An epic article! “Must Read” for all New Zealanders.
Note that while I usually post Ben’s articles in full (with his kind permission), since he has declared this to be a Work-in-Progress and it’s already quite lengthy, I urge readers to click on the “read more” link back to Ben’s blog site to get the whole story: it’s well worth your time. Martin.
SOME ONE ELSES MEDIA.
BY BEN VIDGEN
“1973 many New Zealanders watched with concern as Chile new dictatorship imposed widespread social and economic changes all opposition was crushed as state owned enterprises where sold off multinational took over most of the countries natural resources work fare and education spending was cut hospitals privatised, ten years later no armed force was needed when a democratically elected government undertook similar program of changes in New Zealand” — Someone Else’s Country looks critically at the radical economic changes implemented by the 1984 Labour Government and continued on under ‘Ruthonomics’ administration of National – where privatisation of state assets and public media was as it had being in Chile part of a wider agenda that sought to remake New Zealand as a model free market economics. Made by Alister Barry in 1996 when the effects were raw, the film draws extensively on archive footage and interviews with key “witnesses to history”. It doubtful such a in-depth important documentary would be aired on NZ Television to day”.
A semi brief history of how our media got dumbed down and became a tool for commerce as opposing to being a genuine voice for people power.
April 2021: The government has just appointed eight people to oversee a business case for a new public media entity to replace state owned TVNZ and RNZ. The Minister of Broadcasting and Media Kris Faafoi says he plans to present the business case – due to be completed by mid-year – to Cabinet for approval by the end of the year. It would include review of RNZ’s Charter – which was due to begin next week – and RNZ’s plans for a new youth service, the subject of major controversy in 2020 when plans to reallocate RNZ Concert’s FM frequency and cut back the network were announced and then scrapped in the face of public protest.
2021: Around 450 journalists have lost their jobs since late March the pressure to be careful on what you report has never being this high before in such a job competitive market.
2021: Google is gearing up to launch a news curation service in New Zealand where publications, such as the NZ Herald, will be paid to provide stories. Details, such as how much Google will be paying news sites to use their stories, are still being kept under wraps by the tech giant.
2021: Google’s announcement follows Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi telling MPs last week that he had met Google to encourage them to have commercial discussions with traditional media. The biggest winner of this arrangement will be the anti social media Rupert Murdoch as the largest share owner of media interest in Australasia.
2021: According to the Guardian, Nine Entertainment – which owns the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Australian Financial Review – signed a A$30 million deal with Google for its news to be used on the service.
2021 Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp says a landmark three-year agreement with Facebook to pay for its Australian content has being signed. Facebook also reportedly made a confidential deal with Nine Entertainment, Australia’s biggest locally-owned media giant. The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age reported its publisher, Nine, had signed a letter of intent to pay for content after weeks of tense negotiations. The company won’t confirm until a long-form agreement with Facebook is reached and the stock exchange is informed, a spokeswoman said.
2021: NZME Company chair Peter Cullinane resigned abruptly before the meeting after it was it was made clear big shareholders had lost confidence in him following the failed merger of Herald, Stuff and Fair Fax.
2020: Up to 90 jobs are to be cut at TVNZ in a bid to protect its financial sustainability, chief executive Kevin Kenrick says.
2020: Parliamentary select committee shuts down livestream feed after a parliamentary submitter who sold ammunition to the terrorist Brenton Tarrant points out the Christ Church shooter was not vetted properly by the police. The Royal Inquiry into the shooting, widely criticised for being held behind closed doors (something the families did not want) concurs with that verdict.
2020: Legislation introduced to New Zealand’s parliament expand the power of state agencies to censor and remove online content deemed “objectionable.” This provide legislative means for what firms like Kordia and other telecommunication firms friendly with intelligence services are already doing as requested.
2020: Youtube remove a documentary on US firm Shadow net which shows it was not just Trump that was using the kind of services that firms like Cambridge Analytics offered to create information dominance on social media platforms. The documentary demonstrated how all the internet feeds that are controlled by FISA procedures have been passed to private corporations that store the data overseas thereby circumventing US laws. “This gives them unsupervised/unrestricted access to everyone’s internet activities and emails. It means they see and store everything without FISA warrants”. Effectively the social media online platforms have agreed to Public Private Partnership with state security apparatus. It suspected government agency like the GCSB and Australian Signals Directorate have a similar relationship with firms like Kordia (also based in Australia as well as NZ). Feeds from those deemed people of interest get fed out to Australia by their corporate partners rerouted back (after the Aussie spooks do their thing) so the NZ government can claim its not censoring or spying on (that well be done by the Aussie spooks) its citizens and it can be technically correct. We probably do the same thing for the Aussies in reverse.
2020: Christchurch Call is signed by 17 nations including countries with questionable censorship and human rights abuse records including France, Ghana, Kenya, Columbia, Indonesia, Malta (where journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 was murdered for exposing politicians being bribed in the global money laundering document the Panama Papers) and the Maldives. Its not officially backed by the US government, it was however signed by Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft—giant corporations who work closely with governments on surveillance and censorship, in particular promoting Neoliberalism, so called progressive politics and censoring not just conservative right wing views but left wing anti-war content as well.
