So when will the NZ mainstream media start examining how they contributed to the Meth Hysteria story?

By   /   September 20, 2018  /   8 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

How did this monstrosity manage to get out of hand so fast in a first world country based on science? Because the corporate media’s favourite whipping boy, beneficiaries, were involved and no one lost money in newspapers from beating up on bludgers.

A snapshot of the brave NZ mainstream media who contributed so whole heartedly in the meth hysteria from the start

The sheer scale of this meth hysteria is depressingly intense and large.

In almost every possible and conceivable way, the State utterly failed.

Social Policy should be based on making life better, not punitively cripple it.

That’s what Housing NZ and their political masters did, they crippled vulnerable people seeking shelter.

HNZ threw 2400 beneficiaries out onto the streets, banned them from HNZ for 12 months, in some cases had children removed, were allegedly getting secret information from Health Boards targeting addicts using their services and indebted hundreds with hundreds of thousands in contamination costs while needlessly costing the country over $120m.

All at a time when we were in the middle of a housing and homelessness crisis!

Housing NZ, Bill English & Paula Bennett were all told in 2016 that HNZ were applying their own policy incorrectly, and yet HNZ still threw 300 onto the street after being told this directly.


Because at a time when Paula and Bill were trying to privatise state housing, negative media attention against druggie beneficiaries was great marketing.

The entire hysteria would not have happened if the fourth estate had not been asleep at the wheel.

We need a thorough examination of the media’s role in whipping up this hysteria. The Daily Blog and Public Address were sounding alarms about this policy from the beginning, Lisa Owen and John Campbell picked that criticism up and were the only ones challenging this witch hunt.

Where was the rest of the media?

How did this monstrosity manage to get out of hand so fast in a first world country based on science? Because the corporate media’s favourite whipping boy, beneficiaries, were involved and no one lost money in newspapers from beating up on bludgers.

Mix this media contempt for the poor with many middle class landowners who now have tenants in their precious investment portfolios and the fear of a loss of capital gains mixed with neoliberal cultural disgust at self failure for being poor in the first place, and you had all the self interested ingredients and momentum for hysteria to take over.

That this fiasco wasn’t taken to pieces by the mainstream media shows how utterly failed we are by our fourth estate.

I’m disgusted by the lot of you.

Want to support this work? Donate today
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook


  1. stefan broca says:

    Time for a royal commission?

    • RED BUZZARD says:

      agreed…who made the money out of this fiasco?…ie in the clean ups?…how much money did they make?…what associations did they have with Nactional?

  2. Marc says:

    The MSM (Main SHIT Media), are you kidding? They only look at what they choose to look at, and ignore what they cannot be bothered with. They NEVER did much to investigate the crap served up as ‘evidence’ used to justify ‘welfare reforms’, for years:
    (new current PDF with post, 19.09.16)

    “Is the statement that if a person is off work for 70 days the chance of ever getting back to work is 35% justified?” NZMJ, 20 Nov. 2015:

    Also worth reading:
    ‘In the expectation of recovery’, Faulkner, Centre for Welfare Reform, Scrib:
    (criticism of biopsychosocial model, Aylward et al)

  3. RED BUZZARD says:

    +100….totally agree with this post…where was the investigative journalism in the mainstream media?

    …it should not have been hard to find, given how the issue was being dealt with in Australia and other countries

    …except for one or two exceptions, the mainstream media were mouthpieces for jonkey’s and Bill English’s and Judith Collin’s Nactional Party

    …which was on a witch hunt against the poorest of the poor New Zealanders

  4. Rickoshay says:

    Time for a court case against these culprits, name the individuals behind this action and sue all of them in a class action, Ministers on down to media clowns

  5. Michelle says:

    Our current government also need to look at who gained the most benefit from the selling of our state assets thousand of state properties were sold of and also land. I see half a million dollars houses being built on state land where state flats were and not one state house. Also the mums and dad who brought our power company shares id like to know how many were actually mums and dads we all know full well this was just another big jk lie.

  6. Andrew says:

    A case in point Martyn:

    At the peak of the meth polluted house hysteria a colleague and I (both scientists) were walking down K road and were stopped by a TV3 team doing interviews in the street – looking for opinion on the problem.

    They asked us what we thought about the “crisis”. I answered by asking them how the readings compared to an official ‘safe exposure level’.

    This what clearly not what they wanted to hear and moved on. They were looking for hand wringing and alarm from the general public, not a calm response querying the science behind this circus.

    Don Henley nails it:

    The whole episode didn’t make scientific sense to me at the time. Sure, meth and its precursors are horrid poisons, but if they’re volatile enough to exude from building materials, given time and adequate ventilation, their levels in the houses affected would drop to a safe level and eventually be undetectable. Alternatively, if they’re not volatile, then repainting the house internally would make it safe by preventing contact exposure.

Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog,