National Press Club president Peter Isaac interviewed about Commerce Commission upset merger veto.......
Napier - MSCNewsWire, Tuesday 15 November 2016
If someone from the two chains contacted you and asked, What should we do now? What would you tell them? My instruction would be to turn their strategy on its head and go in next time at this democratic literary end which means furnishing evidence of the freedom that the two pending proprietorial partners already allocate to their individual newspaper editors, and have done for many years.
The Commerce Commission would require evidence? The Commerce Commission response indicates that it wants working real-life examples of the chains’ ability to allow their editors and thus their newspapers to enjoy the freedom to say pretty much what they want to say. I would suggest for example that Fairfax management for one refers to the separate nature of The Dominion and The Evening Post which for so long co-existed under their old INL banner. They were entirely separate in regard to editorial staffs. They looked utterly different and had quite different contents and opinions. Similarly now with the Waikato Times, for example, which happily still co-exists under the Fairfax banner. Similarly with for example the Nelson Mail and of course with the The Press of Christchurch, Southland Times also in the stable, and so on.
Can we assume that the Commerce Commission is aware of this? The point that the two groups need to make is that it is simply not in their interests to have their combined newspapers all singing the same song. These newspapers must reflect their own communities and the issues therein. In my many years involvement with INL/Fairfax in a number of regions I cannot recall even one incident of the management strong-arming anyone, anywhere, to follow this or that party line.
Isn’t the Commission of the opinion that they will publish just the one nationwide daily? They have tried this from the Wellington end and also from the Auckland end on several occasions. The result has always been the same. Failure. The national daily business model does not exist here and the reason is that subscribers insist on localised news from their own localised newspaper. The proof of this theory is the litmus test in the form of the chains’ holdout, the flourishing and regional Otago Daily Times. Even Rupert Murdoch could not get off the ground a national daily here.
There are no guarantees that this hands-off legacy will continue? You have now several government-sponsored referee organisations. The Press Complaints Commission, the Advertising Standards Commission to name just the direct ones. So in the event of the amalgamation there exists in place these pressure valve authorities on subscriber daily newspapers. The state determinedly holds onto its own broadcasting channels, so there is a ready diffusion for the result of any such arbitration. In fact, if I had anything to do with the two newspaper chains and their dealings with the Commerce Commission I would start lobbying now for the re-instatement of Column Comment on the government’s own television channel.
Explain? Column Comment was the de facto newspaper referee for decades and was taken very seriously by newspaper people at all levels, more seriously, I think, than the channel itself realised. I know a version of it has been reproduced on the government’s Radio New Zealand. But it was the television delivery that carried the punch to the readers and thus to the industry itself. I don’t think anyone would suggest that such Column Comment commentators as Ian Cross, Keith Ovenden or the late Neil Roberts, among other presenters, could be bought.
It is said of the New Zealand press that it is either boring or sensational? You could say the same thing about the press anywhere in the world. A point not fully understood about the industry in New Zealand is that for legislative regulation reasons it took much longer here to establish Sunday newspapers than it did in the rest of the English-speaking world. When they did emerge I do concede that they tended toward the sensational. But if you look at the chains’ bulldog editions, the Saturday ones for weekend carryover, then they contain a greater proportion of what you need-to-know instead of what you-want-to-know frivolity.
Where are the proprietors going wrong then, that they need this shotgun marriage, and yet have now been left dangling so embarrassingly at the altar? They thought that the Commerce Commission would see things from their point of view, the one centred on economics. In the event the Commission saw things from the literary angle. Bureaucrats and newspaper people share one thing in common--they must not make assumptions with legal outcomes. This is a resounding lesson to the industry.
Your advice to the still-betrothed newspaper chains is? To fence off their spread sheets and get onto the Commission’s own wave-length which in the Commission’s own words is this literary liberal democracy preservation one. The chains’ message should be clear. It should be “if we are not allowed to merge then we will even overtake China within 10 years because there will be no daily newspaper proprietors in New Zealand whatsoever, and thus no daily newspapers free or shackled.”
Still, there remains the argument now that others will rush in and fill the gap?T hey will and they will be part of the free-model that the hitherto two subscriber daily chains will have already filled with their own weekly free-sheets. Nobody not even the Horton family has been able to start up a subscriber daily newspaper. Once they go, they have gone for ever.
