Hard News by Russell Brown


No Surprises

Is anyone really surprised at the government’s decision on Maori seats for the Auckland Council? I rather doubt Rodney Hide would have put his baubles on the line if he had not already calculated his likely success. And I don’t think John Key had been saying or doing anything to suggest Hide wasn’t on a winner.

Indeed, on Sunday I bumped into a Public Address reader who had had the opportunity to ask Key personally about the prospects for the reserved Maori seats. The Prime Minister’s response would not have gladdened the hearts of his Maori Party partners – but I suspect that the Maori Party leadership has really known for some time what the score was.

I’m with the Herald on this one. There was a case for the seats, given both Ngati Whatua’s unique role in Auckland’s development, and the fact that seating allocations will be determined in innovative ways whatever happens: it wasn’t going to be business as usual anyway.


In this week’s Media7, we’re looking at the national game. What have the demands of rugby’s broadcast partners done to the game? What do we make of the little bump in support for provincial rugby, against the UMR survey finding interest in the game at its lowest since the survey began? And did a schoolboy rugby punch-up really warrant two front page leads in the Herald?

Joining us for that discussion will be: Spiro Zavos, Richard Boock and John Roughan.

Then we’ll discuss the flap over a feared steep rise in PPNZ fees for businesses that use music, with Kristin Bowman of Phonographic Performances NZ, Damian Vaughan of Independent Music NZ and Sale St bar owner Luke Dallow.

And we’ll go all geek with an interview with Glen Barnes of Open New Zealand about Open Government Bar Camp (Public Address will have Keith, Hadyn and any number of regular readers in the house there) and Open NZ’s general mission to “host projects around transparency, participatory democracy, and generally making central and local government useful to citizens and businesses.

If you’d like to join us for the recording, we’d need you at TVNZ from 5pm tomorrow. Hit “Reply” and let me know.

PS: Whoops: I promised I'd mention the BNZ's Closed for Good project, which, on November 4, will see the bank close all its retail places and most of its support offices and send staff out into the community to work on projects nominated by members of the public. (Internet banking will stay open, as will a call centre.) About 5000 BNZ staff will be providing their labour to nominated projects on that day. You can find out more and propose a project at the Closed for Good website.

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