Bird’s Eye News

Up here, we see everything – Gabriel Pollard

Who are the people behind the scenes at TV stations

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That’s a question I’ve asked myself too, and now I have an answer. Recently I interviewed John Sweetman, the guy who introduces the shows we’re watching and “warns” us when there is “bad” language, etc, upcoming.

The profile recently featured in Christchurch Press’ supplement technology magazine The Box and is also available over online at

Written by Gabriel Pollard

14 January, 2010 at 4.17 pm

Are the cogs coming off?

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It is with utter amazement that I watch what this Government is trying to do. This may also be helpful if you are having trouble keeping track of what’s happening… ;).

First of all, it thinks the public wont live having the 2011 Rugby World Cup on Maori Television (free to air rights only), so it says no to it.

So they decide TVNZ should have it because more people will watch it, and it wont be 90% English and 10% te reo language ratio that Maori TV were set to do.

But they didn’t count on the taxpayers being appaled at funding two bids for the rights. $3 million for Maori TV to broadcast, and a boost for TVNZ (plus TV3 – they would share rights) to outbid.

And now? The National-led Government have said they will fund a joint bid combining Maori TV with TVNZ and TV3. Maori TV would be the main sponsor and the other two channels would be sub-contracted.

Prime Minister John Key said himself, as reported by, “There was a lack of coherence and ministers should have got together to thrash out a single approach.”

It seems to me that the cogs fell off the wheel on this one, with the cabinet looking red-faced with patches of egg too.

They didn’t even know what the Maori affairs minister, Pita Sharples, was doing with the $3 million earmarked for Maori development. And then they wanted to side with local opinion.

Stick to your guns, National.

You’re still sticking to your guns with the making of common cold and flu medicines prescription only to combat the making of methamphetamine, or “P”. Or will we see that go by the wayside too? In this instance, however, I don’t care. There is no cure for the common cold. Get over it.

Written by Gabriel Pollard

14 October, 2009 at 9.22 pm


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Sorry about the lack of news on this blog lately, just been quite busy with my journalism course and interviewing.

I am currently studying Media Communication at Aoraki Polytechnic (Christchurch campus). In this course we write news stories, radio reports and the two-a-year TV news pieces.

But, the 2009 class has been very priveledged to have been getting a lot of our work published in local community papers in Christchurch such as The Star and The Mail. But, we have also been getting a few stories published in the Christchurch metropolitian newspaper, The Press.

A couple of weeks ago I found out that a free youth health centre here in Christchurch was having its funding changed and could face possible closure if they could not enroll enough exclusive patients.

The Press published this story last week!

Also, The Press just recently revamped their paper. This included every page being in colour (New Zealand isn’t that far behind – we just had limited capacity to do colour on EVERY page), section revamp, and design changes too. The biggest change they did was they introduced a magazine liftout for every day of the week.

The deputy editor at The Press chose our class to help with a new section across the board of their new magazines (travel, TV/tech, food/fashion, out and about in the neighbourhood and a going out in the weekend-type for Monday to Friday respectively) where we interview a person for 10 questions and ask them simple questions like “how big is your TV?”.

I chose to cover The Box (TV/tech) and so far have had two interviews published with Peter Young (Fisheye Films) and Mike McRoberts (TV3 News anchor). Sorry but copy is not online.

So, I’m pretty happy with my copy being published!

Written by Gabriel Pollard

29 August, 2009 at 8.32 pm

More things linked to cancer – this time hot tea

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A recently published survey has shown that drinking hot tea fast will increase the chances of getting throat cancer.

The Iranian survey was published in the British Medical Journal and shows a correlation between those who drink the hot drink increase their chances of developing oesophageal cancer.

Throat cancer kills around 500,000 people worldwide annually.

The study, which was formulated into fruition in 1970 also shows that drinking the hot beverage very fast will increase the chances of attaining the disease five-fold, if consumed under two minutes. It can also burn your tounge.

However, the researcher says it may be down to the fact that it is hot, and says other drinks swallowed hot may see an increase in the chance of getting oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma cancer, the most common form of throat cancer and the one this study focused on.

Researcher Dr Farhad Islami said, “Several studies have shown an association between drinking maté (a beverage which is commonly consumed in South America) and risk of oesophageal cancer. However, both the temperature and maté itself may have a role in this case.”

Hot tea now looks to be a possible contender to the ranks of alcohol and tobacco as known causes of cancer. Though, associate professor at Otago’s School of Medicine Dr Brian Cox warned that it is just “one study” and shouldn’t be taken as fact just yet.

Written by Gabriel Pollard

5 April, 2009 at 8.09 pm

Posted in Health, International

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Earth Hour – a thumbs up or middle finger to climate change?