In spite of the media being such a studied subject at universities, there is little in the publicdomain about newspaper economics? You have this argument to the effect, Oh! We will have as they do in London these free dailies. But in New Zealand there is insufficient commuter intensity to underpin them. Even in Auckland. As it is in New Zealand the weekly free-sheets do best in rural-provincial areas where the population is older and there is thus a lower take-up of screen-delivered free-model news and information in general.
Your point being? That once the current chain dailies disappear, the ones that dot the nation from Invercargill to Whangarei that they cannot be replaced by other subscriber dailies. Only by free sheets.
You were surprised at the Commerce Commission’s decision to stall the Fairfax-NZME merger? I was and I was in good company- -that of the two chains for a start.
Then you must have shared with them an underpinning belief? If you read between the lines of what emerged from the episode then we all got it wrong. The assumption was that the Commission as a government organisation would have been primarily pre-occupied with the cost in human terms of a centralisation of mechanical services, notably of the rotary presses. In the event the Commission saw the fusion in an intellectual context and said so unequivocally in terms of what it saw as this need to preserve the “liberal democracy” through diverse newspaper ownership.
You didn’t see this?I did the same thing that the strategists of the two chains did. I forgot my history. There is a strong backbone for this kind of regulatory reaction. The News Media Ownership legislation designed to keep Lord Thomson out of New Zealand remains the best example. So I was party to a fault that I routinely accuse everyone else in the industry of committing which is that of a failure to put issues into historical context. Background in other words.
Do you think it is curious the way in which certain journalists post Commerce Commission have turned on their paymasters and accused them of being out of touch? This is pretty much confined to older opinion peddling wafflers who talk in terms of the bosses needing to bring their editorial, data and privacy codes up to “international best practice” and suchlike. The proprietors are not running localised versions of United Nations. Not so widely known is the reason behind the often contradictory nature of daily newspaper content. They are in fact purchased and read by baby boomers and beyond. Yet the editorial formulation is aimed in large measure at the age categories which no longer actually buy newspapers but who view them via the internet editions, the free model in other words. . These are the people in their 20s 30s. It is this category, the early home-buyers, that the property sector, overwhelmingly the major advertiser, needs to reach.
How would you approach the government itself, the ultimate arbiter? I would quietly ensure that MPs became aware of something which is in fact considered best practice in some other OECD nations which is taxpayer subsidy of dailies in order to keep them afloat.
Final point? If I was remotely responsible for the return match with the Commerce Commission I would illustrate on what a delicate economic thread hangs these nationwide subscriber daily newspapers. To reinforce this point I would ensure that there was someone with no particular axe to grind, perhaps one of these academic types you refer to, who would step up and point out what a remarkable job the two chains have done in maintaining this score or so of daily newspapers in a population equivalent to that of many global cities and how this feat can only be sustained by the proposed amalgamation. The stormiest metropolitan editor I ever worked forwas the late Frank Haden. The unbiddable Haden loved imagery. He would say that it was the taste that any story left in the mouth of the reader that mattered. The taste the two chains with their revised submission should leave to linger in the collective palate of the Commerce Commission is this:-
Even if we wanted to, tried to, align our daily newspapers in a constant state of editorial harmony we could not achieve it. The reason is that our subscribers would bar us from conspiring in such regimentation by the simple act of cancelling their subscriptions. They would in response throw in their lot with the digital free model.
Donald Trump’s victory has been described as “super Brexit” most notably by the president-elect himself. We now examine some of the similarities and we begin with the decision which can now be seen as a dangerous one for President Obama’s highly visible pro Hillary campaigning. This was all the more curious since it was then known in the United States that UK Premier David Cameron’s similar campaigning for his cause Remain had represented more of a burden than a blessing. President Obama’s campaigning was compounded by the intervention of Mrs Obama who had hitherto been universally admired just because of her public detachment from partisan party politics. Main points of similarity summarised:-
Presidential – Prime Ministerial Pleading & Campaigning In both Brexit and Trump the leaders of the in-power establishment parties joined in the fray. British Premier David Cameron actively campaigned to remain in the EU. President Obama actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton and in doing so was joined by Mrs Obama. In both causes and in both countries this frenzied campaigning can now be viewed as having the opposite effect of the one intended.
