Arts in New Zealand scream conformity, acquiescence, patronage-induced passivity
Anglo-New Zealand artist Derek Cowie has categorised the nation’s art scene as one in which practitioners without even realising it bend their output to the demands of a top-down patronage system.
The reliance on patronage led to a passivity in which the artistic purpose of igniting discussion and debate was now submerged in an obedient quest to conform.
Art, he insisted, should invite controversy, and not by-pass it.
Mr Cowie’s art is renowned for its depiction of the tribulations encountered by everyday individuals and especially the damage inflicted on tem by what he describes as “neo-liberalism.”
This refers to globalisation and the way in which it has undercut the earning power of all but a few New Zealanders.
Mr Cowie was engaged in Britain as an applied artist during the 2008 great financial crash and then stood by as those he describes as “criminals” were then bailed out by the very working people whose trust they had abused.
Worse than this Mr Cowie explained was the way in which these same malefactors after some “token contrition” went about restoring their lavish way of life complete with their bonuses.
On top of all this points out Mr Cowie was the way in which this was conducted openly and without condemnation from the very parties that exist to illuminate such behaviour such as artists.
It was then that he realised that instead of revealing and exposing “elitism in all its facets,” artists were walking hand-in-hand with it.
In his exhibition which opens on March 12 at Wellington’s Page Galleries Mr Cowie (pictured) will quite literally illustrate all this in the vernacular and with a broad brush that will feature too his distrust of contemporary agricultural practices.
These include the overworking of the land and some swipes at the seemingly unchallengeable state-sponsored procedure of planting billions of non-indigenous trees notably the quick-growing pinus radiata variety.
These he claims exhausts the land while handing it over to giant corporations which alone recent experience shows can handle the fluctuations in demand.
Mr Cowie was for many years associated with the late Peter McLeavey often considered the signature New Zealand gallerist and art dealer of his era.
During his years in London he was behind the scenery of Little Dorrit a joint BBC-PBS series. He was similarly engaged on another BBC drama Desperate Romantics, centred on the pre-Raphaelite movement.
He rubbed shoulders with such Hollywood types as Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman while responsible for the backdrops on Finding Neverland, the Peter Pan extrapolation.
On Revelation 2001, an archaeological drama, he found himself working alongside such British figures as Terence Stamp.
He is also known for his murals, notably in the Gielgud Room of the National Theatre.
.Meanwhile Mr Cowie observed that the conformity he perceived now in the arts in New Zealand was often encouraged by a pervasive fashionable and institutionalised collective sharing and exhibiting of the same opinion about the same things – mass tree planting was just one example.
The move to follow fashion had coincided with the growth and the reliance on artistic patronage.
This in turn meshes with the same artistic conventional drift and with the common purpose of ensuring that what was not upset was the apple cart of conventionally acceptable attitudes.
Art, by definition, must tread dangerously, where the conventional fear to tread, he proclaimed.
Napier-based industrial authority reminds sector that machinery is UK’s biggest import category
Ken Evans of Tekam NZ Ltd urges trade officials to “open their eyes,” to the enhanced export prospects in Great Britain for industrial food processing machinery.
Tekam of Napier is the predominant engineering specialist in meat and fish processing heavy duty machinery.
New Zealand as an internationally ranked food process machinery design and development nation is in a position to reclaim this market he said, noting that machinery already ranked as New Zealand’s eighth most significant export.
Supplying the UK with heavy food processing technology was now much easier with the evaporation of much what is still known as the “tyranny of distance,” he said.
The freight cost of shipping to the UK from Napier was now comparable to shipping to the South Island, Mr Evans (pictured) declared.
Machinery remains the United Kingdom’ s No 1. Import category he added, 12 percent of its total imports.
In regard to the UK market New Zealand was “in so many ways in an improved position” now than in the pre-EU era of Imperial and Commonwealth Preference.
Mr Evans has been responsible for some of New Zealand’s major meat processing systems and he has been a leading exponent of the refurbishment of many installations during the sector’s re-configuration in recent years.
“Meat processing machinery is upwardly and downwardly compatible and equipment can be re-purposed and transferred from one district to anothe, or even from one country to another --it is never scrapped.”
Mr Evans cautioned trade administrators to face up the “reality” as he described the situation of the sought-after markets in Asia and the Middle East, a market for meat processing systems that had become a “mirage.”
