Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: New Rules

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  • merc,

    Now that's humour. Let's face it, as a nation, we're just not that funny.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I noticed Mr Edgeler on Mr Espiner's blog saying the order actually passed unopposed. Perhaps the vote everyone quoted was the one for Nandor's amendment? And either way I have to ask - where was Rodney "people should be able to film what they want" Hide? (it sounded like he actually said that in the debate).

    Yes. On Tanczos' amendment a voice vote was taken. The Greens said "No" and then asked for a party vote (with only the Greens in favour). Then there was a voice vote on the main question. There was a voice vote, some people said yes, and no-one said no.

    No-one from Act spoke, or was present during the debate. Indeed, only one member of the press gallery sat through the whole thing.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    "So it's completely trivial and the only thing worth televising? Do you bother voting, Ben?"

    I do, but I have to wonder why. It's never made the slightest difference to NZ or me. Old habits I guess.

    And yes it can be both trivial and the only thing worth televising. There's no contradiction there. It just means the rest is even more crap. I have never been any the wiser about politics from hearing about one single thing that happened in Parliament. It never gave me insight or inside knowledge. It only made me bitter that what might once have served some purpose no longer does. Now the only useful purpose is that some slander laws can be circumvented, no matter how rich the slandered are. Otherwise the whole house is a farce, a spectator sport to hide where the decisions are really made, behind closed door. That televised coverage makes this plain is exactly what blocking televised coverage is all about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Ta, Graeme. I was listening on the radio and obviously became confused when Nandor said

    Like Mr Rodney Hide, my personal view is that people should be able to film what they like.

    ... i had the impression someone had interjected just then and thought it was rodders.

    I don't know if the final vote was something to do with the tradition of consensus in the standing orders committee - with MPs more likely to stand by rules they voted for...

    Which doesn't make it unsuck.

    Lord what lessons we might draw when the media doesn't attend even when it's about them (and the public, for whom I have more sympathy).

    All the ones who weren't there missed that glorious business with winston and his unreleased tabled documents, too. Karma.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    By which, of course, I meant The Greens said "Yes".

    On the substantive point, it is worthwhile to note the overseas experience. Our rules are pretty liberal.

    Even in the US - rightly regarded as an upholder of free speech - video footage of Congress is provided by the Speaker - with similar restrictions on showing others not speaking as we used to have (no reaction shots, etc.).

    Whilst I think the ban on using Parliamentary footage for satire, ridicule and denigration goes too far, the decision to allow people (and not just through a Parliamentary feed) to show what's happening in Parliament (and not just who is speaking) is a good one.

    Most of us have, I suspect, seen footage of other legislatures in the news. And you don't get to see reaction shots and the like from the House of Commons or the US Congress.

    There are some odd rules though - we're not allowed to see a personal vote as it's being conducted, for example.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Lyndon - my guess would be that the Greens support the new rules (even unammended) over the old rules. They do open the place up. And without these rules, then there wouldn't have been Parliamentary approval for the live feed they'd be offering, and we couldn't have live footage 'round the clock.

    The audio broadcasting of Parliament is interesting - it's much more restrictive than video bradcasting. Radio networks can't have their own mikes and run with only the feed Parliament offers - the Speaker, and the member speaking - no interjections etc.

    I suspect that in part, this is the reason for Tom Frewen's view - as a radio journalist, he's operated under a pretty stict regime for some time, and still managed to report the news.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    No-one from Act spoke, or was present during the debate. Indeed, only one member of the press gallery sat through the whole thing.

    (a) I know it must be difficult with a caucus of two, but when you've expressed a view to media, isn't it just good form to actually turn up and express it in the House?

    (b) That's a bit tragic, given the fuss those same media organisations have been making.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It's not like I would ever actually watch Parliament or take BZP again, but I figure I should be allowed. There's been a bit too much 'you're not allowed' recently, from having a decent stadium for the world cup to having the kind of car you want. Every little thing you're not allowed, no matter how trivial and lame (and this one is about as trivial and lame as it gets. It's not like I care about Paris Hilton either, but I *really* would rather watch that, or bang my head on a wall, than watch Parliament. I would even stoop to the America's Cup), is another victory for the 'you're not allowed' Leviathan. Which already has far too many runs on the board.