Financial Sector Backed Lost Causes – Remain and Hillary Hilary Clinton’s campaign and the Remain campaign were both openly backed by the financial sector
Non university voters backed the winners In both causes in both countries Brexit supporters and Trump supporters were solidly drawn from those who had not attended university
Opinion polls were wrong on both sides of the Atlantic Polling organisations were continuously wrong in both countries and in both outcomes
Movement leaders both emerged from outside established political parties Brexit leader Nigel Farage had his own party. Donald Trump had had no previous political experience
Both victorious leaders ignored and talked over mainstream media In the United States Donald Trump actively expressed his contempt for his media entourage describing members as “the worst people in the world.”
Mainstream media was wrong footed A characteristic of the mainstream media in both countries and from the outset was an inability to concede that either Donald Trump or Brexit had a chance of success
Project Fear aftermaths on both sides of the Atlantic Following Brexit the communication organisations responsible for monitoring and then making known shifts in public opinion started a diversionary campaign. This took the form of the generation of an atmosphere of public fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the effects of the events which they had failed to predict. This development is now evident too in the United States following Trump.
United States foreign worker clampdown will boost US milk production costs
MSCNewsWire - Nov 10, 2016 / New Zealand’s primary produce export opportunities are more likely to rise rather than decline with the election of Donald Trump as United States President. The reason is that the incoming president as a priority has the dismantling of the confrontation between the US and Russia.
The economic component of this stand-off is the United States-led embargo on exports to Russia. A détente will open up Russia especially to exports from the EU which is the United States main partner in the embargo.
The lifting of the embargo will introduce the free flow of food exports from EU nations into Russia. The problem for New Zealand since the embargo was installed is that the EU food exports, notably milk, have backed up all over Europe instead of going to Russia.
For its part Russia in defiance has enforced the embargo by destroying EU foodstuffs with back door labeling or being shipped under proxy bills of lading. French foodstuffs carrying face value Moroccan origination are just one example of this.
The dissolving of the US led embargo on Russia will also allow New Zealand which is also a partner in the embargo to start trading again directly with Russia.
New Zealand participation in this trade embargo with its self-damaging results has long been cloaked in a conspiracy of silence. Politicians and exporters alike have kept their mouths shut for fear of US reprisals.
Even though the incoming president has promised to scrap United States trade treaties in order to build US domestic employment, the abandonment of the Trans Pacific trade agreement signed by all participating countries in Auckland earlier this year is unlikely to present a serious problem to New Zealand exports.
The legislation attendant on the treaty is subject to a lengthy clearance process having only just navigated its latest reading in the New Zealand parliament. Other countries will take years to approve it. Critics claim that the Trans Pacific trade deal, and other such US treaties with other countries merely double up on what has already been achieved under the WorldTrade Organisation among other such bodies.
An additional point, and one that may make a President Trump resist pulling the plug on it is that the Pacific agreement is primarily viewed as a device by the United States to preserve its global supremacy in currency leadership. At least 80 percent of world trade is carried out in the USD and the United States is determined to stop China taking any part of this share with its own rival currency..
Meanwhile the central theme of Trump policy, curbs on immigration, is likely to add to the value of New Zealand primary products. This is because in the United States Mexico is the home of much of the US milk workforce at every phase.
A reliance on United States nationals to do the work will add greatly to the costs at every stage of US milk production.
From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk / Thursday 10 November 2016
Adjudicator wants new angle on proposed merger filed by March 2017 deadline
Just as everyone else including the proprietors themselves were giving up on newspapers the Commerce Commission has seized the print cause with a vigour and enthusiasm absent for many years now from the industry itself.
The Commission which arbitrates on New Zealand’s mergers and acquisitions from the competitive point of view has fastened upon newspaper diversity as their reason for vetoing the merger of the nation’s two newspaper publishing chains, the locally owned NZME and the Australian owned Fairfax.
As if mirroring the newspaper editorial quest for a new angle on something familiar, the Commerce Commission instead of fastening upon the mechanical aspect of the consolidation especially in regard to printing instead focused on the loss of editorial independence attendant upon such a merger.
Giving this point a big headline the Commission observed that such a single-owner concentration of publishing would put New Zealand only one place behind China with its single party ownership of the media.
The result of the first round of the merger application by the two chains has thus come as a surprise to the applicants.
The feeling had been that any objections to the fusion would be related to print production economies and thus the loss of jobs ensuing from the telescoping of the two chains comparatively numerous printing works.
One reason for this is that the two applicants in their joint submission outlined a surprisingly small joint saving from centralised mechanical production.
In effect the Commission in the manner of a stern but fair editor has told the two operators to come back to them. Next time with a better story. The deadline for filing is March next year.
