“a wish that a fact-checker showed how many times conservative publications had to retract or pay defamation lawsuits. Can someone explain how left-wing sources are truthful, while conservative outlets spread lies or conspiracies? (1)

The New Zealand Herald has always been known as the “newspaper of record“, or “granny” by some. As such it has always had the reputation of someone you can rely on.

Is that actually true?

August 2019

In August 2019 NZME published two articles concerning Smart Environmental Limited (“Smart”) and its founder and former Managing Director, Grahame Christian (“Mr Christian”).

The articles made allegations that Smart, while led by Mr Christian, had engaged in inappropriate and dishonest practices during part of its performance of a contract with Thames Coromandel District Council (“the Council”). The articles were published on the www.nzherald.co.nz website and in the New Zealand Herald newspaper.


NZME acknowledges that Mr Christian has enjoyed a justifiable and very good reputation in the community including as a result of his success in business. NZME also acknowledges and apologises for any damage to Mr Christian’s and Smart’s reputation and distress Mr Christian may have suffered through publication of the articles.

NZME will not be republishing the articles and unreservedly withdraws any allegations of wrongdoing against Smart and Mr Christian contained within them. (2)

Suminicich Fisheries

TVNZ and the New Zealand Herald have settled a long-running defamation claim by Simunovich Fisheries, in what is believed to be a record payout.

In proceedings which began five years ago, Simunovich Fisheries and directors Peter Simunovich and Vaughan Wilkinson claimed nearly $30 million in defamation damages – understood to be New Zealand’s largest claim – from the two media outlets following controversial reports on Scampi quotas.

It is believed the settlement includes a payout of around $1.5m – among the country’s biggest defamation settlements. (3) (7)

Suspected Covid Vaccine Death

An article from the Herald  originally included a sentence stating that Auckland woman, Pauline Hanna who passed away at Easter, had had her second covid shot the day prior.

‘A source told the Herald [Pauline] Hanna was still sending work emails at 10pm on Sunday and that she had had her second Covid-19 vaccine earlier that day.

That sentence was then edited out of the online version, however it remains in the hard copy. Why did they remove this detail about the shot?

The Herald stated:

“Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said Pauline Hanna had received her second Covid vaccine the day before she died. That line was removed as the request of her family because they did not want the ant-vax community to think the vaccine is connected to her death. There is no suggestion it is.”

A newspapers responsibility is to report the facts, and let us draw our conclusion. They may offer opinions, but these must be highlighted so readers know when they are reading the story, it is not factual reporting.

The US FDA clearly lists death as a possible adverse effect, and so such a close association must raise alar bells, and we must be told. 

Note that any death within about 60 days of contracting Covid is automatically classified as a Covid death. Using the same logic, this is a highly likely Covid Vaccine death. Suicide and claims the husband did appeared in the NZ Herald, but friends who knew her  stated:

“There is no way she would have taken her own life, and if she did, she would have left notes, one to Philip and one each for the boys. What I want to know is, what the hell happened?”

We all do as well, as if this was a Covid vaccine death, it needs to be determined and appropriate measures taken.

A complete lack of integrity on the NZ Herald’s behalf to follow up on potentially life threatening scenarios of great public interest.

Chinese NZ Herald

The Chinese New Zealand Herald is in the spotlight for publishing and then retracting an article which made a number of debunked and controversial claims about the recent protests in Hong Kong. (5)

Is this a case of the retraction itself being the problem?

Earlier this year, Stuff revealed the Chinese Herald edited translated articles from the NZ Herald to cast a better light on the Chinese government. It also omitted articles that discussed the Chinese government in a negative way, in one case taking a much more sanitised version from a Chinese wire service. (6)

Westlake Girls High School

The New Zealand Press Council upheld a complaint made by Westlake Girls High School against a New Zealand Herald’s weekend’s front page story in August 2001.

“The Press Council upheld the complaint on the grounds that the article published a statement in such a manner that a reader could be lead to reasonably believe that the school itself had told the girls they had to declare themselves lesbians. ”  (8)

Be journalists, check before ‘reporting’

In an article in The Standard (9) it is stated:

“The problem is that it’s reporting on this story appears to have been performed by amateur journalists in their investigations team and facilitated by incompetent editors who didn’t check the story. This probably including whoever wrote this pathetic editorial. It appears to have been an abrupt change from their usual competent style of journalism. Of course the question has to be asked about what caused this change?”


For some reason this level of repeated systematic journalistic incompetence in reporting untruths does lead to questions of bias.

It seems “granny” is suffering from some form of dementia, as she approaches old age, and close and closer to her use by date.  Granny (the newspaper) needs to be reminded that she serves us, and not to be the mouthpiece of her ideologically driven staff, not any paymaster, from here or overseas.

(1)  https://www.streetsensemedia.org/article/who-fact-checks-the-fact-checkers

(2) https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/nzme-retraction-of-published-allegations-against-smart-environmental-limited-and-grahame-christian/Z4CGPW7RCOM4O3BTOBI7DILSHQ/

(3)  https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3230590/Settlement-in-30m-defamation-claim

(4) https://seemorerocks.is/more-on-the-censored-article-from-the-nz-herald/

(5) https://www.newsroom.co.nz/chinese-nz-herald-retracts-misleading-article

(6) https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/109908932/chinese-version-of-nz-herald-edited-translated-stories-to-be-more-chinafriendly

(7) https://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/280921-apology-issued-to-mercury-bay-businessman.html

(8) https://www.mediacouncil.org.nz/rulings/westlake-girls-high-school-against-new-zealand-herald/

(9) https://thestandard.org.nz/nz-herald-be-journalists-check-before-reporting/