The Middle East North Africa market he said was tied into the export of live sheep.
“Well intentioned and lavishly taxpayer-funded model meat process installations have failed to dissolve the linkage between live shipments and specialist technology processing hardware of the type that is paid for,” said Mr Evans, adding, “we must now be realistic and accept this linkage, and the way in which it blocks our technology exports, however great the benefit of this technology and its cost-effectiveness to the region.”
Mr Evans, a participant in meat processing equipment trade missions to the Middle East, noted that the reality of the consequences of the live sheep export ban now had to be recognised, however “painfully.”
Similarly he urged trade administrators to accept other problems in exporting industrial equipment to the Asia region.
In Asia engineering food technology exports from New Zealand had been characterised by the need to supply test equipment which was promptly copied.
Mr Evans has previously drawn attention to another problem in these regions which is the little talked-about practice of prospective buyers imposing bidding and tender fees that turn out to be non-refundable.
Membership of the EU had led to Great Britain’s own meat processing equipment industry fading away as Britain became a service economy and continental European manufacturers took over.
Mr Evans has consistently warned of New Zealand “drifting” into becoming a service economy itself.
Instead the requirement was to grasp the new opportunities presented by Brexit, and indirectly by the United States which had promised substantial trade opportunities to a post-Brexit United Kingdom.
He cited a string of New Zealand agri engineering innovations including soil-heave freezer insulation, through to electric fences and halal-compatible process chains to reinforce his message.
There has been in industrial machinery terms an exclusive focus on emerging markets, a fixation which in the event has failed to emerge through eco-politics, and investment recovery – “getting paid,” as he put it.
“We are now faced by a re-emerging market, a recurring one, in the form of the UK,” he said.
He cited New Zealand’s reorganisation of its meat processing, notably in rendering, as an obvious attraction for densely populated countries as Great Britain.
“The industry’s transformation in recent times has meant that most people do not even know where the meat processing works are located, they are so unobtrusive.”
Botanist was used as example of fate that awaits Deniers
Dr David Bellamy who has died at the age of 86 was an early practitioner of conservation civil disobedience and who as a populist broadcaster introduced a new technique to natural history presentation and who as pitchman for the carpet industry was able at last to describe why wool was superior as a textile.
The botanist, a simplifier, used buffoonery as a teaching technique and this earned him an immense following throughout the Commonwealth and especially in Australia in New Zealand in which he was to star in numerous television documentaries.
With the advent of climate as a political force Bellamy a scientist whose career began as a laboratory assistant and who had honed his explanatory skills at the chalkface was the obvious populist authority figure to act as advocate for the climate cult to everyday people.
Nobody was more qualified to be a standard bearer than David Bellamy, an authentic scientist with a social reach that had made him a trusted household name throughout the developed world.
Bellamy for example had anticipated extinction rebellion by many years by getting himself arrested in Australia and then threatening to affix himself to monuments in Britain
Bellamy declined to cooperate with the climatists, let alone be their advocate.
He instead outlined the cyclical nature of climate. He pointedly rejected the notion of carbon dioxide as a harmful contributor.
The climatists now used Bellamy as an example of what happens to people who defy them.
Bellamy was banished by the BBC instantly sensitive to the danger that Bellamy as a climate denier was posing to its own role as defender of noble causes.
Independent Television followed. ITV operates under a government licencing system and it too now turned the off switch on the botanist.
Bellamy refused to recant and instead now followed up on his “poppycock” view of warming by revealing the central intent of the movement which he said was to frighten children which of course was eventually what happened.
It was now that Bellamy became entangled with the (Manchester) Guardian which had already established itself as the users manual of the progressives. Once revered, he was now tersely dismissed as the “Bearded Bungler.”
When Bellamy was originally taken up by the BBC it was as an antidote to what was being unfavourably viewed as its own monoculture of posh chaps talking received English.
Bellamy from a working class background talking in an indeterminate and gushing brogue and waving his arms around, pawing the air, was one of the building block of the new diverse look characterised nowadays by the full slate of dialects from regionally “accented,” as they are known, presenters.
Bellamy’s career as a science populariser in fact was well established before the climate movement evolved from political correctness as the university class sought a new unifying doctrine in order to take their guilt transfer mechanism model to a more advanced level and a global one.
