Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Sunday, 22 November 2009

Letter to NZ Herald

My letter to the Editor of the NZ Herald about their biased reporting...

The Editor

I congratulate all those who participated in the 'March for Democracy'. They are the gladiators of society, the 6-8% of New Zealanders who get politically involved and
get off their backsides in an attempt to make a difference. They will eventually triumph over the elitists in society who believe they always know what is best for the ignorant masses.

I include your newspaper in this list of elitists. Your coverage of the smacking referendum was totally biased, you made a concerted effort to deter citizens from the march, and your reporting about binding referendums has been totally one sided and inaccurate. I imagine it must irk your editorial and reporting staff immensely given a massive 87.4% of the public still voted “no” in the referendum and thousands marched up Queen Street on the weekend calling for referendums to be made binding. Your newspaper has failed miserably in its attempt to undermine our democracy.

As Victor Hugo said, “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come”. Binding referendums will eventually come, but in the fight for People Power, there is still work to be done.



glow-worm said...

Fantastic letter, couldn't have said it better myself. I wrote something similar to the editor of the NZH on Friday after they conveniently mislabelled the march as "Demanding the right to hit".
I also think TVNZ (one news) need a few similar letters, as their coverage of the March was so disgustingly biased I refuse to watch TV1 News anymore. What did we expect really, they are government controlled after all aren't they? It still shouldn't stop them from reporting the facts or allow them to misrepresent the "truth" though!

Anonymous said...

Good on you Steve Baron for the work you are doing!! Dont let anything deter you from your vision. I am a human rights worker living in Auckland Central and would recommend everyone reading a book which is downloadable off the internet called: HOW I CLOBBERED EVERY CONFISCATORY AGENCY EVER KNOWN TO MAN by Mary Croft, she also has videos which are amusing watching. I think after reading this book many NZ people will be surprised to discover that NZ is not a sovereign nation and is owned by the Securities and exchange commission. We are all bonded by our birth certificates as collateral for international debt, our taxes dont go to pay for services but the interest on this debt. The lie is that we are living in a DEMOCRACY, we are not. The lie is that the Govt serves the people, they DONT. This is a ffact and can be confirmed by a small amount of research. The reason we have so many acts and statutes and licences, taxes, etc is because the whole country is operating in a commercial capacity and the debt interest is the first that MUST be paid. This is why debt collectors get so rabid when money is owed. The IRD are not a Govt agency, they are a debt collecting agency for International Bankers. Knowledge of these things is important in order to remove ourselves from the path of slavery we are on and headed for further trouble. Our tax funds war and abuse of children. Please become informed and disseminate this information to all who are enlightened enough to know something is not quite right. Steve I have met you before through squash and so I know you are a good guy, once again congratulations and good luck.

Anonymous said...

I think you are being a bit tough on NZ Herald - they express a view that differs from yours but they are entitled to make it. I think they are biased to the side of knowledge is power, we have the knowledge and would like it to stay that way and this may be demonstrated by their unwillingness to publish another view. Using the California experience is also biased as the financial problems do not all stem from BCIR. I wonder why the Swiss experience is not mentioned - probably because it has been successful. Perhaps the Herald believes that Kiwis are too stupid to understand the issues and must therefore rely on the herald and politicians to guide in them!!!

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding anonymous? The NZ Heralds misinformation and distortion of the truth borders on criminal. They are owned by an Irish billionaire and mostly serve elite interests. They are only interested in preserving their version of democracy which is not the same as what the masses believe. I have written numerous letters to the editor refuting almost every paragraph of many of the things he publishes, and his silence and lack of response is tacit agreement as far as I am concerned. I have published many of those letters worldwide, so people can see the NZ Herald is complicit in many of the crimes through distortion of the truth. 96% of the worlds media is owned by a handful of billionaires and they control public opinion just as Goebbels did in Nazi Germany through sheer propaganda. People shouls go as hard as possible against the NZ Herald and cancel all subscriptions, they are a joke!!!

glow-worm said...

In my post it was not so much their opinions I was referring to (as i did not expect the NZH to give an honest and fair view anyway). You obviously did not see the article on the 20th November. I was referring to the fact that at the bottom of the article they labelled the March "Demanding the Right to Hit" and then listed all the event details, the date time etc. This was completely inappropriate, misleading and in my view an obvious attempt to boycott the event. The feeble response from the editor was it was an "error" made in the final editing..... like some sort of "typo"? Come on Now?

Also Angela you make a lot of interesting points I will check out that book.

Shane Pleasance said...

Be under no misconception, the NZ Herald's only duties are to its shareholders. That is as it should be. They need to print that which sells papers and advertising revenue.

Do they have a responsibility to the community?
Even to print the truth?
So, if we didn't read and buy it, there might be a change made. We get what we deserve. Good and hard!

Steve Baron said...

New Zealand Press Council

Statement of Principles
(to view online click here)


Publications (newspapers and magazines) should be guided at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance, and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission, or omission.


Where it is established that there has been published information that is materially incorrect then the publication should promptly correct the error giving the correction fair prominence. In some circumstances it will be appropriate to offer an apology and a right of reply to an affected person or persons.


Everyone is entitled to privacy of person, space and personal information, and these rights should be respected by publications. Nevertheless the right of privacy should not interfere with publication of matters of public record, or obvious significant public interest.

Publications should exercise care and discretion before identifying relatives of persons convicted or accused of crime where the reference to them is not directly relevant to the matter reported.

Those suffering from trauma or grief call for special consideration, and when approached, or enquiries are being undertaken, careful attention is to be given to their sensibilities.


Editors have a strong obligation to protect against disclosure of the identity of confidential sources. They also have a duty to take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that such sources are well informed and that the information they provide is reliable.

Children and Young People

Editors should have particular care and consideration for reporting on and about children and young people.

Comment and Fact

Publications should, as far as possible, make proper distinctions between reporting of facts and conjecture, passing of opinions and comment.


A publication is entitled to adopt a forthright stance and advocate a position on any issue.


Publications should not place gratuitous emphasis on gender, religion, minority groups, sexual orientation, age, race, colour or physical or mental disability. Nevertheless, where it is relevant and in the public interest, publications may report and express opinions in these areas.


Editors should generally not sanction misrepresentation, deceit or subterfuge to obtain information for publication unless there is a clear case of public interest and the information cannot be obtained in any other way.

Headlines and Captions

Headlines, sub-headings, and captions should accurately and fairly convey the substance of the report they are designed to cover.


Editors should take care in photographic and image selection and treatment. They should not publish photographs or images which have been manipulated without informing readers of the fact and, where significant, the nature and purpose of the manipulation. Those involving situations of grief and shock are to be handled with special consideration for the sensibilities of those affected.


Selection and treatment of letters for publication are the prerogative of editors who are to be guided by fairness, balance, and public interest in the correspondents' views.

Council Adjudications

Editors are obliged to publish the substance of Council adjudications that uphold a complaint.

Note: Editors and publishers are aware of the extent of this Council rule that is not reproduced in full here

Anonymous said...

How very true! Couldnt have said it better. The consumer of the propaganda has responsibility to accept it as truth or not...

Steve Baron said...

A formal complaint has now been laid.