The meaning of the Commission’s intent is in fact spelled out in its emphasis on what it describes as the need “for a well-established liberal democracy".
This it made clear was not attainable with “one organisation controlling nearly 90 per cent of the country's print media market.”
The Commission’s confidence in the economic future of print media will in a curious way re-invigorate the two supplicant chains as they seek to define a winning formula to compete with the free model in which social networks of one description or another have taken over the subscriber system once symbolised by print dailies.
It is obvious that neither of the chains foresaw the Commission adopting this editorial content diversity angle. The Commission in a curious way has revealed the emphasis that certain sectors of society still place on news as news.
From the MSCNewsWire reporters'desk Tuesday 8 November 2016
New Zealand Party’s forecast based on own pre-election analysis
New Zealand’s ACT Party predicts without qualification that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. The political party’s newsletter Free Press states flatly that “Clinton is bombing out.”
The party simultaneously forecasts that the “fallout” from Mr Trump’s election “will be like Brexit.” It will be “terrifying the day before and unnoticed the day after.”
The party’s Trump prediction is based on its own pre-election soundings in the lead up to New Zealand’s own general elections. The party does not amplify this demographic or statistical analysis.
But their prediction is taken to be a comparative one based on a broadly similar anglo-saxon English speaking and ethnic mix.
ACT New Zealand is a free market political party in New Zealand founded in 1993 by Roger Douglas the former finance minister generally credited with converting the economy from a regulated command one to its current enterprise status.
In spite of its Trump prediction the party is pessimistic about his actual effect and value of Trump in office. The party it says has long watched “neophyte” MPs and Ministers,” no matter how successful in their previous lives”, get thoroughly “gazumped” by bureaucrats with "30-40 years’" experience in their area.
This bureaucratic inertia quotient is cited as the reason the party believes that the Trump presidency will in the event be a “fizzer.”. .
From the MSCNewsWire reporters desk - Monday 7 November 2016
Bank officials proclaim themselves “stoked” by disappearance of depositor protection.
In a remarkable display of modern financial marketing presentation techniques the cancellation of Kiwbank’s deposit guarantee is being portrayed as an advantage for........Kiwibank’s depositors.
The 14 year old deposit insurance scheme will disappear on February 28 next year.
The deposit guarantee was always an important selling proposition for Kiwibank. The reason is that other New Zealand bank deposits are not guaranteed by anyone and certainly not the government.
Kiwibank marketeers are slickly presenting the pending disappearance of the bank deposit guarantee as an example of the bank maturing and generally coming of age. “This reflects how far Kiwibank has come.......We are now a successful and profitable bank...so a guarantee to give customers confidence in a brand new bank is no longer needed.”
The grounds for seeking to convert what is in customer terms is a negative into giving the appearance of a full-fledged advantage attribute is based on the investment in the bank by the New Zealand Super Fund and Accident Compensation Corporation.
“It means the profits Kiwibank delivers will continue to stay in New Zealand directly benefitting all Kiwis.”
Exulting in this somewhat nebulous benefit the letter to depositors (pictured) devolves into street-language in order to express the full measure of its own enthusiasm for the disappearance of the deposit guarantee scheme. “....So we are absolutely stoked,” declares in his letter to depositors Mark Wilkshire the Kiwibank marketing head.
In the event the investment in the publicly-owned bank has merely diversified. The underpinning is now spread around additional public bodies in the form of the Super Fund and Accident Compensation.
It is not immediately apparent how this public risk-spread will reinforce the retention of profits within New Zealand.
The deftly presented transformation of a marketing drawback, the withdrawal of the guarantee, into a customer benefit underlines though the continuing and misplaced belief that all bank deposits in New Zealand are somehow guaranteed. This continues in spite of assertions, notably from the Reserve Bank, that no guarantee exists.
However the government-sponsored and multi-faceted and attenuated bailing out of the BNZ after the 1987 bust greatly contributed to reinforcing this misapprehension to the effect that all banks, notably the trading banks are covered by a guarantee.
In the event, the publicly-owned Kiwibank was the exception in that its deposits were, and until February 28 will continue to be, underwritten by the state.
From the MSCNewsWire reporters desk - Monday 7 November 2016
The mooted litigation-funded class action against the Wynyard Group faces an immediate two-fold problem. This is exactly what entities are in the firing line of this proposed action, and how will any desired reparations be extracted from these entities?
