MUST READ: A Lamentable Failure of Imagination

65
2137
Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi.

WHEN MATTHEW HOOTON is able to outflank the “Left” effortlessly on RNZ’s Nine-to-Noon something has gone very seriously wrong. Only this morning (6/4/20) the grey personification of Labour’s dreary political pragmatism, Stephen Mills, seemed poised to dismiss as nonsense the suggestion that Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi, should have accepted Bauer Media’s offer of its entire New Zealand operation for just $1.00, when Hooton executed a cheeky intercept and lambasted Faafoi’s failure to nationalise some of New Zealand’s most iconic mastheads.

This lamentable failure of the Centre-Left’s imagination was also in evidence on The Standard, where the man who goes by the entirely undeserved moniker of “Mickey Savage” opined: “Clearly the Government has more pressing issues to deal with than producing the likes of Woman’s Weekly.”

It really is depressing to be confronted with imaginative failures of this magnitude. As if Jacinda Ardern, Grant Robertson and their colleagues were planning to drop everything and settle themselves into the editor’s chair at the NZ Woman’s Weekly, The Listener, Metro and North & South. As if the current editors could not have been asked to remain at their posts pending a complete re-organisation of Bauer Media’s New Zealand holdings. As if the current ownership and management structures were the only viable options on offer. Has “Mickey Savage” never heard of worker co-operatives? Is his casual dismissal of public ownership really indicative of the best thinking of which Labour’s activist base is capable?

But, if “Mickey Savage’s” imagination by-pass is merely confirmation of the damage done to Labour by more than 30 years of drinking the neoliberal Kool-Aid, how to explain Gordon Campbell’s capitulation to the palpable mendacity of the status-quo? Responding to the destruction of New Zealand’s leading periodicals on his “Werewolf” website, the former Listener employee wrote:

“Weirdly, one news outlet has sought to blame the government for Bauer’s decision to close down its titles, and scarper. According to Newshub, after Bauer had refused the wage subsidy, it then asked the government to buy its magazine titles. The government refused to be held to ransom and in Newshub’s view at least, it was wrong not to do so. Really? One can only imagine the screams of outrage if the government began picking and choosing among the losers, and nationalising them at taxpayer expense. Imagine the jibes if PM Jacinda Ardern had ended up owning the NZ Woman’s Weekly. In reality, this outcome is Bauer’s fault alone.”

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Now, it is possible to mitigate “Mickey Savage’s” failure of imagination by pointing to his general unfamiliarity with the New Zealand media landscape. There is no way, however, Campbell can plead ignorance. He is, when all is said and done, one of this country’s best print journalists. He knows that if the Government had taken up Bauer’s offer, it would not have been Jacinda Ardern who “ended up owning the NZ Woman’s Weekly” but the New Zealand people. Has the progressive fire that once burned in Campbell’s journalistic soul been reduced to such a pallid bed of embers that he can no longer see, or summon the energy to care about, the possibilities of public ownership?

Sadly, that was not the worst of it. Since when was a bona fide progressive journalist dissuaded from righting the terrible wrong done to the New Zealand public by the wholesale deregulation of their media industry, by imagining “the screams of outrage” and “jibes” of neoliberal ideologues? Progressive journalism should be made of sterner stuff. It used to be.

The real irony of the Bauer debacle, however, is that in Germany itself (where Bauer Media is based) nothing remotely resembling the events of the past fortnight would have been permitted. As Dr Chris Harris pointed out to The Daily Blog’s readers in the sad aftermath of Bauer’s closure:

“In German commercial law the first duty of management is normally to maintain the enterprise and its workforce as a going concern and try to trade out of difficulties, even if banks and shareholders take a hit.”

In other words, had the Communications Minister take a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board (which was, almost certainly, unaware) that the mastheads in their stable represented much more, culturally, than mere commercial assets. If the Germans had been informed of these publications’ iconic status, then there is every reason to suppose that they would have responded differently.

Is it too much to expect the man responsible for New Zealand’s media and communications to know how German politicians would respond to a similar crisis unfolding in their own media industry? Not really. Anyone with a passing interest in international social-democracy, which presumably includes the upper echelons of the NZ Labour Party, would have a working knowledge of Germany’s “social-market” economy.

