Kicking a person when they are down is never a good thing





The resignation of Clare Curran from her remaining ministerial portfolios has created a wider fallout that has enveloped Radio NZ’s Political Editor, Jane Patterson.

- Sponsor Promotion -

In a recent ‘tweet’ on Twitter, Ms Patterson drew angry responses after posting a comment directed at former Labour MP, Marian Hobbs;



Ms Patterson’s ‘tweet’ was roundly criticised by a majority of Twitter commentors – though one of the eightytwo ‘Likes’ was by a well-known right-wing blogger;



Which is ‘curious’ to put it mildly. Cameron Slater has expressed nothing but hostility and contempt for Radio NZ in the past, often referring to it as “Red Radio”.

Clare Curran responded to Ms Patterson’s ‘tweet’ describing it as an “incredibly nasty comment”. Shortly thereafter, Ms Curran closed her Twitter account, according to a NewstalkZB report.

Ms Patterson’s on-line remark capped a disastrous week for former Broadcasting and ACC Minister, Clare Curran. Sensing Clare Curran’s vulnerability over recent gaffes, the National Party relentlessly piled on the pressure.

Ms Curran was rattled – her self-confidence badly dented – judging by her handling of answers on 5 September to questions from National MP, Melissa Lee.

Sensing the Minister’s vulnerability, National Opposition MPs continued to attack her in Parliament and through on-line social media.

It was the most primal of interactions between creatures; a pack of predators hungry for a kill, circling a solitary, wounded creature. The ‘pack’ pursued her, drained her of strength until all resistance crumbled, and she relented;


Acknowledgement: Bryce Edwards


On 7 September the Minister announced her resignation. For Ms Curran, the fight for (political) survival was over.

The Opposition Pack had claimed their ‘kill’ – her ministerial ‘scalp’ the first from this government.

To be utterly, brutally fair – the Labour Opposition scored their own victories during nine years of Key’s administration, claiming one ‘scalp’ after another;

Todd Barclay

Judith Collins

Aaron Gilmore

Phil Heatley

Mike Sabin

Kate Wilkinson

Maurice Williamson

Pansy Wong

Richard Worth

Some, like Hekia Parata, resigned for “personal reasons” – political code for stepping down under intense political/public scrutiny and pressure – but not wanting to give the satisfaction of a ‘scalp’ to the Opposition.

In Ms Parata’s case, her role as Education Minister had been abysmal, drawing strident criticism from parents, principals, School Boards, and teachers alike. During the classroom-size controversy, former PM John Key was forced to intervene during an overseas visit to dampen the firestorm enveloping his Minister.

Ms Curran’s resignation drew unexpected sympathy from an Opposition National MP not usually associated with any sense of compassion – Judith Collins.

On the same day Ms Curran resigned, Judith Collins told Mediaworks’ The AM Show;

“I thought this is someone who seriously needs to think about whether or not they want to come back into that environment. I felt quite sorry for her, and even though it’s our job to hold her to account – and Melissa Lee’s done an excellent job – I think we that we all felt a bit sorry for Clare as a human being.  She should have been relieved of her posts properly a couple of weeks ago.”

For someone like Judith Collins to express sympathy – whether feigned or real – puts Jane Patterson’s less-than-charitable into stark contrast. The point that Ms Patterson made  a comment that was ‘Liked’ by a far-right blogger should give her pause for thought.

A comment so widely criticised and more likely to come from Mike Hosking, Duncan Garner, or Leighton Smith should give Ms Patterson something to reflect on.

Clare Curran faced an ignominious week. The National Opposition did it’s ‘job’. She resigned under a cloud. Judith Collins expressed a measure of compassion.

A seasoned professional like Jane Patterson, working for the most respected media outlet in this country, should know better.  Dumping on a person when they are down and out, at their most vulnerable, has no other name: bullying.

I would like to think Ms Patterson has made an honest mistake – and god knows we all make them. Removing the ‘tweet’ would be a good start. A personal phone call to Ms Curran should follow next.

It’s what good people do when passions and tempers cool.





Twitter: Jane Patterson – Clare Curran – 7 September 2018

Whaleoil: Radio NZ/”Red Radio”

NewstalkZB: Clare Curran hits back at RNZ journalist’s ‘incredibly nasty’ tweet

Radio NZ: Clare Curran’s resignation: ‘This pressure has become intolerable’

Radio NZ: Clare Curran’s resignation: ‘This pressure has become intolerable’

Fairfax media: Clare Curran on personal leave after horror Question Time

Twitter: National Party – Clare Curran – 6 September 2018

Fairfax media: Nothing wrong with Hekia Parata’s husband’s health – not why she’s stepping down

Fairfax media: Backlash forces Government class size U-turn

Mediaworks: The AM Shows – Judith Collins felt sorry for Clare Curran ‘as a human being’

Other Bloggers

No Right Turn:  Dishonest

No Right Turn:  Good riddance

Pundit: Ministers be warned – Next time the Band-Aid will come off fast

The Daily Blog: Clare Curran shows grace and resigns as Broadcasting Minister

The Standard: Curran resigns as a Minister

The Standard: The right work themselves into a frenzy about Ardern and Curran

Previous related blogposts

Nick Smith






= fs =


  1. Why is getting a ‘scalp’ considered a win? I’d like to see a different attitude from MP’s in future as this hasn’t helped to ‘hold the govt to account, nor has it added anything to the running of the country.