Are we looking here, for example, at Britain’s Skipton Building Society? This financial services organisation is usually cited as controlling the Jade computer services organisation from which the Wynyard Group originated.
There are several problems here. One is that the Skipton Building Society–Jade organisation’s association with Wynyard Group is rather more tenuous than is widely supposed. For example, instead of seeding its new offspring with funding, the British organisation appropriated for itself a very large part of the original investment from the NZX flotation. The exact benefit of this to the fledgling offspring, the Wynyard Group and its shareholders has been complex to define and similarly with the labyrinthine ensuing cross-over obligations between the two companies.
If the Wynyard class action group has in its sights any other investors and/or promoters in Jade then there is the problem now of their being domiciled outside the Westminster jurisdiction. This especially applies to Jade investors in the United States.
In so many ways the Wynyard Group flotation represented New Zealand equities investors at their finest and most patriotic in their willingness to put their money behind the home team. You have to live in Christchurch to understand the intensity of this willingness to back the local side which Jade once was, and so, much more recently, was its Wynyard offshoot.
In the event Jade began in the desert, the Saudi Arabian one, where two New Zealand programmers were working as IT specialists for a Saudi distributor of United States earthmoving equipment. A problem in the 1970s that hit the engineering and construction equipment and stock holding business everywhere was the arrival of double digit inflation. The danger to engineering suppliers in this was selling parts and even full scale pieces of equipment at below their replacement cost.
It was now that the two programmers, with time on their hands, set out to solve this problem. They did so by devising a real time and online (ie instantaneous) system which meant that price increases from suppliers rippled out to all warehouse and outlet supply depots across the planet and as they occurred. This was a colossal breakthrough by any standard and became more so as the two programmers now proceeded to package it and market it
Burroughs, then a major force in world computing, ranking only just behind IBM, recognised the value of this discovery and in a remarkably short space time branded it as LINC (for logic and information network compiler) and put it in the very top shelf of their worldwide marketing. Our photograph shows Gil Simpson (at left) with his co-developer Peter Hoskin. In the middle is Robert Holmes the Burroughs top sider who oversaw the deal.
It was now that Jade made Christchurch in the 1980s one of the world hubs of network computing science. It really was a “centre of excellence.” The Linc compiler with its rapid implementation automated programming was the unique selling proposition, the secret. While the Linc project never actually became fourth generation (as was widely claimed for it) the product in that era got as close as any other system did to replicating the wave or multi-processing operation of the human brain.
All the rest followed. The Jade Stadium, Sir Gil Simpson Drive, and of course Sir Gil himself. Peter Hoskin, the co-developer, faded out of direct involvement and in recusing himself became the New Zealand version of those other early self-sidelined co-developers Paul Allen and Steve Wozniak.
Time moved on, and it was now that as so often in the IT sector, time from being an ally now manifested itself as a problem, especially at Burroughs, which by now had re-named itself Unisys. It was still a big-iron, mainframe manufacturer of centralised computers. It was now besieged by the personal computer manufacturers.
Even as Burroughs – Unisys became distracted, it was still able to use its muscle in its stronghold of mainframes to insert the Jade Linc system into the financial sector notably in the United Kingdom. It was now that started the supplier-client relationship of Jade with the Skipton Building Society.
Exactly why, and how Skipton became anchor investor in Jade remains largely unclear. There are though grounds for believing that Skipton needed to protect its own investment in its own Jade systems and did so by investing in the supporting supplier.
Even so, Jade was careful always to diversify its own market and took up a strong footprint in logistics, a natural growth sector deriving from its original inventory management expertise.
It was as part of this sector application diversification scheme that Jade sought out still newer fields in which to apply its compiler expertise. Law enforcement/risk management made sense.
Jade was by now encountering the problem of companies outside the United States to the effect that no matter how effective their products, no matter how much they tuned and re-tuned their underpinning quantum mechanics not to mention their marketing, they still seemed the poor relation to Silicon Valley. Especially in its ability to launch torrential new products on a marketplace that had become attuned, if not addicted to fast-rotating product issue frequency.
Canada’s Research in Motion with its Blackberry and Finland’s Nokia are two examples of seemingly invulnerable companies that succumbed to this kind of Silicon Valley rolling release.
Wynyard for example walked into this kind of Silicon Valley deep-pocket storm when it found itself confronted with sometime New Zealand resident and Tolkien buff Peter Thiel’s Palantir crime product.