Acknowledging the reality of Faafoi’s demonstrable political and ideological limitations, however, it should not – at the very least – have been beyond the wit of those advising the Communications Minister to grasp the possibilities inherent in Bauer’s all-too-evident eagerness to quit New Zealand. A well-informed public service, motivated by something more than the avoidance of controversy and ministerial embarrassment, would have made clear to Faafoi the extraordinary opportunity that was opening up in front of him. That those around the Minister proved to be as lacking in boldness and imagination as their boss tells us a great deal about the extent to which the neoliberal tapeworm has hollowed out the New Zealand state.

Beyond the sterling example provided by the Prime Minister and her Finance Minister, New Zealanders could be forgiven for wondering if there is anyone else in the Coalition Cabinet equal to the challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 Pandemic. One has only to consider the curiously disengaged behaviour of Health Minister, David Clark. Yes, there was that ill-advised bike ride, but of even more concern is the fact that, in the midst of a national health emergency, New Zealand’s Health Minister has isolated himself in his Dunedin family home – 600 kilometres south of the capital. Moreover, as citizens’ rights are being necessarily curtailed, why do we hear so little from the Justice Minister and the Attorney-General? With more and more “idiots” flouting the Covid-19 rules, where is the Police Minister?

These are precisely the questions which New Zealand’s magazine editors would have been urging their investigative journalists to answer on behalf of their readers. What a pity, then, that those same editors and journalists no longer have jobs, and that their publications have been shut down.

Especially when all of them could have been saved by the expenditure of just a single dollar.

 

65 COMMENTS

  1. Having purchased Bauer NZ for $1.00 the government could have passed partial shareholdings on to other parties, such as the journalists’ and printers’ unions, who would be be interested mainly in ensuring that their members were “looked after’ rather than in making a profit.

    • It would seem to be scoped to the formation of a cooperative with worker and other parties cobbling together the means for production. The expertise and experience is there and without a profit motive a more sustainable model needs immediate attention.
      This is an area where Govt can initiate dialogue between workers, unions, suppliers and distributors to drawn together voices and minds to solve matters that may look like road blocks.
      Not a new idea and recently a part of UK Labour’s thrust.

      • Good one Sam and john,

        Let us make most NZ bussiness that is now on shaky ground into workers co-operatives as Britian did with their premier motor cycles namely ‘Triumph’ and ‘Harley Daividson’ just to name two, so we should do this Jacinda.

        • Don’t forget we would have had these things if Corbyn and Sanders was good enough at lying so let’s speak of a “workers cooperative/commune” no more, and just put it all to a vote, less the communist revolutionary speak, sound fair?

        • PS I meant to say lets “not” speak about this again.

          Edit: was just meaning that perhaps it would be best if we focused on what’s good for the economy

          • I can’t get your meaning Sam. What’s good for the economy is rotating money for work and all being kept in NZ. Good old basic work with everyone striving and doing things that are good, and getting livable wages and then some high flying things as well. But looking after the basics, not allowing weakly built edifices or built-in trapdoors that flip open at times of trouble and drop us into the poo.

  2. I’m still trying to work out why no one has asked why did Bauer not offer the one dollar deal to the editors of their magazines…

  3. Bauer’s problem – which would have become the government’s problem -was that not enough people bought their magazines, or their advertising (see back to the first problem).

    The only people publicly lamenting the loss of The Listener, Metro, and the Womens'(?) Weekly are the thoroughly middle-class writers and academics who wrote for (or dreamed of writing for) those magazines.

    • What you are citing here, Ada, are not facts but reckons.

      The Listener, for example, was a going concern with a strong subscription-base and good over-the-counter sales. The lessons to be learned from the Listener’s relative success – especially the importance of shifting one’s revenue dependence from advertising to subscriptions – were applicable to the whole Bauer stable.

      Your comment also ignores the potential for a shift from ink-on-paper to online “publication”.

      There was so much that could have been done, if only Faafoi had taken Bauer’s mastheads under the state’s wing. His failure of imagination – and yours – bode ill for the future of the New Zealand Left.