    What the fuck extra information of any useful nature is to be had by actually *seeing* Parliament??? Is it the subtle nuances of facial expression? Is it the awesome grandeur of the hallowed house? I don't even want to *hear* it. It's enough to read about it. Even that is incredibly dull and bears a great deal of editing and summarization. Even after that, what is said is mostly gobshite, has already been said in numerous press releases, resaid a hundred times more eloquently and discussed in far greater detail in the blogosphere, and has no bearing whatsoever on what is then going to happen which actually matters, the voting, which we aren't allowed to see. We are even less allowed to see the way in which the decisions as to what to vote are made, the whipping, the threats, the negotiations, the endless board meetings, the focus groups etc.

    That is what is a circus about it. I'm not even referring to the ridiculous behaviour in the house, the gesturing, yelling over the top, falling asleep, yawning dramatically, slandering people etc. That's all normal human behaviour and could at least be entertaining or funny for a couple of minutes, in summarized soundbite form. I'm referring to the circus that is the actual proceedings of the house, what it is that makes it onto Hansard, what we are all supposed to feel so fucken grateful about hearing, and take so seriously.

    That such a farce looks like a farce on TV is what our politicians dislike. All of them. Which is why it's not allowed. *YOU* are not allowed, you, whoever is reading this, are one of the people not allowed to make up their own mind about whether they get to see what is already a meaningless circus, in case it might make you more capable of making an informed decision on the meaninglessly trivial decision as to which one of the farcical fuckwits you throw your worthless vote at so they can tell you what you aren't allowed next.

    The Alll Blacks really need to pull finger.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Ben said:

    "That is what is a circus about it. I'm not even referring to the ridiculous behaviour in the house, the gesturing, yelling over the top, falling asleep, yawning dramatically, slandering people etc. That's all normal human behaviour..."

    Dear I say it - that is not NORMAL human behaviour and anywhere else will get you fired if not arrested and an ASBO (it's coming).

    But Ben please don't link BZP (or other drugs) with the All Blacks in the same post - it's a cup year!

    Aunty Helens started beneficary Bashing as well jumping in on a housing corp house eviction. How did the media get in on this again? And why?
    John Key it's time to play that card.

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    We are even less allowed to see the way in which the decisions as to what to vote are made, the whipping, the threats, the negotiations, the endless board meetings, the focus groups etc.

    Good point. I guess what I'd say is this:

    Parliament is made of people with divergent political beliefs, so it is inevitable that a certain amount of wacky chaos is going to ensue in the "debating chamber". However, this weakness of Parliament is also its strength - the same divergences that render Parliament so frustrating also mean that its makeup reflects society in some broad and proportionally representative sense.

    To borrow from Jeremy Waldron, politics exists because we need a legitimate means of resolving intra-societal disagreement - not because we need an institution to rubber stamp outcomes that we already know to be right.

    I'm not saying that Parliament represents some sort of political nirvana, but I don't believe that current imperatives encourage the media to show the legislative processs in its full complexity. Not everything about our political process deserves our contempt.

    The Alll Blacks really need to pull finger.

    Totally.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Michael, haven't you ever been to a cricket test? It's not only normal, it's expected.

    Yes, sorry to put the kibosh on the lads. I've been in a tailspin since Saturday night, reflected in that post. *They're allowed* to be human.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick,

    At the risk of kicking permit me a comment or three.

    1) Behaviour during Question Time tends to be fractious at the best of times (though Thursdays are often quiet). However this does not mean things improve during debates on legislation. Some of the more extreme stuff I've witnessed has actually occurred in the evenings (the Bradford Bill and Dog Microchipping legislation spring to mind)

    2) All the offices in the Press Gallery have a live audio feed from the Chamber. For the radio journalists, who have tighter deadlines, it's easier to monitor the feed and submit stories from the office. Sitting in the house, recording material, then going back to the office to edit can be a bit time consuming. Having said that, on high profile legislation, where there's chance of feistiness, reporters do tend to pop in and out of the gallery to keep an eye on things.

    3) How Michael Cullen could say with a straight face that the House was for debate and not theatre escapes me.

    4) When it comes to covering the Parliamentary Chamber the public has the right to be able to see exactly what they would were they in the public gallery. The fact is the new rules can be (and will be) used to block this. If an MP behaves like a tit in the chamber then the voters (who pay his or her salary) should be able to see just the sort of person that's representing them.