Astronomer Galileo under the attentions of the Inquisition refused to reverse his published opinion that the earth revolved around the sun rather than vice versa.
Botanist Dr David Bellamy 400 years later under a contemporary inquisitorial equivalent refused to countenance an imminent climate catastrophe.
Just as Galileo went on to describe how the tides worked, so did Bellamy expand his argument by describing the beneficial value of carbon dioxide.
Galileo said that deities had nothing to with the movements of the universe.
Bellamy said that climate change had everything to do with frightening children.
UK-based New Plymouth–born scientist Dr Kelly blacked out as New Zealand government consolidates UN climate line
The government’s ban on oil and gas exploration is the major obstacle to its own prime objective of weaning off coal the dairy exporter Fonterra.
The government has been so successful in generating uncertainty about natural gas supplies that the dairy cooperative is prevented from investing in the alternative power generation.
This particularly applies to the South Island where explorers OMV and New Zealand Oil & Gas hold licences to develop offshore gas.
In the middle of this contrived emergency New Zealand’s most eminent climatic authority Cambridge’s Professor Michael Kelly (pictured) has stated that the “lesson of history is regularly ignored as the current level of climate alarm is cranked up,” adding that “all the data shows that extreme events were more extreme and more common in the first half of the 20th century
“But climate change is supposed to have started in 1960”
The physicist noted that modern renewables “remain an insignificant share of the energy supply……the transition away from fossil fuel energies will take 400 years at the current rate of progress.”
The onetime Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department for Communities and Local Government contends that absence of historical data has allowed climate warming activists to make extravagant suppositions at will. This contempt for data also extends to modern times.
Professor Kelly notes that in the 1990s the global average surface temperature had been rising sharply for 15 years “and many predicted that this rate of warming would continue, when in fact it has halved.”
The New Zealand physicist’s findings have been blacked out in the country of his birth by the tightening institutional ban on anything contradicting the United Nations doctrine on global warming.
Even so, the anxiety of the coalition government to rid the dairy industry of coal is pointed up by the parading of international alternative energy specialists.
One of these was Michael Liebreich who is chairman of the advisory board of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance describes itself as “producing research on industries in transition, focusing on clean energy.”
Unsurprisingly enough, Mr Liebreich is quoted as saying that Fonterra's use of coal to power boilers that dry milk into milk powder was "insane" and old-school and must stop.
The Green Party wing of the coalition government in its determination to be seen at the leading edge of United Nations doctrines has indicated that it will lure the dairy exporting industry out of coal with dollops of cash from the state’s immense green energy inducement fund
This might work for Fonterra, a farmer cooperative. Politically in this proposed divvy-up there could be reactions if the Chinese and French-owned dairy export processors such as Westland Milk, Parmalat and Danone took advantage of the taxpayer-funded poor box.
While China’s role in New Zealand is well known and correspondingly sensitive, France’s presence is rarely perceived.
France quietly holds dominant positions in many strategic New Zealand industries including hotels, construction, utilities, transport, electrics, finance, wine, and even office equipment
Meanwhile, Green Party officials nowadays refer to the power required by companies such as Fonterra as “process heat.”
This is an engineering term used to describe steam generation and it is used by the Green Party as a circumlocution around the government’s contradictory energy policies such as the no-coal but can’t-guarantee-gas one.
Woodchips another favoured political option means that dairy companies such as Fonterra would have to completely re-equip to accommodate the new thermal divergence in feedstock.
Fonterra, meanwhile has done its best to appease the Greens notably by divesting itself of its so recently highly regarded strategic investment in coal mining.
Professor Kelly has drawn attention to the shaky assumptions of warming activists, those inside parliament and those outside it.
Forty years after the Antarctic sightseeing airline crash multiple errors and omissions can be seen as the cause ……
Parallels are inescapable between the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the crash onto Mt Erebus in 1979 of an Air New Zealand DC10 sightseeing flight.
Both collided with Polar ice. The Titanic with an Arctic iceberg. The DC10 with Mt Erebus in the Antarctic.
Both the Titanic and the DC10 were considered the most advanced technologies of their era.
Sabotage did not figure in either disaster.
Head office interference was cited in both disasters. For the Titanic to go faster and for the DC10 sightseeing flight to go lower.
Routine and mundane failures were related to the cause of both disasters.