      • So why was it shut, if it had all that potential, Chris?

        Hope is not a substitute for readership and advertising.

        • Thats are all very commendable and so on and so forth and ect.

          The issue is the Internet dosnt have any journalist, standards or integrity.

          Just look at any link that goes up on The Daily Blog from bloggers AND commenters, the vast majority of them are foreigners. That just means we are listening to foreigners talk about what they think New Zealand should be saying and thinking.

          A loss of institutional knowledge of this scale is something we won’t get back. So charge a top rate on online advertisement and get these people back to work.

    • “The only people publicly lamenting the loss of The Listener, Metro, and the Womens'(?) Weekly are the thoroughly middle-class writers and academics who wrote for (or dreamed of writing for) those magazines.”
      Not necessarily so. The Listener, in particular, used to be a regular buy for professional people, most of my colleagues bought or borrowed it, everyone read it; my GP had it in his waiting room. I stopped buying it gradually as it disappointed, and, rightly or wrongly, I assumed that it was part of the dumbing down of society.

      The dumbing down was perhaps best exemplified by the women’s mags. I have an old bound copy of one which well exemplifies the useful role which they used to play in the lives of ordinary people. They carried household hints, instructions on how to alter and upgrade quality clothing to keep it in fashion, money saving and food preservation hints, things which have little application in a “modern” consumerist society dominated by throwaway tat from China.

      Ironically, much of their practical advice is relevant now to survivalists prepping for surviving some sort climate change apocalypse when we may be forced to become more self-reliant. We’re the ones who find ourselves well set up for events like the current lock-down, but certainly not due to the glossies – I’ve rarely read them in recent years, but they look like boring people writing about each other.

      Whether any of them would fare better owned by the govt is a moot point if government is too intellectually illiterate to discern a void which could have been constructively filled.

      Whether editorial independence would necessarily occur with a govt owned publication, is also debatable when the quality of the public service is now so variable- possibly after years of castration by various govt ministers; there are some contemporary govt depts and SOE’s which take ministerial requests in their stride stride, and others which panic into craven self-protective mode not necessarily caused by or wanted by their ministers.

      Nevertheless, it is thoroughly lamentable that no-one on government saw this as an opportunity to seize the day and try to keep some NZ centred mags afloat; it could also impact on the local book market where suburban shops like Paper Plus may depend upon the magazine trade; magazines were what we took when visiting hospital patients if we managed to get in to see them before they got booted out again.

    • Ada, you are completely right. If sales of the magazines had been higher, Bauer wouldn’t have let the business fold. Anyone who knows how sharply circulation (including subscriptions) have been falling year by year would need to be extremely brave to put up the money to take them on.
      I bet there will be no staff attempts to buy titles from Bauer even though redundancies for long-time employees will be substantial and some of the mags, including The Listener, would be profitable as standalone businesses once freed of Bauer’s corporate overheads.
      Who would sink their money into a sharply contracting business? Not journalists, I’d wager.

  4. Superb Post @ CT.
    Expertly defined to highlight in-house institutionalised Machiavellian confederacy as defined by a cadre of tape worm ( To use one of yours ) neoliberals with instructions from places that are beyond the imaginations of even Francisco Goya ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Goya ) or Hieronymus Bosch ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieronymus_Bosch )
    There’s one thing that we must remember about ‘print media’. Unlike digital media, print media is more difficult to pull the plug on.
    One could burn print media I suppose?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning
    “When the burning is widespread and systematic, destruction of books and media can become a significant component of cultural genocide. “
    Look? I remember the instrumentals behind the demise of The Listener. It was lured down an alleyway and strangled to death by that Scunthorpe runt douglas’ neoliberal criminals waiting to help themselves to our stuff and things. ( Make of Scunthorpe what you will. )
    RNZ too, was doused in boring oils as fabulous Kim Hill was either dumped or sent packing after she nailed little roge’ kerr of the absurd and infamous ‘Business Round Table’ down then stripped his shallow bones clean on air.
    Neoliberalism’s black heart’s still beating a healthy drum here, it would be foolish to think [it’s] in retreat.
    And isn’t it funny, that you can read neoliberal apologist’s funny little squeaks and brain farts here as word-bite comments but have you noticed?
    They have nothing ‘creative’ to add. Not one thing and that, is their Achilles heel.
    They can out scam us but they’ll never out think us. They, by virtue of that, will always come unstuck eventually. Is that not so @ Faafoi? douglas? quigley? prebble? moore? ( Oh. Wait. You’re dead. So? How’re things working out for you then mike? As above? )

  5. Yes, this certainly looks like a great political opportunity squandered. The case and the situation has many docking stations for demonstrating transformational change with positive potential spill-over effects on many issues.

