Friday, June 18, 2004

The Claims We Make.

Here's one in the eye for TVNZ and One News. One of its big stories of the week has been about an Iranian overstayer that the Immigration Service has been after for 18 months. The other night our state broadcaster took apparent glee in leading its news with an exclusive interview of the wanted fugitive (well just his mouth really but you get the idea). While the authorities had been seeking him for a year and a half we managed to find him in just two hours was the overweening cry made by One News. If we found him this fast does this not make immigration staff a bunch of incompetent no-hopers they trumpeted (well not in those exact words but that was their clear meaning). Initially my reaction was fair enough, a little arrogant and over the top perhaps, but you found him and the authorities didn't. Fair enough.

Today my attitude changed somewhat when I discovered the reason TVNZ found the errant Iranian so quickly was because Winston Peters told them exactly where to look. Apparently the local Inland Revenue Department Office had been doing the guy's taxes. Winston referred One News onto them who in turn provided them with the necessary details (which is a bit of a worry really ... what ever happened to our privacy laws?) Strangely enough TVNZ somehow failed to mention the NZ First connection at all.

That aside, it's a point of interest the IRD can point a politician and a news crew in the right direction but somehow fail to inform another Government Department.

Back to stuff I mentioned earlier this week regarding the Canterbury District Health Board and its communications problems. More evidence of that little issue this week as the Christchurch Star led with a full photo front page feature this week on a battle between ZB host Mike Yardley and CDHB CEO Jean O'Callaghan over the DHB banning smoking on its grounds outside Christchurch Hospital. There's nothing quite like taking the media head on is there?

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