Friday, August 19, 2005

New Stuff not involving the PM Motorcade Case, Tax Cuts, or David Lange.

OK local news ... The Banks Peninsula District Council looks like it's a gone-burger with the Local Government Commission ruling in favour of the abolition process. that'll see the entire peninsula come under the control of the Christchurch City Council.

This is good news for Peninsula residents as they join a local authority with a broad rating base, healthy assets, and will result in reduced rates for them should they vote in favour of it. For reasons which haven't exactly been made clear Christchurch residents don't get to have a say on the scheme. It's pity really as they will be landed with the cost of maintaining the roads, sewage, and other assorted infrastructure that had bled the BPDC white in recent years.

Industrial News ... RNZ staff have been involved in industrial action in recent weeks. As public broadcasters they have strong union affiliations and I don't have a problem with that. Well not until their union delegate, Brenden Sheehan, came up with this line in the NZ Herald.

"RNZ salaries lag behind other public and commercial broadcasters. Good staff will leave the network if they are not paid fair wages."

With all due respect Brenden that's a load of bollocks. At least I can categorically say it is as far as RNZ journalists are concerned. RNZ journo's with intermediate level experience get paid approximately $5,000 p/a more than their counterparts at TRN and are on a par with those employed at Radioworks. Furthermore RNZ staff have the advantage of having a payscale system as well as a number of additional allowances. Commercial radio journalists are on individual contracts, have no payscales, get no overtime, and things like meal allowances are only dreamed of.

Take it from someone who's worked in commercial radio. I know of what I speak. TRN's starting pay is shit but at least they will give you a rise if you're good enough and show some loyalty. Radioworks pays a lot better but tends to get you to a certain level (circa $45k) very quickly from which you can never rise above ... also their resourcing is crap and their staff are overworked. Less than 30 radio journalists to cover the entire country at last count. That compares to 45+ for TRN and 55+ for RNZ.

Finally I've been meaning to put a link into this blog for quite a while. It's a very powerful piece of writing and serves to yank what's happening into Iraq back into focus. It's very easy to sit back and listen to the news about suicide bombings, insurgent groups, and interrogations yet have no real appreciation of what it must be like for those that live there.

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