    Perhaps the matter can still be re-evaluated and alternative action is possible?

    Besides a government engagement, it should not be too difficult to establish direct links and communication between the Social-Democratic and Labour Party, the Greens in NZ and Germany, and the relevant trade union wings in both countries.

    There is also a strong public acceptance of the present NZ PM in Germany, and Europe in general.

    As I see from their website, the Bauer media group is not the classical capitalist entity but a 5th generation ’family business’ headed by a young lady in her forties. This type and style of business usually is not interested in building up a negative reputation and image in NZ.

    As mentioned by @Sam above, perhaps someone has a telephone, or the political guts…..?

    Repeat: perhaps the matter can still be re-evaluated and alternative action is possible?

    • Or perhaps they just can’t fight, don’t want to fight or told that fighting was naughty and bad and it’s all about participation and support peacocks. For give for I have no sympathy for gutless wanks who got caught out wearing no shorts as the tide goes out.

  6. I think nationalization would have been a hopeless mess , but for a dollar the government could easily have called in the management of each publication and offered them an option to take ownership for a similar nominal sum. I’ve seen this happen in a couple of odd circumstances in my life and the rest was quite empowering: The new owners slimmed down the organisation, cut overheads and worked a lot harder. The result in all cases was success.

    It’s amazing how motivated people can be when it’s their future on the line!

    A terrible look for the government was Ardern claiming that Bauer had made this decision without consultation: A foolish lie.

  7. While I don’t disagree with the writer’s intent, I think there is a fundamental lack of understanding of what happens when you buy a going concern on the brink of failure.
    It might sound nice and rosy buying the enterprise for $1, but with that you also get the expensive HO office lease along with overpaid management, the redundancy bills, the contracts with contributors which may be over valued given the current circumstances, dead wood titles which add little value and so on. Why would management and workers sign up for such a liability, unless the benefits to them were going to be more than the cost. And indeed, why would the government sign up so blindly to take on all that risk in order to save what?
    Well nothing actually, as the assets still exists. The Listener brand can be resurrected if so desired, probably for more than $1 but without all the existing liabilities.
    In a case like this you buy the assets, not the going concern, which in all likelihood will not be a going concern in a few short weeks.
    Also, the bit about German commercial law is irrelevant. If the argument was presented on the short falls of globalisation that would be fair enough. But the fact is we create laws to attract foreign investment and they come here because those laws are more favourable to business than they are in Germany. Not much point saying Bauer should act in accordance with German law when it’s business here is subject to NZ law.

          • Why don’t you go see what communist China or the Democratic Americas does with its media monopoly.

            We have a free and fair press so we can see what other countries are saying about us and they can see what we are saying about them.

            When foreigners are allowed to own monopolies in New Zealand media then they get to tell us what to do. Even now we have the Chinese herald or Rupert Murdoch telling us what to think. They can run there foreign opinion pieces but they can’t own it.

            Reason why they can’t own it is because we need an ecosystem of journalists that people on the Internet can link to instead of linking to those bullshit foreign propoganda networks and standard.co.nz authors.

            Maintaining journalism and institutional knowledge is just a basic requirement of a functioning democracy. Yes I do believe profits will be apart of the system but you won’t have profits of you don’t have the basics done correctly.

    • So tell us again why we are propping up Air NZ shareholders to 900 million when they are just making everyone redundant… well I do know someone who just doubled their money by buying the shares right before the government steeped in and they doubled overnight giving them a lovely windfall …. so helping speculators and shareholders not employees is the governments aim not the average worker who don’t have money to speculate with … not a morally good use of taxpayers money in my view!