2019: Free Julian Assange! Protest in Wellington in October 11 marks six months since Assange was illegally seized from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He has since been held in the maximum security Belmarsh Prison, where he is now awaiting rendition to the United States. The protest points out what most journalist employed by corporate news have failed to say reflecting a silence on the issue by consecutive governments.
“Assange is in prison because his organisation, WikiLeaks, published evidence of US war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and details about US spying, bullying and other gangster-like behaviour throughout the world. If the Trump administration, supported by the Democrats, gets their hands on Assange, he will be jailed for life and potentially tortured for the “crime” of journalism… Chelsea Manning, who leaked the evidence to WikiLeaks in 2010, has been imprisoned for more than six months in the US for refusing to give false evidence against Assange. The New Zealand Labour-led government has maintained a shameful silence on Assange and Manning because of NZ’s alliance with the US war machine. This protest is part of the worldwide campaign demanding freedom for Assange and Manning, and an end to censorship and the persecution of whistle-blowers, journalists and anti-war activists”.
In contrast New Zealand media organisations take the highly unusual step of striking an agreement to limit their reporting of the upcoming trial of the Australian man accused of killing 50 Muslim worshippers at two Christchurch Mosques. The nation’s five largest media outlets, including Radio New Zealand and TV-NZ, say they’ll follow a strict set of protocols designed to limit the public’s exposure to the accused killer’s ideals and beliefs. In theory this seems reasonable enough but it is in reality yet another example of courts over extending their authority regarding states control of the 4th Estate. It became clear early on from this authors own experience of the courts handling of media the Court was selective over who extended access and who it attempted to block. Withstanding the agreement was un required in the context that all journalist who attend trial already have to belong to an organisation with a code of ethics which cover responsible reporting the issues listed in the protocol.
2019: The Ardern government in 2019 gave an extra $17 million to the Chief Censor and the Censorship Compliance Unit, essentially doubling their funding and allowing the unit to expand its staff from 13 to approximately 30 people.
2019: Following the Christchurch shooting by a gunman with apparent connection to the US backed and financed anti Soviet Agov Neo Nazi mercenaries a Internet censorship Bill is proposed (passed 2020) that would also enable the government to proceed with “the establishment of a government-backed… web filter if one is desired in the future.” The draft legislation acknowledges that such filters, which would prevent access to blacklisted websites, could “impact on freedom of expression.” New Zealand’s two biggest internet service providers, key clients of Kordia, Spark and Vodafone, told Newsroom they support such a filter, along with the other measures in the legislation. As well as pushing online censorship, the Ardern government exploited a genuine tragedy as a pretext to further militarise the police and give more money to the spy agencies, which for years turned a blind eye to threats of white supremacist violence” (a media training symposium held for politicians and media two weeks prior to the attack ‘Crisis X’ regarding a terror event tied to online technology would coo that “opportunity can be seized from crisis” if politician learn to “present a sincere face”. Reporters embedded with the Police such as Sam Sherwood of Stuff would also assure criticism of the police was light and prove unwilling to look for white supremist connections in well to do communities or examine the head of the Christchurch Foundations own links to white supremacist based mercenary groups in the 1980s when Humphrey Rolleston was also CEO of the Christchurch Press.
None of the police embedder journalists have ever explored the precise nature of the March 19th 2019 multiple terrorism operations occurring the same day in Christchurch. All of which happened to be unfolding in the city at the same time that can be linked to Kordia including the premise of Psychiatric hospital Princess Margaret hospital and Antonio house (located next to a Kordia operated facility on Riccarton Rd approximately two minutes from the Al Noor Mosque site built and funded by the government of Saudi Arabia) where two spontaneous fire broke out later both set by youth allegedly in care for mental health issues. Or the repeated proximity of Kordia facilities in relation to alleged bomb terror and mass shooting threats in Wellington (which never eventuated by helped maintain a post 9/11 climate of fear) in 2001, Dunedin in 2015, Auckland 2019, Dunedin 2019.
None have ever questioned the speed at which the USA FBI was able to send agent to assist with the investigation on the same day of the attack.
Kordia Group’s chief information security officer (CISO) is Hillary Walton was educated at the University of Canterbury, holds a Master of Science in Psychology and Massey University, where she gained a diploma in Aviation Management. In 2012 Walton worked with the Olympic Delivery Authority in London, and Mendas Ltd, where she was seconded to the British intelligence agency, MI5, as part of a “strategic partnership” to manage a “security project”. Mendas is in the business of figuring out how to push people’s buttons, so they act in a desired manner that benefits the contractors clients agenda. Mendas is in the business of social engineering and conditioning.