    5) Final point. The good news for those of us in radio and print is there's nothing in the new rules to prevent us giving graphic oral or written descriptions of exactly what we see going on. That, at least, is reassuring. Still removing satire as a tool for TV is a worry. Serious political coverage is all well and good, but politics does have a lighter side and it deserves to be aired (albeit in a fair measure)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Ben - I've never been to a Cricket Test although I can appreciate that sitting in the sun & drinking all day is good. I just don't need that excuse.

    I don't like Cricket - oh no - I hate it. apologies to 10cc

    Surf Life Saving & Beach Volley Ball win out as spectator sports in Summer - even in CHCH - especially in CHCH (think of the weather)

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Michael, I'm not into it either, I prefer seeing people get pounded. Sick, but true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    The thing is...I can't quite remember the last time I saw some political satire on the telly.There may have been something with puppets or masks or something...or was that actual coverage of Parliament sitting?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Aunty Helens started beneficary Bashing as well jumping in on a housing corp house eviction. How did the media get in on this again? And why?

    Yeah, but you have to admit it's kinda funny that the Government that has championed tenants rights over landlords now finds itself in the position of being unable to evict a bad tenant. If the Govt can't evict one, what hope do private Landlords?

    A better question would be the one raised on the TV news tonight by Scotney Williams, a tenancy tribunal specialist (usually acting for Landlords). He suggested HNZ would have been better off just issuing a 90 day notice of termination, which is what most private landlords end up doing because they know going to Tenancy Tribunal is pretty much useless.

    So why didn't HNZ issue a completely legal 90 day notice of termination? Could it be that it doesn't 'fit' with the ethos of State Housing ie tenants can stay as long as they like for as long as they want to? (And no, I'm not trying to sidetrack this discussion [which we've already covered] but MF did ask)

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Aunty Helens started beneficary Bashing as well jumping in on a housing corp house eviction.

    I'd guess that there's some Labour political strategists who have looked back over Mr Field, Bradford's bill, Corrections, Police etc, and come to the conclusion that they've had a pretty crap year. It's showing in the polls too.

    And one way to get back in the game is to wait for an issue to come up in the public arena and then jump on a side so that 90% of the population sees you agreeing with what they think on the matter.

    So it wouldn't surprise me if some of the Labour hacks are picking up the phone and telling Helen "I think it'd be good if you came out against the electricity company that cut that family's power" and "against that family in the state house that everyone is bagging in the media right now".

    Of course, it's possible that there's no politics involved at all...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rochelle Wilson,

    All surveys of "trust-worthiness" have Politicians as the least trusted. It takes guts and determination for most, to work towards being elected.. and it is done to try and effect change of some kind, in the way NZ is, economically and socially.
    It is no help for democracy, and the necessary public participation, to have yet more, typically, concentration by the media on peripheral behaviours.
    I am all for the rules.
    I do not trust the editors of multi-millionaire owners of our papers, to provide us with real political discourse, even if the press gallery journalists provide this, along with theatre.

    Kapiti • Since Jul 2007 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    Kyle
    Helen is doing a lot of undignified snapping. Surely a plan for the future, a clear direction is better than Cpt Blighs cat of nine tails.

    Corrections is primarily a failure as a result of Labours 'successful' lock'em up and don't spare the years.
    Aside from the pay-for-opinion surveys I think there is a real ground swell of support for Bradfords Bashing Bill.


    Rochelle
    Are you arguing that Politicians are trust-worthy?

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    So why didn't HNZ issue a completely legal 90 day notice of termination?

    Are you sure they didn't?

    Could it be that it doesn't 'fit' with the ethos of State Housing ie tenants can stay as long as they like for as long as they want to?

    Probably not, they issue 90 day notices all the time, sometimes they rescind them if whatever the issue that prompted the action gets fixed. I don't know why they tried eviction this time, but I'd be very, very surprised if 90 day notice hadn't been served at some stage.

    It is hard to evict a state tenant (I don't know why, but it is easier (slightly) for private landlords.) I think that you could count the number of actual, state tenant evictions, over say the last 10 years, on one hand.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Rochelle

    "It is no help for democracy, and the necessary public participation, to have yet more, typically, concentration by the media on peripheral behaviours."