      • Fair point saveNZ.
        Why does one company get subsidised and not another. I can’t argue with the logic of that I was merely pointing out why there is no commercial rationale buying Bauer for a buck. While I agree with the sentiment of the article, why should the government take on a lease in the Viaduct basin to save management arse.
        Personally I would advocate letting all companies collapse and nationalise those that were essential, including the banks. Privatise them, or a portion of them later, reap the profits to pay off some of the debt incurred.
        Short term pain I know but arguing Air NZ got bailed out so should Bauer doesn’t cut it with me.
        As I have said in earlier posts, instead of trying to maintain BAU, focus on building community structures to ensure this BS never happens again.
        No one need starve, in fact we could quickly move to a situation where fewer people starve and sleep in doorways than before.

      • saveNZ, can you truly say that the government’s aim in stepping in was just so that some investors could enjoy a “windfall”.

        • I think no if there was a $150k limit on the wage subsidy but when retail that should have disruption insurance in place starts getting gigantic amounts from the taxpayers of NZ, then yep, something is clearly wrong.

          Likewise the paltry $35 that tourists were supposed to pay from last year. About to be scraped if the rumours are correct… if a tourist can’t afford to spend $35 to come to NZ…. are they really that important to the NZ economy???

          Those that will not come for an extra $35 are the tourists more likely to be claiming ACC in the latest “battery hen” tourist bus crash or poohing in Queenstown as a freedom camper?

    • It’s a worry that such scathing attacks can be made without possession of the facts.
      Not the first time though.

      • If you’re just looking at the after tax burden then you’d be correct. But to obtain even the most elementary standards of math what you have to do is compare how much we would lose to foreign investors telling us how to think about our own country compared to increased government spending. And having foreigners telling us what to do costs way more than government spending.

      • Thanks SOB. You have answered questions I had which CT, Sam etc did not seem to consider.

  8. sob. Poor widdle NZ can’t do anything itself, can’t manage it’s way out of a paper bag. There are indeed many wise people who will stand around and look at the expiring economy and offer suggestions, with others who will turn them down, and by the time that consensus is reached the body will be decomposing and stinking.

    Frankly I am sure that there is possibly another 1% of citizens besides that of the super-rich; those who are capable of steering NZ into better waters, with a decent harvest. But few of them bother to express themselves on blogs with all the wailing wallies that have too much time to find excuses for doing nothing, and too little time to explore possibilities, research and direct their energies to outcomes that would save the day. I often read about the Resistance, mainly in France, in WW2. Though the Cretan one was a marvel also. I feel that someone with a resuscitation idea in NZ would almost have to go under cover to protect himself, before he was virtually annihilated by the large number of vocal and debilitated, naive citizens.

  9. I read the alarming opinions from Gordon Campbell and 100% agree with “How to explain Gordon Campbell’s capitulation to the palpable mendacity of the status-quo?”.

    The opinions of a Gordon Campbell seem be suffering from the more rabid spread of woke ism that has been rampaging through NZ for the last 6 years faster than Covid-19. Woke ism seems to be the killer of society here.
    Other brainfarts from Campbell recent musings are also his astonishing statement

    “For instance, the logic behind immigration policy has been turned on its head. Meaning : the unskilled temporary migrants working for peanuts in our supermarkets have proved to be far more valuable than software developers in meeting the country’s essential needs”…

    Ok then, so apparently parliament is using carrier pigeons and paper and pencil to control the virus in NZ not computers, telecoms and the internet which all require software developers to keep that working, but not important in Campbel’s eyes?

    Hospitals use panadol and spit to heal people, not machines and technology? Doctors using telephones to diagnose people and computer software to communicate about the virus and diagnostics, but now less important in Covid than Campbell views that they are less valuable than the “unskilled temporary migrants working for peanuts in our supermarkets”.

    It is obviously a surprise to the woke, but the majority of people in NZ can easily manage to check out food and use a scanner, at the supermarket… stack a shelf with food etc is a job even the lazy Kiwi’s can manage.