Kordia’s IT subsidiary security services Aura InfoSec, chief consultant is cyber security and information warfare expert Paul W Poteete. Poteete began his career in the US Department of Defense. He holds a master of science in information systems from the United States Naval Postgraduate School, and holds several undergraduate degrees ranging from the arts and foreign languages to information technology or cyber based social engineering related topics. Kordia’s entry into security intelligence work (some would say their return) marks the rise of Public Private Partnerships within the state security apparatus.
Kordia sure does employ a lot of spooks for a little old telecommunication firm.
2020: Better Media Public Trust (whose web page helped in this project greatly) sum up Māori Television succinctly “The Maori Television Service has a long and complex history involving a long-running legal wrangle between the Waitangi Tribunal and the government ending in a Privy Council ruling which confirmed that the government had a legal obligation to protect Te Reo Māori as a taonga through the provision of broadcast services”. In many ways that verdict is highly justified, Māori TV’s main function is more specialised than the TVNZ Charter or TVNZ 7. Particularly after the 2013 Amendment Act, which removed the obligation to maintain broad audience appeal, the primary function of MTS is to support the revitalisation of Te Reo within Māoridom.
Miracles of miracles MTS practiced what’s it preaches MTS Te Reo Maori programming is truly diverse represent varying iwi and hapu concerns across age and demographics.
However since the introduction of the Te Matawai governance structure (replacing the Maori Electoral College and making MTS more directly accountable to an corporate Iwi-appointed board) the role of MTS seems likely to be at risk in the context of its Te Reo Māori broadcasting framework being diverted as indoctrination tool of neoliberalism and corporate iwi goals and not as educator of Te Reo Maori and protector of local hapu concerns.
The fear is like Kordia can become a tool of social engineering and used to promote neoliberal economics that will be camouflaged in Te Reo so greed can be hidden behind a moko an economic abuse presented as a “societal needs” desired by so called indigenous groups in bed with resource sucking multinationals.
Case in point Labour minister of Local Affairs, Tainui affiliated Narbia Mahuta role in side lining Ihumatoa activist in negotiation between Tainui and Fletchers.
MTS is a vital part of not just the NZ public media system but the checks and balance which insure iwi listen to the hapu and not just its chiefs.
Its essential to preventing high ranking iwi from being used as a mean of legitimising the backdoor privatisation of iwi and New Zealand resources like water and is one of the means by which Iwi board can be held accountable to their hapu. It is essential this borad casting service does not simply become another marketing tool used to sell the idea of ‘Iwinomics’ which is simply Rogernomics wearing a tiki.
Despite Better Media Public Trust warning why Maori TV must remain focused on Maori concerns (and not be hijacked by those with an agenda which is not related to Maoridom in its final outcome) Māori Television and Pasifika TV, a 24/7 channel service of Pacific Cooperation Broadcasting Limited (PCBL), announced the launch of a new Pacific Contribution Hub (PacHub) to be housed at Māori Television’s East Tāmaki Studio.
January 2020: Pasifika TV and Māori Television embarked on a collaborative partnership to build the new PacHub service.
This new service provides the facility to receive content from Pacific broadcasters, which can then be shared out across the Pacific nations. This new two-way contribution between New Zealand and the Pacific “enables the opportunity to build stronger ties through the sharing of Pasifika and Māori stories” and ideas. PacHub including PCBL’s Pasifika TV service and regional infrastructure upgrade to support a network of pro American, pro Pacfic Reset (pro Murdoch) Pacific broadcasters. In September 2019, PCBL relaunched Pasifika TV as a 24/7 channel service and upgraded satellite receivers at 24 broadcasters across 14 Pacific countries enabling the transition from a Standard Definition (SD) to a High Definition (HD) feed ensuring the channel’s streaming capabilities are future-proofed for a digital age.
2020: Nearly 600,000 books are target for culling from the National Archives which follows suit of the destruction of 10,000 books from Auckland University in 2018 and like the National Archives was done under the pretext of making way for Maori and Pasifika stories (even though books on indigenous culture are among those removed in recent culls). It comes as Microsoft establish data archives centres in Australia and New Zealand and begin hawking their ware along with questionable software and copy right issues. Public knowledge is slowly being monetarised and enslaved by information brokers and emerging world IT data banking.
2020: NZME and Nine in Australia agree to an exclusive negotiation period on 23 April to acquire Stuff for $1 the merger fails to take place. In a post covid world where media earning having taken a colossal hammering Stuff $55 million capital assets which once commanded an offer of 100 million are struggling even with a give away offer that indicates further cuts are on the way. NZME – now owns the New Zealand Herald, numerous North Island newspapers and half of New Zealand’s radio stations.
2020: Labour pre election unveiling a $50m (drawn from borrowed funds) targeted assistance package said to be for media outlets suffering impact of Covid 19. Broadcasting and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi said there was “a natural level of function of journalism the Government wants to see. Media plurality, the function of journalism and preserving as many jobs as possible are the priorities”. News publishers and independent media however don’t benefit much from the package, with the funding going to NZME’s radio business and telecommunication companies who will benefit from the cuts to transmission costs they have to pay Kordia…READ MORE