  2. Politics is not a game for the thin skinned, or weak of heart, you got to be more like a Vulture with sharp talons and a voracious appetite for rotten flesh, you know like Judith Collins lol

  3. Still remember Jane Patterson’s look of feral glee during a vile question against David Cunliffe during Dirty Politics. Have never liked nor trusted her political incites since.

  4. Judith Collins sympathy whether real or feigned is designed to get a dig at jacind(she should have been relieved of her portfolios two weeks ago). This is the new nemesis they are trying to create ie jacinda is weak. Bridges did it this morning on radio NZ

  5. Sweet Jane Patterson

    That one person Stalag Manager – Jane Patterson – should be invited to quietly leave Radio New Zealand.

    She could run her barbed wire Stalag all by herself without criticism.

    Upon her overdue dismissal, New Zealand Media thankfully, would receive a major rise in prestige.

    Jane is not a Leopard that could hope to change her holocaustic approach.

  6. A comment so widely criticised and more likely to come from Mike Hosking, Duncan Garner, or Leighton Smith

    or Pat Gower, don’t leave that creep out.

  7. Where’s my comment? Left out because I didn’t join the chorus of sympathy? I pointed out that after making the same mistake twice, Claire naively said she’d apologised as if that was enough to get her off the hook. Not for the gnats who attacked her to sting her like gnats do. Both Claire and her leader lacked political nous not to accept she was 2 down and out.

    • janio, if you can’t even spell Clare’s name right, how many other comments, opinions, nonsense have you got wrong?

      Key pulling hair – please point to where you attacked his right to be in government never mind as prime minister, and I might, just might believe you have an opinion worth listening to. Yeah, technical assault by him as opposed to two forgotten diary listings. Tch, tch.

      It simply points to scrabbling in the bottom of the barrel of venom to get a pin prick score. Oh, just go away you silly little creature.

  8. Great – smoke out yet another biased media personality favouring a rightwing political party, along with all the other media (I hesitate to say it) ‘journalists’ and rabid sociopaths purporting to be the voice of all New Zealanders, but funnily enough loving on Bridges and hating on Ardern, without any real display of investigative reporting whenever they open their gobs or tablets.
    Trouble is, if they’re the only game in town and Labour/NZ First/Greens do not see this as a problem, especially with the once proud, objective institution of Radio New Zealand becoming a nact hothouse, Labour and Co’s road to continue in government becomes an issue.
    Name these pseudo-journalists (thanks Frank) and then we know that every time they make a statement, it is to the advantage of the national/act parties and global moneyed interests, not in our interests.

    As for the income these personalities earn for betraying most New Zealanders’ futures – I’d put them on the living wage; that’s all they deserve. They produce little of real use to our country; instead, they sell us out. That’s the real crime.

    Remember the film Spotlight? That’s real journalism, not the crap that’s being dished up to us now.

    Journalism is no longer a profession with integrity; it has been dragged down by Patterson types. TV3’am’ and ‘The Nation’ are obvious natholes. Sadly, RadioNZ is now owned by greed, not by objective reporting.

    Greed’s roots and tentacles are everywhere. Like Kikuyu grass that uproots concrete, greed uproots people’s lives and breaks up their social cohesion in order to divide and control.

  9. Jum you are right, I misspelt Clare’s name which was rubbish of me. She was not a Cunliffe supporter (she criticised him)so I thought of her as not being on the left of the party and wondered about her capability for jobs like broadcasting & to see through the possibility of creating a genuinely public broadcasting channel. Let’s see what her replacement does. I wanted to write about political issues, not her situation of being under attack. Often you get attacked because those opposing you think you’re dangerous. Not in Clare’s case, she’d made mistakes which made her vulnerable to both gnats & MSM. I was a Labourite who supported Cunliffe like many other members wanting to push the party leftwards.When his wife attacked Robertson for undermining her husband I was aghast that Cunliffe apologised for her. Amazing you think I ever had a good opinion of Key. You carry prejudices like I do.

    • Janio,

      Thank you for clarifying your earlier message. Perhaps we can move on from that.
      I certainly have my prejudices, perhaps the most important one in political thought is my intolerance towards the professional body of journalism that continues to allow its supposedly objective investigative reporters to show complete bias, often to the point of deliberately misleading the public, by omission, sometimes in order to gain a lucrative career in political PR. (It reminds me of ‘good’ who are leaping up and down at the unfairness of these new regulations but were happy to see other renters in the most desperate and unhealthy conditions. Perhaps if they had weeded those nasties out by reporting them or prosecuting them privately, regulations now coming into play would probably not have happened.)
      In both cases Journalism and deserve whatever approbrium they receive.

      My second prejudice is against those that used to be a supporter of one side, yet decamp to the other more conservative business-greed-side, with the extraordinary notion that the new side will be better; it can only be worse. Take Douglas in 80s and the no doubt many voters that then voted for national. Did they seriously think their lives would be any better; instead they got Richardson. Sadly, Douglas showed his true political affiliations too late.

      And like you, I react harder on my favourites when they don’t fulfil my admittedly great expectations, and when nonsense is allowed to delay policy that helps all New Zealanders.
      So perhaps I was the silly little creature this time…

Comments are closed.