Last year New Zealand hosted the APEC online conference. Unbelievably for a wholly online conference, it still came with a price tag of $76 million dollars.
We can at least tell you where $93,000 of that $76 Million dollars went.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid Stuff and the NZ Herald $93,000 to publish full-page ads and puff pieces about APEC.
Here are two examples:
Surely the APEC conference was in the public interest and already newsworthy. Why on earth did New Zealand’s diplomatic sector think that they needed to pay the NZ media to do their job which was to report on it?
A conference of global leaders on the scale of APEC should attract interest on its own merits.
The decision to buy positive media coverage doesn’t just stink of self-promotion. It risks legitimising the illiberal collusion between media and state practiced by APEC’s dodgiest banana republics, undermining New Zealand’s moral authority on the world stage. We should be better than this.NZ Taxpayer’s Union
The BFD is 95% funded with Member dollars and 5% funded by advertising which means that we are completely independent and cannot be influenced by Government dollars.
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