Wynyard because of its Anglo-United States lineage had about it from the start an aura of the gilt edge. This halo was emphasised by its role as New Zealand’s first heavy-end departmental-capability IT main board listing. As is the IT custom everywhere the claims and forecasts made on its behalf contained a show-business extravagance and the executives seemed more photogenic than in other industries. The explanation for this multiplier is that if you win big in IT you win bigger than you do in other industries.
In the event, and as we can all see now, it was highly speculative and depended for its success on an early investment take up. One ideally in the form of a mainstream merger or acquisition that would have given Wynyard scale and the global distribution and sales and support channels that it always needed.
It does now all seems so unfair. Jade in its day took automated programming, meaning fast setup, further than any other technology outfit anywhere. It survived the 1987 bust, the dot com bubble, and the Great Financial Crisis.
But now its offshoot and which carries its pedigree is left to fade unfinished into the history of New Zealand ultra-advanced technology.
From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk - Wednesday 2 November 2016
Sudden disappearance of New Zealand civil engineering institution led to standards decline claims correspondent
The rush to bury the reality and the memory of the old New Zealand Ministry of Works had a singular and tangible outcome. This was the standards vacuum. The subsequent leaky building problem and the modern buildings which collapsed due to earthquakes in Christchurch are the result of this.
This state of affairs was referred to, but not at the length it deserved by your original correspondent who correctly described the New Zealand “way” in which entities once believed to be of value are suddenly swept away and in this process are deemed in every way to be bad. This is an impression that as your original correspondent observed then proceeds to compound on itself over the years.
The Ministry of Works’ meticulously enforced quality standards should have been carefully preserved. Instead what happened was that the dissolution of the old Ministry of Works introduced a facet of the law of unintended consequence. This took the form of the disappearance of New Zealand’s high level construction standards which if not actually enforced by the Ministry served as a yardstick for the entire sector whether Ministry or not.
It was now that was created the standards vacuum situation which I have just described. Now allow me to take a step backwards. A problem in New Zealand construction has long been for people to represent themselves as doing work that they are not in fact institutionally qualified to do. This is unavoidable in a new country and one in which the demand for construction people will often outweigh the supply of them. These “chancers” as we used to call them are often valuable just because they are self-taught and often work hard to overcome their lack of officially sanctioned training. The problem starts though when such people assume professional roles in which test and measurement qualifications of an institutional type are by definition essential.
In the aftermath of the disappearance of the old Ministry of Works so there began also to disappear the inspectorates and their cadres of highly qualified people who themselves had been tested practically and theoretically. The gnawing away of the old Ministry standards was by now well under way and has been compounded by the failure of the professional societies to claim responsibility for the demonstrable failure of their own authorised practitioners.
US-made First Alert extinguisher had undisclosed additional safety catch trigger
A US-made fire extinguisher on sale in New Zealand features an undisclosed second-tier safety trip which is in addition to the standard pull-pin release mechanism.
The second tier safety device on the extinguisher is comprised of a barely visible plastic filament. This must be pressed simultaneously with the white trigger at the top.
No indication is given on the instructions of the existence of this additional filament-press detonation mechanism. The three part operating instruction only states to Pull Pin/Aim/Press Lever.
Absolutely no mention is made of the barely visible filament device which also needs to be pressed in order to detonate the extinguisher.. Neither is this secondary device pictured on the extinguisher. A reader has presented the now-used extinguisher (pictured) to MSC-Newswire in order to draw attention to the need to for factories and workshops to test operationally one example of each of their fire extinguisher brands and model types in order for this type of problem to be identified prior to a fire instead of afterward.
The pictured extinguisher was thought to be faulty and valuable moments were lost in fighting a real-life fire. In the event hoses were required to put out a fire which could have been instantly extinguished had the pictured device been brought to bear at the start of the fire.
A problem with New Zealand’s imported extinguishers is that just because they are made for other jurisdictions with other national safety regulations so there will be differing levels of operating procedures and these, as in the instance of this US extinguisher, may not be pictured or described on the device itself.
All factory and works safety officials should test under operational conditions one sample of every brand and series model type of its extinguishers urged our informant. They noted that factory fires were volatile just because of the works environment. Every split second was crucial in suppressing them. Secondary, and in the instance of the pictured extinguisher, disguised activation steps must be factored in. Something that could only be achieved by practical and applied type-testing
“We want others to learn from our experience with this problem which itself seems to be hidden from sight.”