The Media Party’s war against Winston Peters continues with Jenna Lynch, and now Jason Walls, upset that Winston Peters is dropping truth bombs in their laps. Apparently, the $55 million bribes of the Public Interest Journalism Fund didn’t buy anything, much less a hard editorial line. They may like to think so, but we know different, and so does Winston Peters.

Asked how quickly he expected government departments or agencies to remove Te Reo, he replied: “Well we will see the speed in which TVNZ and RNZ, which are taxpayer-owned, understand this new message.”  

When it was put to Peters that they are independent, Peters said he had “never seen evidence” of that over the past three years.  

He also outlandishly and incorrectly claimed the Government had bribed the media through the public interest journalism fund.  

“You cannot defend $55 million of bribery. You cannot defend $55 million of bribery. Get it very clear,” said Peters.  


No, they can’t defend it, so they just lie and say it’s false. Except that Thomas Cranmer points out exactly how truthful Winston Peters was:

Jason Walls got upset too, when Winston Peters sledged the media as they took the obligatory first shots of the new cabinet:

Luxon was asked about Peters’ attacks on the media made at Government House yesterday in which he accused the $55 million public interest journalism fund, a Labour Government initiative, of being a bribe to the media sector.

The Public Interest Journalism Fund supported discrete media projects, such as episodes of The Detail podcast, and temporarily funded certain jobs within the media sector, including local democracy reporters, who covered mainly local government in regional New Zealand. NZME, publisher of The Herald, received money from the fund for both projects and to fund roles like local democracy reporters.

“Didn’t see those comments, but I’m excited to get to work with this team here and get things done for New Zealand,” Luxon said.

Asked about the Cabinet Room’s extreme and disorienting roundness, Luxon joked, “the whole building is round mate”.

Peters interjected as Luxon ushered for media to leave and proceedings to get under way.

“Before you go – can you possibly tell the public what you had to sign up to to get the money, it’s called transparency,” Peters said.

Luxon was asked about those comments but did not respond. Fellow Cabinet ministers shuffled awkwardly in their seats.

Peters’ attack on the fund is tied to his criticism of the use of te reo Maori in the media.

“Well, we’ll see the speed at which TVNZ and RNZ – which are taxpayer-owned – understand this new message. We’ll see whether these people, both the media and journalists – are they independent? Well, isn’t that fascinating, I haven’t seen evidence of that in the last three years,” Peters said at Government House yesterday.

“You can’t defend $55 million of bribery, cannot defend $55 million of bribery. Get it very clear,” Peters said.

Applicants to the fund were asked to show a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including a commitment to te reo Maori.

NZ Herald

At least the NZ Herald published something resembling the truth. Applicants to the fund, of which NZME was one, as was Newshub, had to sign up to a heroic interpretation of the Treaty and principles that were never in the original treaty. Those commitments saw the media push those narratives.

Now they are getting huffy about it as the chickens come home to roost.

Cry harder, media, cry harder.

What is funny is that these are the same media outlets who decry the influence much smaller donations to political parties have on policy and those parties.

So which is it, media: big money influences policy? or ‘nothing to see here’?

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news,...