    I can't see that it's any particular hindrance to democracy either. If you don't trust the papers, read the blogosphere or the raw material. But don't stop others watching the TV that they want to see by claiming that it's for the public good. This is all about preserving dignity (or should I say hiding the lack of dignity?), which is our House of Misrepresentatives.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    So it wouldn't surprise me if some of the Labour hacks are picking up the phone and telling Helen "I think it'd be good if you came out against the electricity company that cut that family's power" and "against that family in the state house that everyone is bagging in the media right now".

    a bit unfair on Clark I think. That state house is in her electorate so as an MP she has to take some action and I'd be very surprised if she didn't know the back-story to it all.

    HNZ made a bit of a harsh of this, possibly thru no fault of their own, and as the local MP Clark has a duty to advocate on behalf of the aggrieved neighbours.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    a bit unfair on Clark I think. That state house is in her electorate so as an MP she has to take some action and I'd be very surprised if she didn't know the back-story to it all.

    Well, I've no problem with any MP advocating on behalf of their constituents. But FFS, I think Clark's continued chipping at the Tenancy Tribunal adjudicator from the bully pulpit of her position as Prime Minister is way out of order. Of course 'wading in' (as The Herald puts it) to another populist issue, isn't going to hurt her media profile any. But God, if she's going to go off half-cocked, perhaps we can all chip in and buy her a paddling pool while she actually gets a grip.

    I was listening to The Panel on National Radio yesterday, and Matt Nippert had to remind Jim Moira and Richard Griffin (both in fine Colonel Blimp form, BTW) that there''s a difference between being a bad neighbour and a bad tenants. And being the thug-coddling wet liberal pussy that I am, I think Matt was right - and got sniggered at by Griffin for stating the bleeding obvious.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Helen is doing a lot of undignified snapping. Surely a plan for the future, a clear direction is better than Cpt Blighs cat of nine tails.

    Well, I'm sure they do have a plan for the future, and it wouldn't surprise me if part of it is 'coming down on the popular side rather than unpopular side of a few things'.

    Corrections is primarily a failure as a result of Labours 'successful' lock'em up and don't spare the years.

    I certainly don't agree with that policy, but I don't think more prisoners in there longer is what's been hitting the headlines. Ashley probably wouldn't have been jailed if his family had not felt that they'd run out of options, I don't think that was forced on the courts by the law. A parole prisoner got loose and shot and killed a member of the public. You could argue that that one could have been prevented if more of the lock'em up and don't spare the years had been applied.

    Aside from the pay-for-opinion surveys I think there is a real ground swell of support for Bradfords Bashing Bill.

    Labour know they got tagged with this being seen as 'their' bill, and that it didn't help them at all politically when that happened. It's what also would have been behind them working to get the compromise that national eventually agreed to.

    a bit unfair on Clark I think. That state house is in her electorate so as an MP she has to take some action and I'd be very surprised if she didn't know the back-story to it all.

    I can't recall her acting at all 'electorate MP' on it. Did she visit the street and talk to the neighbours? Was she at her electoral office consulting with HNZ, the tenants, etc? She might have done those things, but I just recall her at her press conference making political capital out of saying that the family needed to be moved on. That's rather prime ministerial, and very political from where I'm sitting.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    >That's rather prime ministerial, and very political from where I'm sitting.

    Yes, and I wasn't too impressed upon reading this gem from Housing Minister Chris Carter in The Herald:

    Housing Minister Chris Carter thought the adjudicator had not paid enough regard to the distress of other neighbours on the street when making the decision.

    Where to start... This might come as a bit of a shock to Chris, but there are a few folks out there who would be severely might be severely distressed at finding there's a couple of queers living over the back fence. Not something I think the Tenancy Tribunal would pay any regard to, and I certainly hope indulging the prejudices of the neighbourhood isn't a crteria for Housing New Zealand when allocating public housing. When you get right down to it, Sharon Salt and her brood aren't people I'm gagging to live next door to. That's not really the point -- if any tenant (public or private) breeches the terms of the tenancy, there's a legal process to get rid of them. One would think Mr Carter and Ms. Clark would fully endorse that, and don't believe a state agency should get a pass on cutting corners.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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