    In fact many wanted jobs in the supermarkets

    5,000 queue for supermarket jobs in NZ
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-01-22/5000-queue-for-supermarket-jobs-in-nz/1219128

    Considering 41% of people are apparently now needing the wage subsidy as they have been laid off or their income stopped and we might have huge unemployment in NZ shortly …. and queues of Kiwis who could be working in supermarkets prior to Covid-19 were not for some unknown reason, (sarcasm) with jobseeker up 11%.

    Migrants are a residency Ponzi scheme are plenty of evidence that they are being used for neoliberalism to keep wages astonishingly low with supermarkets profits astonishingly high. https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1808/S00537/oh-thats-where-they-get-their-profits-from.htm

    But that is not all…

    “Restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets are among the businesses to receive a slice of the $5.3 billion in Government wage subsidies.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/120842731/coronavirus-businesses-who-have-claimed-53-billion-in-wage-subsidies-named

    Weird!!! Supermarkets were stripped bare out before the coronavirus, prices are higher for most supermarket goods but apparently in spite of record supermarket shopping the supermarkets still ask for the wage subsidies as weirdly their income dipped 30% during the ‘record sales?’

    Meanwhile the government has forced consumers to shop only with the big business supermarkets who are some of the first for handouts for staff subsidies which were supposed to be meant for staff that couldn’t work!

    Somehow with the Covid-19 neoliberalism has found even more ways to subsidise low wage businesses in the ‘food industry’ that have been popping up around NZ faster than Thirsty Liquor outlets since the relaxation of migrant visas. Funny enough the same businesses also seem to be the ones being caught underpaying everyone, https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/109465191/277-employers-put-on-name-and-shame-list-for-breaching-employment-standards !

    What a growth opportunity to make more money from fake businesses to NZ residency here with now future taxpayers keeping the above businesses afloat on the backs of the future taxpayers of this country with wage subsidies for Business X and Y takeaways or fast food franchise paid for by the future taxes of younger Kiwis.

    I’m starting to have flashbacks of Chernobyl disaster when the a former shoe salesman eulogised by the communist party, has more authority on a nuclear disaster than the nuclear scientists in the ‘equal society’…

    The sad thing is that Gordon Campbell prior to his current woke phase of journalism, wrote some very compelling articles one from 2014 is particularly valid today.

    Public Health : The Silent Crisis
    http://werewolf.co.nz/2014/12/public-health-the-silent-crisis/

    And in it, he points out, we can’t keep the highly skilled migrants and Kiwis due to how hospitals are operating in a dysfunctional way ..now 6 years later he is eulogising the unskilled migrant supermarket worker as our future, like a good neoliberal woke soldier and why journalism can not be paid for by the state for $1 as some might not like it!

    • +1e99 SaveNZ!

      Superb takedown of this woke ‘immigrants are better than us’ crap. All those supermarket jobs should have been filled by NZ’ers – why import more and more workers for the same number of jobs? Oh that’s right, neoliberal ‘drive down wages’ policies that benefit the already wealthy.

      I also noticed that a while ago Campbell made the argument that we need these immigrants for ‘skills shortages’. Again, a pathetic neoliberal lie. We aren’t short of supermarket workers, chefs, restaurant managers, and if the NZ bus companies had their way, bus drivers. This is just another attempt to screw over workers and enrich the .1%.

  10. Remember when the wage subsidy scheme was supposed to be topped at $150k?? Well shareholders of big business didn’t like that!

    Future generations of taxpayers will be subsiding the big business shareholders of local and overseas big business companies that were originally touted to help small business…

    “The New Zealand Government has paid out millions to the giants of retail as part of the wage subsidy scheme.

    Kathmandu, Kmart, Harvey Norman and others have received payouts to cover staff wages during the alert level four lockdown.

    Of the nationwide retailers, Harvey Norman received one of the largest payouts at $12.7 million for its 1850 staff.

    Over $7 billion has been paid out in the last two weeks, more than is usually paid out in unemployment and sole-parent benefits in an entire year.”