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Earth Hour kicked off today in attempt to save the world by turning off lights, and other non-essential items, for 60 minutes.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has called for prompt action on alledged climate change, and said this is a very symbolic way of showing the world leaders that their citizens want change. The event has been described as a “global election”, with lights off being a vote for action against climate change, and lights on indicating that a person is voting for climate change. 

From 8.30-9.30 pm, the lights of public buildings from Christchurch’s Cathedral to Paris’ Eiffel Tower to the United Nations, including its headquarters located in New York, US – a move which will save the New York offices $102 – will be turned off.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the demonstration will be the largest show of public concern regarding climate change.

“People will be telling their representatives to seal a deal in Copenhagen, a deal at the climate change talks that will protect people and the planet.”

However, critics such as Freedom Alliance president Thomas Kilgannon are lampooning the UN involvement saying it’s self-serving gimmick, trying to run up support for the Copenhagen deal which they are spear-heading.

Kilgannon said, “It’s like a lot of what the U.N. does — it’s a gimmick, it’s empty, it’s shallow and it’s not going to lead to anything.

“The bigger problem is that they’re doing this leading up to the conference in December. They’re trying to consolidate their authority to push their agenda.”

2900 cities are said to be taking part, according to the WWF. Celebrities are also claimed to be taking part, including actors Kevin Bacon, Cate Blanchett and Edward Norton.

One billion people are hoped to take part in this year’s black out, a big jump in the 50 million that took part last year, and the Australia-limited event in 2007, where the mass phenomenon started.

Many residents in Christchurch,  New Zealand have called on Earth Hour to be more than once year. Heck, why not do it every day. In fact, in our household we turn the lights off from the latest midnight to the earliest 7am. We just save seven hours of power, beat that environmentalists who only like to turn their lights off for an hour every year.

The Earth Hour website asks us to spend the hour making a video, taking and uploading photos, live-blogging, or tweeting away on Twitter. But, they must forget, all those activities use power. Power equals carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide equals death to them. They sure are missing the point.

Written by Gabriel Pollard

28 March, 2009 at 10.36 pm

Posted in International

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Jetstar flies into New Zealand domestic travel, Qantas leaves

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The Australian subsidiary airline of Qantas, Jetstar, has announced its launch into the domestic New Zealand market. With it, it is bringing low fares to the Main Trunk lines of New Zealand’s airways. However, with the introduction of Jetstar the parent company is leaving the New Zealand market.

Subject to regulatory conditions, Jetstar should have its first flight on 10 June. Once in full flight, Jetstar will be completing around 84 weekly return services with a pair of A320s, with a third joining late June.

Launching today at noon, Jetstar offered cheap $1 fares for two hours. Most users experienced time-out problems while trying to book tickets online, however.

Jetstar said that during normal business conditions, they will offer a 10% price reduction if a competitor is cheaper than they are. Jetstar Chief Executive Officer Bruce Buchanan said, “We won’t be beaten on price and our low fares will take Jetstar into a price leadership position in domestic New Zealand markets backed by the Jetstar Price Beat Guarantee.”

With up to 250 jobs vacancies, an Auckland operation base will be built to coincide with the existing Christchurch hub it used for the New Zealand to Australia flights.

Australian comedian Dave “Hughesy” Hughes, who appears regularly on TV show Rove, is fronting the million dollar advertising campaign for the New Zealand market.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Gabriel Pollard

17 February, 2009 at 12.20 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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Free trade with Korea possible following China’s deal

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New Zealand’s Trade Minister Tim Groser has called on submissions on a possible free-trade-agreement (FTA) with the Republic of Korea. This follows the first ever FTA secured with China by the former Labour-led New Zealand Government.

The incumbent National-led Government said that the submissions are now being called as part of a review of the possibility that was undertaken two years ago. A 2007 joint private study involving the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) with results only having been released recently and “indicates that an FTA would offer net economic benefits to both countries.”

Mr Groser said, “Korea is New Zealand’s sixth largest export market, with our total bilateral goods trade worth around NZ$2.5 billion a year. Korea is also an important source of international students and tourists. Entering into an FTA would see the platform laid to develop further this important relationship.”

While New Zealand receives submissions, Korea will conduct domestic consultations. “We are confident that this submission process, and Korea’s own domestic consultations, will demonstrate favourable support for this process and that our two Governments can subsequently move to the formal announcement of negotiations,” Mr Groser said.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan visited this weekend as a part of key discussions revolving around this possible agreement. New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully said, “Talks will also focus on how we can strengthen cooperation between New Zealand and South Korea on regional and global security issues, as well as ways to improve bilateral links, particularly in areas such as science and education.”

In September 2007 Korean Minister Yu In-chon signed a film co-production contract with New Zealand.

Written by Gabriel Pollard

25 January, 2009 at 10.06 pm