Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Two very different topics

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  • deborah coddington,

    Re the reporting of suicide, I had to tiptoe around this back in 1989 when I wrote a feature for 'Metro' on Auckland barrister Michael Crew who, after being paralysed from diving off a wharf in Fiji, took his own life by drinking paraquat. I was a very close friend, and had tape-recorded interviews with him prior to his death. When the story was published there were complaints, I suppose to the Press Council (sorry, can't remember the specifics) about the reporting of his suicide, but since the coroner had taken the trouble to release the method of his suicide the complaints were not upheld. However, worse than that was that because I was so close to him in the weeks leading up to his death, and because I wrote the story about his life and the reasons why he wanted to end it, someone, whose name the police wouldl not release to me, lodged a formal complaint with the police that I had "assisted his suicide". It was just after Lesley ?? was found guilty of assisting her mother's death. This person waited until I was an MP to report me - about 15 years after Michael died. All the Auckland police would tell me was that she was a female, who used to know me quite well, who spent some time living in New Zealand and some time overseas. After being interviewed by the police, however, I was cleared, but I think the file remains open. So I tell you this, I guess, to indicate there are other pitfalls to reporting suicides!

    new zealand • Since May 2009 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    the few blocks of the CBD that actually had an established big city feel about them, and I really enjoyed wandering around the streets just exploring.

    I'd like an ad that voomed downstairs from the Cross St crew's pad, past the Wine Cellar, through Myers Park and then stopped off at every seedy noodle joint before staggering into the sea.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    that's pretty well ingrained in the national psyche, isn't it?

    Well, it is to some extent, but psyches can change, and the more we keep on telling ourselves that it's ingrained, the harder it will be to change. It's actually heartening to see ads like this, cheesy and improbable as they are, because they say something like "Hey, you know how much you enjoy the buzz, variety and vitality when you go on a holiday to Melbourne, New York or London? Well, maybe our cities can be just a little bit like that too." At least for a few hours, then you run out of city.

    I sometimes dream of what it would be like if all the interesting bits of NZ cities were mashed up together. The best bits of central Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin (oh, and Christchurch if you insist) all within walking distance of one another, with Napier just a short ferry ride away.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    deborah coddington

    Que? Tu quoque? Last person I would have picked to want to engage with the 'weird world of bloggers'. Kudos, I guess.

    But wait:http://www.redbankjames.co.nz/... so now you're a blogger too. To sell your own wine, no less.

    Smart choice. I hear Pinot Noir is the drink of choice amongst ranters.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Que? Tu quoque? Last person I would have picked to want to engage with the 'weird world of bloggers'. Kudos, I guess.

    Yes, very much. Thanks, Deborah.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So I tell you this, I guess, to indicate there are other pitfalls to reporting suicides!

    Yikes. It's hard to believe anyone could be that malicious.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @Tom

    when are we going to get to the point where we can actually celebrate our urban cultures?

    I think this is at the heart of the complaints. The Auckland CBD just doesn't look like that. It's more scruffy, more lively and a hell of a lot more Chinese. It's hard not to see the ad as a little bit of a cringe.

    It also seems oddly passive at a time when Auckland is rousing itself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    But oddly in keeping with Council throwing millions of ratepayers dosh at imported entertainment for toffs, rather than investing in local performers and artists who craft stories about living right here.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    I think this is at the heart of the complaints. The Auckland CBD just doesn't look like that. It's more scruffy, more lively and a hell of a lot more Chinese. It's hard not to see the ad as a little bit of a cringe.

    Look or feel like that. Something about the atmosphere or tone of the ad is all wrong. I wonder if its because it could be pretty much anywhere - the first clue that its Auckland comes when you can see Rangitoto behind the boats. But even then its blurry and if you blink you miss it.

    It also seems oddly passive at a time when Auckland is rousing itself.

    What, again? It's been doing that since at least the early '80s...

