MEDIA WATCH: Michael Morrah – NZs best environmental journalist 


Michael Morrah is one of NZs best environmental TV journalists, his focus on the obscene environmental corruption of private fishing companies alongside his work to uncover the political corruption that allows for that damage to occur marks him out as one of our best investigative reporters.

For years Morrah has been on the forefront of demanding cameras on fishing fleets so we can police over fishing and he has led the investigation into why those cameras haven’t been placed and the overwhelming body of evidence suggests the donations from the fishing industry into the pockets of NZ First has led NZ First to lobby on their behalf to stymie the cameras onto the boats…

Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash blames pressure from NZ First for delay in fishing boat cameras in recording

Newshub has obtained an explosive audio recording of Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash talking about NZ First MPs Winston Peters and Shane Jones.

The recording was from February 2018, around the time the Government first delayed the rollout of cameras on nearly 1000 fishing boats – since then it’s been delayed again until at least October next year.

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In it, Nash points the finger of blame squarely at them for delaying plans to put cameras on commercial fishing boats to make sure they don’t break the law.

…the audacity is that NZ First pretends this isn’t happening and that the exact same dynamics are at play in the racing industry as well.

NZ First see Unions supporting Labour and the worker rights legislation that relationship provides and National’s relationship with the rural community and the pro farming laws that creates and they rationalise that their own relationships with provincial economic power houses who pay for lax oversight is somehow ok.

The sooner NZ First slip under the 5% threshold, the better NZ will be.

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  1. He’s pretty bloody good at dealing with all forms of exploitation including people, and finding out where the source of that lays.
    He probably should be hawking his CV around at the moment. I think Newsroom might be looking, and it’s no good relying on f-f-f-f-Faafoi to do anything of substance

  2. Plus he’s probably the new Michael Field or Barbara Dreaver as far as knowledge of Pacific affairs

  3. Yes is about the most concise answer to your article. I had thought that Winston was the most successful conman in NZ till he went with Labour in the last election when I decided that he had some redeeming values. Almost 3 years later & that glow has faded to the extant that I would not miss him if he fails to make the cut this time.

  4. Slippery as an eel and an absolute fake. But Winne does know how to play the crowd to get what he wants: publicity and money.

    Or maybe the the way round, money and publicity.

    I’m not sure which is bigger -his ego or his back pocket.

  5. Labour and Greens have to own it too… they allowed no cameras on the fisheries under their watch.

    One of the reason’s I have never been able to vote NZ First even though I support them in other policy areas, is that they do not understand the environment and don’t want to preserve it if they can get a short term profit in the interim.

    Neither now, do the Greens or Labour so what do you do?

    As for the donations to fisheries.. Labour and Nationals also have had donations from Talleys.

    “Talley’s donated a total of $40,000 to eight other candidates during the 2017 election campaign – seven from the National Party and one from Labour – giving each of them $5000. All eight donations were disclosed by the respective candidates.’

    Who knows why Talleys would publicly donate to National and Labour yet somehow before an election silently donate to a linked company of NZ First and then somehow it ‘leaks’… and becomes in the spotlight.

    Before NZ First donations, Talley’s seem to also benefit from paltry fines when they kill and injure workers, that we don’t see to other workplaces that are presumably easier to prosecute, and less political targets?

    Haven’t seen the police coming after Talleys assets who have numerous work place accidents unlike Salters Cartage, which is apparently potentially having their assets seized by police.


    “A bid by Talley’s Group’s to avoid prosecution over a accident that left a worker paralysed has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

    “Te Atatu Hemi, 42, was working at Talley’s Frozen Foods in Ashburton in May 2015, when vegetable bins stacked on a forklift fell, crushing her.

    Government safety watchdog WorkSafe charged Talley’s with failing to take all practicable steps to ensure Hemi’s safety, but Talley’s, which pleaded not guilty, sought to have the charge dismissed.”

    In July last year Talley’s lost another appeal in a different case following an injury to another of its workers in 2017. In that case WorkSafe had issued it an improvement notice after a worker’s hand was seriously injured while cleaning a conveyor at its Motueka mussel processing plant.

    Also in July last year a boiler exploded at a Northland meat-processing plant, owned by Talley’s-owned Affco, leaving a man critically injured with burns to his chest and face.

    In 2016 Talley’s was ordered by the Nelson District Court to pay $21,000 to the family of a worker decapitated on one of its ships in 2014.

    The same year Affco was fined $30,000, and ordered to pay $25,000 to a worker impaled on a meat hook in 2014. The hook entered his ear, came out of his eye, trapping him on the hook for 30 minutes.

    In 2015, Talley’s was convicted under the Health and Safety in Employment Act following the death of a worker who fell through an insecure open hatch on one of its tuna boats in 2012.”

