Bird’s Eye News

Up here, we see everything – Gabriel Pollard

Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

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

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

People turn to friends rather than counsellors

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A New Zealand Families Commission report has revealed that New Zealanders often prefer turning to family and friends for help in preference to seeking support from professional counsellors when it comes to their relationships.

The study, titled Reaching Out: Who New Zealanders turn to for relationship support, spoke to 50 New Zealanders at in-depth level and asked them who they spoke to when it came to dealing with relationship problems.

The Families Commission said that when they sought help, they not only sought it from their friends and family, but from professionals they trusted too, such as GPs, nurses, school teachers, church ministers and community elders. This differs from international research which indicates people turn to counsellors more than professionals.

The report said the main reason for a different Kiwi attitude is down to people “often looking for a ‘listening ear’, practical advice, and sometimes an intervention.” However, it was also due to cost, scepticism and a general lack of awareness of the options available to them via counsellors. Some people also see counselling as their “last resort”.

“It is a concern when we see that cost is one of the main barriers to people seeking counselling support for their relationship in the Families Commission report,” Relationship Services said.

“Most people who are going through relationship difficulties are eligible for free counselling, which is funded by the Family Court,” Relationship Services’ national practice manager of relationship services Cary Hayward said.

Chief Families Commissioner Jan Pryor said, “Our study found that people who distrust formal counselling services, who keep problems to themselves, or have limited social networks were more likely to open up to professional people they already had trust in such as GPs, Plunket nurses and midwives.” If professional people suggested that they receive counselling help, they’d open up more to that idea.

“We recognise that people are often reluctant to seek help from counsellors. Many people look for ideas in books or on the internet,” Mr Hayward said.

There is practical advice available on Relationship Services’ website,, and have 75 offices located nationally around New Zealand.

Written by Gabriel Pollard

3 January, 2009 at 2.38 pm

‘Smacking law has not made a big difference’ – Police; lobby group claims otherwise

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The latest six month review of the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act (commonly referred to as the “anti-smacking law”) has shown the amount of police intervention to claims of a ‘smack’ has remained minimal. However, lobby group Family First claim that the law is a “spectacular failure”.

The repeal of Section 59 was enacted in June 2007, and since then the Police have monitored any signs and effects this has had on the public of New Zealand.

The third review covers the time from 5 April 2008 to 3 October 2008 which showed 258 call outs for Police on “child  assault” claims. Nine were smacks and 49 were classed as “minor acts of physical discipline”. The New Zealand Police said in a press release, “One smacking event was prosecuted, but subsequently withdrawn when the primary witness declined to give evidence. There were 4 prosecutions of ‘minor acts of physical discipline’, 3 resulting in convictions with one still to be resolved through the court.”

National Director of Family First NZ Bob McCoskrie said, “Most concerning is that parents have been prosecuted or referred to CYF for minor smacking. Our fears of prosecutions have been confirmed.”

“Research conducted by the Children’s Issue Centre and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner shows that more parents understand that hitting children is not effective and are moving towards positive discipline methods,” the Chief Executive of Barnardos New Zealand Murray Edridge said.

“They understand the law and support it.”

The latest review confirms that the numbers are decreasing. In the September 2007 to April 2008 review there were 288 child assault events, of which 13 were smacking and 69 was minor physical discipline.

Mr McCoskrie said, “Sadly, the rate of ‘child assault’ prosecutions is decreasing and actual child abusers are not being caught and the ‘roll of horror’ of child abuse deaths continues…” He cites cases such as when three year old Nia Glassie, 16 month old Sachin Dhani, and more died due to abuse.

However, Mr Edridge said, “The law is working well. There is no significant increase in the numbers of parents being prosecuted, which clearly shows that the Police are exercising discretion and only prosecuting serious incidents under the law.”

“Activity remains ‘business as usual’ for Police and confirms Officers are continuing to use a common sense approach to child assault events,” Deputy Police Commissioner Rob Pope said.

One more review remains to be conducted by the Police.

Written by Gabriel Pollard

20 December, 2008 at 4.11 pm