    I'm not sure who/what the old man is supposed to be. When I first saw the ad thoughts about Old Father Time, or the Ancient Mariner, ran through my head. Not sure this is quite the image they were trying for though.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    I can see where that ad is coming from in it's message for the rest of New Zealand. After all, what are the most likely reasons for someone visiting Auckland? It's either because there is a specific show/event on, or for business, or to visit family.

    Very few people, I imagine, go to holiday in Auckland 'just because it's Auckland.'

    So to change that, the perception of Auckland has to be changed. But that'll have to be a very long term thing, with very long term fundamental goals. That ad won't acheive that by itself but, perhaps as part of a very long term campaign, it will be shown to be a useful opening.

    However, if the goal is to increase domestic tourism in Auckland *right now*, it won't work. If that was their goal, they'd really need to focus on why people go there already and then say "since you're here already, why not stay and do this as well?"

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Going totally OT.
    This home isulation grant thingy that is being pushed as a great thing.
    Has anyone noticed that there was already a scheme for low income families and the only real difference is that now rich people can get it too?. Oh, and its a job creation sceme (sorry, economic stimulus) for those that can climb under houses and into ceilings.
    Bah, humbug.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I just watched the Auckland ad. It's quite funny in that it actually looks more like Wellington than Auckland, and that it seems to imply that Auckland is the city that gets a sensible eight-hours sleep every night, before waking up nice and early for a hard day's work.

    The volcanic hills and valleys of the inner city seem to have been flattened (hey, just like Wellington's downtown area).

    Most of the cool things about Auckland seem to have been left out of the ad, replaced with a manufactured land of dinkiness.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I think this is at the heart of the complaints. The Auckland CBD just doesn't look like that. It's more scruffy, more lively and a hell of a lot more Chinese.

    That's true, and I love the scruffy, lively, Chinese bits as well. The tone of the ad was very odd, and could have done with a bit more grunge and vitality, but its encouraging to see Auckland actually viewing centrality and urbanity as an attraction, rather than something you suffer on the way to the boat or the bach.

    I wonder if its because it could be pretty much anywhere - the first clue that its Auckland comes when you can see Rangitoto behind the boats.

    I think that's what appealed about it: it didn't show the same old natural attractions and sparkly outdoorsyness, but tried to show the streets and buildings as an attraction in themselves. It was all a bit too floaty and fey to really capture the energy of a big city, but the idea that you might go to Auckland for the food, drink and urban environment rather than to see a pretty island is really encouraging.

    After all, what are the most likely reasons for someone visiting Auckland? It's either because there is a specific show/event on, or for business, or to visit family. Very few people, I imagine, go to holiday in Auckland 'just because it's Auckland.'

    Well, the last time I visited was for a gig, but that was partly just an excuse to spend some time wandering. I went for the shopping, for the restaurants and bars, to visit the museum and galleries, to photograph the architecture and graffiti, and just to explore the city streets. Pretty much what I do most days in Wellington, really, but different.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    People, this is what Auckland will look like if we take off our helmets. If they can fantasise, so can I.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I think the ad captures that great rush of morning that can sprint off the auckland harbour into the CBD, and that can be genuinely pleasant if you are crawling around at morning time, as of course is the morning in a lot of major cities.

    Of course it's too clean and misrepresents something , somethings missing, maybe the rise into K-Road , the spaced out all nighters, other x factor shit, the pubs.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Kennedy,

    threadjack sortoff

    Wellington Great blend event. Did it happen and I missed it?

    For some reason I seem to recall that something was supposed to happen in may

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 225 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Wellington Great blend event. Did it happen and I missed it?

    For some reason I seem to recall that something was supposed to happen in may

    Haven't heard anything of it so far.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I just do eyes...
    further to comments on this Auckland ad I made on another thread, and on re-viewing the ad, it is all very European provincial... almost Dean Spanley old romance territory, when it needed to be more Neuromancer or Bladerunner .
    This is the 21st century isn't it?
    what a sleepy little bucolic paean
    Merchant and Ivory - ptui...

    nothing to see here then...
    move on

    yrs
    Seeth Ng Throng

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

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