    Could this be the reason???

    During the 2014 election candidate donations shows Talley’s contributed $42,500 to the campaigns of nine candidates (mostly National) standing for regional seats.

    Three of these – Chester Borrows, Stuart Smith and Damien O’Connor (the only Labour recipient) – are members of Parliament’s Primary Industries Select Committee. Each received $5000.

    Talley’s has donated to NZ First candidate Shane Jones (while a Labour MP) he declared donations of $10,000 apiece from Sealord and Talley’s. Talley’s is also helping fund Jones’ Whangarei campaign for NZ First.

    Corruption and influence so cheap in NZ!

  6. Truely a lack of justice in this country, not just for the environment but also for workers killed in industries like fishing…

    Nelson-based fishing company Talley’s Group has been fined $73,520
    Only $21,000 reparations to the family of a man

    “Talley Group pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees while at work, when sentenced in Nelson District Court today.

    The court was told that a 50mm safety rope connected to a fishing net had previously snapped three weeks before Mr Muir died but it hadn’t been replaced, despite a replacement rope being available on-board.

    Instead, a knot had been tied in the rope and it continued to be used.

    The cause of the breakage was not investigated by the company.

    The rope then broke again, after it was put under increased strain by the failure of a strop on the net.

    The failure of the strop is believed to have been the result of a poor splice, Maritime NZ said.

    At the time of the incident, Mr Muir was working inside the “snap-back zone”, an area of high-risk in the event of a rope breaking.

    The danger of standing in the snap-back zone was highlighted in the vessel’s hazards register.

    Maritime New Zealand maritime compliance general manager Harry Hawthorn said this was a “horrific accident” which highlighted what should have been done to manage the risks involved in deep sea fishing.

    “In this case, the rope had already broken once, but the reasons for that had not been considered. The rope had been repaired, not replaced, and it broke again. The dangers of the snap-back zone had been identified but crew were still required to work in that area.”

    Business fines should be related to turnover as a percentage aka how commerce commission operate. Aka for a death of a worker or civilian from one of their workers actions there should be an instant 5% fine of previous years turnover and given to the family not work safe.

    Lawyers should not be able to get the worst offenders off and drag the families through the courts for years adding to the injustice, if it was an instant fine.

  7. So, who are Talleys? The mega-company was internationally blacklisted.
    How did they get themselves off that list?
    NZ Govt Officials may have had a role
    “And to the disgust of many of the international observers and to the great disquiet of the European Union … New Zealand managed to get the Talley’s vessel taken off the IUU list.”

    Talleys have trawled many times in areas closed for fishing: Greenpeace link

    In June 2016 Talleys were fined for their role in the decapitation of 24 year old Leighton Muir .

    In March 2015 they were fined for their role in the death of crewman Cain Adams .

    Russell Norman, Feb 2019: Fishing in rotten waters

    Michael Morrah, Feb 2020: Shane Jones support for Talleys accused of illegal fishing

  8. Will the SFO report back on NZF before the election. It may show more light on the issue of Fishy donations

    • Odds on Nash is leaking his own tape? Pretty high I’d say.
      Brand differentiation damage control/dead cat.
      Two extremely cynical self serving politicians.
      Neither one remotely trustworthy as the tape proves.

      Unfortunately only one is likely to be gone from parliament this time around.

  9. Meanwhile Peter Goodfellow sells down his substantial interests in the fishing industry year after year.
    And no one here questions why.
    You could always search the comments for the reason.

  10. Talleys reach is far wider and deeper than just Fisheries. It includes meat works giant AFFCO, mining in Aus, mega dairying and more. I had intended to write about it earlier but its Wiki page seems to have been effectively gutted in the last few days.

    There is still this item, referenced on the page:
    Talley’s has courted controversy for its approach to industrial relations and workplace safety, [Linked references] and has lobbied for curbs on trade unions and the watering down of occupational safety legislation. In 2015 Talley’s locked out union members. The workers were allowed back to work five months later in 2016 when the lock-out was ruled illegal. Talley’s was ordered to pay $144,000 to the Meat Workers Union for repeated breaches of union access rights. Wiki Talleys 3rd July 2020

  11. This time last month, this Newsroom article was released:
    Recidivist Company Seeks River Discharge Consent.
    Sewage fungus, bad smells and insinuations of ignored good faith clauses swirl in a dairy processing wastewater consent application heard in Hamilton last week

    New Zealand’s second largest dairy processor wants to discharge wastewater into the polluted Waitoa River, including during summer when flows are low.

    Open Country Dairy’s application for a resource consent seeks permission to more than double the amount of wastewater it discharges a day into the Waitoa River from its Waharoa factory near Matamata. Full article at the link. It’s well worth the read.

    And the parent company of Open Country Dairy? Yep, Talleys.

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