The flawed fat finger headquarters coordinates entered into the DC10 navigation system. The failure of anyone on the Titanic crew to have the keys needed to open the binoculars safe box on the crows nest.
Passenger requirement diversions in both disasters are seen as contributing factors.
On the Titanic the radio office was preoccupied with passenger telegrams to the exclusion of receiving operational iceberg warning messages. The DC10 flight was underpinned by the need to give passengers the closest look at the Antarctic terrain.
Both captains perished in the disasters. Captain Smith of the Titanic and Captain Collins of the DC10
Both captains had overconfidence in the machinery under their command.
Captain Smith in the unsinkability of the Titanic. Captain Collins in the veracity of the input into his automated navigation system
In both disasters blame attached to human handling of the technology and not to the technology itself.
In both disasters the shadow fell on corporate top management.
Bruce Ismay the head of the White Star Line, a Titanic survivor, was subsequently blamed for urging the Titanic to go faster regardless of the ice threat. Morrie Davis his Air New Zealand counterpart was blamed for acquiescing in the low altitude flying in the vicinity of Mr Erebus
Both disasters were followed by inquiries in Great Britain.
In both disasters the unanswered questions and associated riddles have accelerated interest in the tragedies.
In the instance of the Erebus disaster the Privy Council was moved to recommend that the past remain in the past, that bygones be bygones.
The New Zealand official history crisply states: “Debate raged over who was at fault for the accident. The chief inspector of air accidents attributed the disaster to pilot error. Justice Peter Mahon’s Royal Commission of Inquiry disagreed, placing the blame on Air New Zealand and its systems. The controversy continues….”
Both disasters gave rise to much bibliography and cinematography. Art followed the fact of these two disasters.
The first Titanic film featured a survivor.
The Aftermath was broadcast by Television New Zealand while memories of the Mt Erebus disaster were still fresh in the public memory. The TVNZ dramatized documentary is still considered unimprovable.
The director of the most recent Titanic feature film James Cameron lives in New Zealand.
An earlier film Raise the Titanic starred Jason Robards whose grandson Jasper Robards manages the Cameron family arable farms in New Zealand.
HRH’s deft handling of awkward trade meeting revealed depth of character, patience, remembers National Press Club president
Prince Andrew lamented the transition of the televised weather broadcast into entertainment. “I miss the isobars,” he confessed referring to the whorls and lines on the now disappeared diagrams that represented the connecting points having the same atmospheric pressure at a given time or on average over a given period.
HRH was dismayed that so much applied science in the media was taking a back seat to the imperative to entertain.
We met at government house in Wellington, New Zealand, and Prince Andrew was on tour as Britain’s trade “ambassador” working for United Kingdom Trade and Industry, the nation’s central promotion and development agency.
The prince sat at the head of a horse shoe shaped gathering of which I was a component through having at the time a role with what was then known as the British New Zealand Trade Council, which dates back to 1917, recalls now National Press Club president Peter Isaac
Andrew had a crisp, incisive manner. Nothing other-worldly about him. He fixed the group, looking at us directly, friendlily.
The British High Commissioner at the time George Fergusson, who had once himself held down a governmental trade promotion assignment, piped up about the international prospects for New Zealand honey.
Fergusson went into detail about the medicinal properties of honey, and did so at some length.
He then segued into a random history of the electronic microprocessor.
It occurred to me that the point of the story might have been to remind the prince of how the microprocessor patents had been allowed to slip way to Asia before being at the very last moment repatriated to the English speaking realm, the United States.
Geordie Fergusson, the last in a dynastic succession of British proconsuls to New Zealand, finally allowed his electronics contribution to taper off without it defining any special lesson, or indeed, point.
Andrew had a reputation for petulance, for being easily irritated, and it occurred to me that HRH might be becoming somewhat peeved about Fergusson taking over what was designated as his, HRH’s, show.
Andrew (pictured above at the time) listened attentively and with apparent interest to this vice regal dissertation.
On the heels of this followed now a question that surprised everyone including Andrew.
A local departmental trade functionary asked HRH about his golf, and his prospects for practising it in New Zealand.
Bringing up an off-agenda topic with a member of the royal family is a not unfamiliar play, especially with Andrew’s father, Prince Philip.
It is of course risky. It either catches the mood of the moment or it does not. This one did not.
This was not immediately apparent to the public service questioner, it turned out.
