online media organisations, staffed mostly by well-meaning volunteers – myself included. One challenge for most of these organisations is they have yet to figure out how to pay people whose fulltime work is needed a living wage, and pay those who contribute part-time or casually a fair piecework rate their their work. This is one of the major advantages old media still have over online media, despite their shrinking audiences.

    To sum up, we need to do three things:
    *ensure that every kiwi has access to a free internet connection which at least allows them to read public interest blogs and download public service audio and audio-visual media via BitTorrent
    * ensure that there are a range of not-for-profit media organisations producing public interest news, current events, and investigative journalism in a range of media formats, published online, using open standards compatible with every kind of online device (desktop/laptop, mobile, digital TV, gaming console, digital radio, portable audio player etc)
    * create a number of direct funding models which allows these not-for-profits to cover their operating costs and pay everyone who works for them, without being dependent on either corporate advertising, or government and philanthropic funding, which tends to come with strings attached

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