    No mention on why big business insurance companies were not paying out for business disruption, instead of future taxpayers.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/120861003/coronavirus-retail-giants-use-government-welfare-to-get-through-crisis

    Australian big business like Harvey Norman get $12.7 million, Air NZ gets 900 million (plus the workers are now all redundant so they presumably are going on unemployment benefits) but $1 could not be found for Bauer Media to keep the staff jobs?

    I don’t read any of the publications that Bauer prints but there seems to be a historical pattern of our government falling over themselves to bail out and subside foreign offshore companies with NZ taxpayer $$$$….at the expense of our hospitals and schools funding and poverty and pollution growing.

    As someone put it on TDB, privatise the profits, socialise the losses.

    Sunset industries, bad food and those that produce nothing but are middle men in the production line cutting off the profits of producers and exploiting the consumers aka supermarkets, seem to be the new stars of Rogernomics!

  11. Gee Chris

    In the middle of a pandemic when the country’s collective health and economy are under major threat and possibly a third of businesses are going to the wall do you really think the Government should be sweating about saving the Listener?

    • Friend, please post a TL;DR to go along with any > 40 word question, it helps when answering it.

      As for the question, I believe with an attitude like that the recovery will be far longer and far deeper than it needs to be. Not in the traditional sense. Transform, certainly. We’re heading in the direction where the current system is not workable, but in long run it’ll be transformed before we hit total economic collapse. If for no other reason, total economic collapse is not profitable.

      How far will we go? Well, it took The Great Depression to get proper large scale social programs. Will we have to go that far south again? I certainly hope not. The tools are there to make a depression less bumpy, like welfare and a functioning media, and yes gossip mags are apart of a cocktail of NZ media, just imagine all those Fox News and BBC gossip queens and instantly prefer Mike Hoskings. I can tolerate ragging on each other but a foreigner? No way.

      And lay off the economics. Corona experts should just stick to 5G

    • “No mention on why big business insurance companies were not paying out for business disruption, instead of future taxpayers.”

      Insurance companies would probably insist that such coverage would not include wages since workers could be laid off during an epidemic.

    • Not much “sweating” involved in writing out a cheque for $1.00. It would be the editors that had the responsibility of making it work, not the government.

  12. Bauer Group missed and ‘opportunity’ to scam the Government like Air NZ and Fletchers by asking or demanding tens of millions of dollars for the rags!

    Kris didnt see the ‘opportunity’ because it was too cheap.

  13. When was the last time you saw a topic of discussion in the Listener that had not been discussed in much greater detail, earlier, free-to-access and online by multiple blogs and other media?
    It provided a service to an ever-dwindling pool of people who either maintain a subscription out of habit, or who prefer to get their breakdown of issues in print form, summarised by competent journalists, and six months late. It’s not an investment any private sector investor is going to be enthralled by. Why should the Government?

    • “When was the last time you saw a topic of discussion in the Listener that had not been discussed in much greater detail, earlier, free-to-access and online by multiple blogs and other media?”

      Probably the last time I read The Listener. That would have been, I guess, a couple of weeks ago.

    • That_guy, totally agree Listener was crap, but the issue is that the government is willing to prop up other companies in NZ, and did not seem to put any thought into it, before saying no, while propping up other offshore corporations and polluters and those expecting regular handouts, to the tune of millions that regularly go under aka airlines, finance companies and Rio Tinto types!

      Personally I’m happy to fly Singapore Air! After one trip to Los Angeles airport in transit never used Air NZ again. There is much that is out of airlines control that contributes to what consumers spend their money on and prefer to use.

      • Well, I can’t comment on the other industries that were or were not propped up. It’s just.. taking a stake in print media? In 2020? In the middle of a pandemic?

        • Why prop up any of them, that’s my point – it seems that those most harmful to the environment or pay poorly, are the most propped up by NZ government. Why? Some of them like Air NZ and Rio Tinto are regulars at the table for government handouts and cause serious pollution!

  14. Bauer mags could have become a flagship government propaganda publication, highlighting, adoring and cheering on our new Kind Female Fuehrer Jacinda Dear, appearing weekly on mags on the newsstands, matched by online versions of the same publications. She would become the Mother of the Nation, and get re-elected ten times to rule until she goes into government paid retirement. But yes, they had no vision and failed to jump at the opportunity.

Comments are closed.