Andrew’s expression grew quizzical, but only briefly, and he sought to deter the issue by focussing on another imminent question, this one on the beaten track about trade and technology.
But the questioner persisted.
“We know all about you and your golf,” was the chummy follow up from the functionary.
“Come on…..we all know it is your passion……”
The prince’s private secretary now cut in suggesting that the prince extrapolate on a more focused point about commonwealth trade.
Andrew who speaks in a middle class English accent, and not the trademark drawl so many antipodeans associate with the royal family, took up the threads without allowing, if in fact, he felt it, any trace of irritation to cross his face.
He was at ease. The private secretary brought the event to a close. There was another pressing appointment, it seemed. Andrew was ushered out, yet gave the impression that he would much prefer chewing the cud with us.
Andrew presented the picture of a technocrat and a people-person, an encompassing ability that is by no means widespread.
As royalty becomes treated as reality show stars, and as reality show stars gravitate to royal status, Prince Andrew has become one of the most caricatured individuals on the face of the earth.
The profession of royalty has much in common with Andrew’s other profession, that of arms in that they are both hurry-up-and-wait occupations.
It is in the extended waiting periods between engagements in which lurk the unforeseen and contemporary perils
The actual cost of the Zero Carbon legislation that has just passed through New Zealand’s parliament is more than a trillion dollars in lost GDP.
The estimate is from AgFirst the leading non-governmental source of information in this domain.
AgFirst’s trillion dollar plus actual cost estimate was published in New Zealand Farmers Weekly
This forecast conflicts with an officially aired report that the zero carbon by 2050 legislative objective for the Bill will in contrast add $30 billion to the economy.
The independent and much higher negative estimate instantly became blacked-out through absence of pick-up in the mainstream media, print and broadcast, which has adopted a collective policy of ignoring anything viewed as countering the government line on climate change.
In Parliament itself the Opposition has been cowed into silence on the cost of the Bill.
The common reference figure of the nation’s contribution to global greenhouse gases is a fraction of one percent, 0.17 percent, which the government’s own reports dismiss as a “negligible” contribution, though such reports are careful to praise the global “leadership.”
But propelling the New Zealand government to seek United Nations laurels is the nation’s culpability on its population basis said to place it in the very top flight of emitters.
New Zealand is unusual statistically in that less than half of one percent of its terrain is urbanised, lived in.
The population density in emitting terms is actually represented by the very high ruminant population of sheep and cattle. Especially of cattle and it is the high number of these animals and their gaseous processes required to digest vegetation that provides such a large proportion of this 0.17 percent.
Even if opponents of the coalition’s global grandstanding are suspicious about actual costs of the Bill, any resulting dissent is quelled.
Rumbling in the public sphere is doused by letting it be known that funding follows acquiescence.
State spending reached an all-time high of 11638 NZD Million in the second quarter of 2019 underlining the government’s ability to hold the line everywhere in the support for its flagship policy.
The government has been much helped by a general drift away from chemistry and mathematics and this has allowed it to spread fear uncertainty and doubt about “carbon” as carbon dioxide is routinely described.
Any hint that carbon dioxide is the plant growth gas will be quickly stomped on and the impression left to linger that it is the exhaust gas carbon monoxide or carbon black, soot, i.e. entirely nasty.
Neither is the conversation likely to be allowed to extend to the fact that a diamond for example is pure carbon.
.The Green-Labour coalition’s grip on all this is complete and so it should be a cynic might say given that the state is the predominant employer of journalists and public relations practitioners.
The additional packaging of the moral cause in motherhood-grade compassion and social justice has completed the neutralisation and paralysis of the Opposition the National Party so very conscious of being viewed as being otherwise.
Only the single MP party of ACT has challenged the Bill.
Agri Lobby and Eco Activist share endangered species role after New York takeover of moral movement
New Zealand’s farm lobby Federated Farmers once enjoyed a visibility and even power equal to that of the nation’s two main political parties, the Labour Party and National Party.
The lobby’s leader was a household name, and their intervention in any issue affecting farmers to any degree at all was accompanied by fear and trembling on one side or the other.
Yet now that New Zealand’s underpinning economic activity, farming, faces an ideological version of the Great Depression, and is known to do so, the lobby is eerily quiet on the public pulpit.
In institutional ecological husbandry terms the position of Federated Farmers curiously resembles that of Greenpeace.
Greenpeace until quite recently had the final word on everything in its domain.
Then it found itself shouldered aside by the United Nations takeover of the climate business in much the same way as Federated Farmers in its turn found itself eclipsed by the effects of the same intervention.
Federated Farmers successfully managed several earlier panics.
It quietly managed the red meat scare.
It then deftly handled the Food Miles concocted angst.
The ideological climate one keeps slipping out of its grasp.
Federated Farmers is in good company. The National Party the farmers’ party for instance. National knows an ants nest when it sees one, and thus it administers the hysteria merely a gentle kick from time to time.
It knows as Federated Farmers knows that putting a stick into it will stimulate the soldier ants dwelling inside carrying their latest millennialist doomsday computer modelled forecasts.
Farmers sell through agents and brokers and thus their circles are limited to other farmers and this has allowed to arise a false sense of security about their medium term prospects as the major designated villain in the emissions political panic.
Farmers convince themselves of the reasonableness of the coalition government and thus they fail to see that a large chunk of it seeks to appeal not to domestic wealth creators, but to the United Nations and that this is the reason for all the exulting about being “the first” with the emissions regime
The two most trafficked words in the current political lexicon are conversation and explain.
So why does Federated Farmers fail to publicly “explain” itself in the “conversation?”
The short answer is that it fears its presence will serve merely to inflame a fervour that remains immune to anything but catastrophizing on the capacity of the nation’s ruminants to contribute to the reflective canopy that we are told bounces back the sun’s rays to the surface of planet Earth.
Federated Farmers president Katie Milne (pictured) has but one option and it is to fire up her own base, and all those who rely on it for their livelihood: the stock & station fraternity, the merchandising cooperatives, along with the wider supplier community.
Other avenues are closed off. Traditional media which proved so helpful in calming the red meat excitement has taken a collective oath of allegiance to the United Nations- line and this was demonstrated by the mainstream’s awkward effusiveness in adhering to the recent UN-sponsored climate week.
Localised social media obediently chimed in too thus sealing off the sector entirely.
Federated Farmers is unfashionable which is why it is being so pointedly scorned by whole categories which once leaped to do its bidding.
Its own party, National, shows signs of hanging onto the sides of the same electoral climate bandwagon, a tendency only curbed by the knowledge that such exuberance would spur the Green-Labour component of the governing coalition to seek to outpace it with still more supercharged enthusiasm.
In New Zealand politics it is now the fame and renown overseas that matters and especially so in climate cult strongholds as New York and Paris.
A publicly sidelined Federated Farmers must now activate its own substantial base and thus reveal that it recognises and confronts the existential threat to its members and thus the ability of the nation to thrive.
Curious as it sounds Federated Farmers and Greenpeace hew to not dissimilar pastoral principles especially in regard to preservation and development of animals.
The arrival of a top down intervention on the scale of the United Nations climate drive has left both organisations overtaken and in an unaccustomed shade. Even on the endangered species list.
Television 3 offers an opportunity for the productive sector to advance common sense
With the For Sale sign officially hoisted over New Zealand’s Television 3 channel an 11th hour remedy to the channel’s trouble emerges in the form of its presenters saying what they think, instead of what their polite society audience who do not watch television anyway, think that they should think.
When the middle class family group studio presentation formula began to evolve 50 years ago the average age of the population was 25 years old.
The average age of the average New Zealander is now nudging 40 years old i.e middle age.
Half the population is under middle age, and the other half middle aged.
Television Three allowed itself to be drawn into the slipstream suction of the government controlled broadcasting operation in quickly taking up the full slate of advanced idealistic doctrines formulated by the Guardian and then echo-chambered through the BBC and then relayed via Australia’s ABC.
The channel’s proprietor woke up to this last year and slewed around its talk radio channel from being the poor man’s version of Radio New Zealand.
Gone were the jokey, middle of the road types, with their rosy familial anecdotes, and in their place three presenters Sean Plunket, Peter Williams, and Ryan Bridge who now contrapuntally challenge the very type of ideology actively being propagated by the government broadcasting operation.
The advertising expenditure followed this focus re-adjustment as the listening audience found that presenters chimed with their point of view.
The channel’s key show, the AM Show, now gave the impression of seeking to straddle this very demographic which had been hiding in full sight for so long.
But it also gave the impression of being still partially hypnotised by the London ideology arbiters which are all entirely subsidised: the BBC by taxpayers, the Guardian by philanthropy, and the relay repeater the ABC by the Australian taxpayer.
So why does TV3 tacitly or deliberately follow their line?
Enter now, stage Left, the hidden persuaders, the advertising agencies. They are in the business of influencing the purchasing by one very identifiable segment which is those from 18 to their mid 30s and who are ideally women and ones with a university degree, and about to set up house.
As social media began to absorb more and more mainstream advertising, so the advertising agencies put their support behind the happy family collective platforming staffed with womenfolk if they didn’t actually have university degrees then looked as if they did.
This in turn was reinforced visually and verbally by the manifest iteration of university values which in turn are deemed to be the values of those who have money to spend, especially on big ticket things such as cars and domestic fitments. Today’s conformity is thus centred on contemporary university values.
The result is that as the mainstream broadcasting audience greys with the weight of the years so it is treated as if it were greening with the sap of idealism.
The happy family presentation platform sidesteps sensitive issues and if one seems to be looming or unavoidable, then family members segue on cue into familial chatter about docile spouses or wilful kiddies. The era of the standalone presenter had passed. Anyone still remember Paul Holmes?
It is not that long ago that Winston Peters declared that TV3 was “better” than the government version. TV3 in the event, and under pressure from the advertising agencies, began to take on the colours of its subsidised competitor and did so by looking and sounding more and more like it.
But the green shoots, this time of rebellion, are starting to show. Management, which has had the channel on the market for quite some time, must carefully nurture them now that the sale is public.
Curiously and nobody is talking about this for obvious reasons TV3/Mediaworks is a component of one of the world’s biggest pools of money. It is controlled by Brookfield Asset Management.
A fellow Brookfield stablemate is Westinghouse Electric Company, a nuclear reactor design and builder.
While industrial ownership of newspapers is now commonplace (think Amazon’s proprietorship of the Washington Post) it remains unusual in the broadcasting sector.
Brookfield shouldered the New Zealand broadcaster from Oaktree Capital Management an outfit specialising as a vulture fund acquiring businesses on the verge of liquidation.
There have been signs of fire and fury in TV3. The guest-hosting by former Republican senator and now ambassador Scott Brown was one.
The straight-to-camera editorialising to Winston Peters about Winston Peters by Mark Richardson still another.
Another industrial proprietor this time with a productivity base in New Zealand itself will be in a position to counter the London-originating point of view with some badly needed home truths, and steer the channel away from the media magnetic north of juvenilia and shrill identity issues..
Anticipating Hitler’s rise pre-war politician told family to get as far away from Germany as possible
The death in New Zealand’s Wairarapa Valley of Tony Haas (pictured) severs one of the closest human link’s with Germany’s Nazi era.
Haas was the grandson of Ludwig Haas the minister for Baden and member of the Reichstag for the German Democratic Party and a determined opponent of the National Socialists, the Nazi Party.
Ludwig Haas died unexpectedly in 1930.
He is often considered the only politician who, had he lived, could have foiled the rise of Hitler and thus averted World War 2.
On his deathbed Ludwig Haas, anticipating Hitler’s rise and what was to come and knowing he would be powerless to do anything about it told his son, Karl, father of Tony Haas, to move as far away from Germany as possible –and stay there.
The family did this, re-establishing in New Zealand.
Several years prior to his own death and by now much encouraged by the resurgence in Germany of interest surrounding his grandfather (pictured below), Tony Haas toured Karlsruhe, his grandfather’s constituency, and there he was given a warm and attentive official welcome.
In his final years and with the assistance of Berlin-based archivists Tony Haas the grandson occupied himself with compiling the official biography of his prescient grandfather
Anthony Roger Haas was born in 1944, and raised in his own words as a “farm boy” in Pahiatua in the remote Wairarapa Valley where his father in addition to changing hemispheres had also switched vocations becoming a farmer.
Tony Haas’ own long incubated 2015 autobiography Being Palangi – My Pacific Journey was launched in the Wairarapa Valley.
Tony Haas in retirement had returned to his New Zealand roots after a 50 year global journalistic career mainly devoted to covering the Pacific and its peoples.
Tony Haas is survived by his wife Dr Patricia Donnelly and their children.