Founder / Director

Dr Muriel Newman

Dr Muriel Newman



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Dear NZCPR Reader,


This week…

In this week’s NZCPR newsletter we reflect on the danger to New Zealand caused by government funding of the media and we share our interview with Sky News, our NZCPR Guest Commentator Bruce Cotterill outlines why a free and independent press is a critically important foundation to a democracy, and our poll asks whether you trust media that have received funding from the Government’s Public Interest Journalism Fund.

Last newsletter…

In case you missed it, in last week’s newsletter we investigated the Government’s Covid-19 strategy HERE, and our NZCPR Guest Commentator Professor John Gibson outlined why he describes lockdowns as one of our greatest peacetime policy failures HERE.

Three Waters Campaign…

Thank you so much to those readers who are supporting our Three Waters campaign – including those who are delivering our Peoples’ Press fliers, and others who are using them as a basis for local newspaper advertisements. Thanks to our collective efforts the push back by councils across the country against the Government’s proposal is growing. Please don’t give up as Minister Mahuta seems determined to force through her proposals while the country is pre-occupied with Covid. The whole reform scenario is founded on unsound evidence and faulty analysis, with the promised benefits unlikely to materialise. And with tribal control as the Government’s underlying objective, the risks to communities from losing democratic control of their water services will be significant. For more information please visit the Three Waters campaign page here:

If you share our concerns, here are three steps to oppose Three Waters:

  1. Contact your local council to suggest they organise a public referendum on the Three Waters proposal – their email addresses are HERE; and call on opposition MPs to pledge to repeal Three Waters when they become Government – their email addresses are HERE.
  2. Join the Peoples Press by printing and delivering the leaflets on our campaign page HERE around your community. Please share the five new social media images around your networks.
  3. Contribute to our public information fighting fund HERE.

NZCPR newsletters…

Our NZCPR newsletters of independent research and commentary is delivered direct to your Inbox each week. The NZCPR is funded solely by donations from readers – please click HERE if you would like to help. It is only through your wonderful generosity that we can produce our weekly newsletters and run our important campaigns. With the mainstream media increasingly acting as a mouthpiece for government propaganda, we believe the need for the NZCPR has never been greater. By sharing our newsletters around your networks and by supporting our vital work, together we are making a real difference to the future of New Zealand..
Or, if you don’t like website forms, the direct donation details are NZCPR ASB Bank account 12-3099-0833814-00.

Thank you for your on-going interest and support.

Warmest regards,





Dr Muriel Newman
NZCPR Founding Director


NZCPR Weekly:

By Dr Muriel Newman

Last week, the Maori Party launched a petition to Parliament to “Change the country’s official name to Aotearoa” and to “officially restore the Te Reo Maori names for all towns, cities and place names”.

On the one hand they argued that officially changing New Zealand’s name to its “indigenous” version would “unite the country”, while on the other they claimed, “Tangata whenua are sick to death of our ancestral names being mangled, bastardised, and ignored.” 

They seem to have ignored the fact that Aotearoa, was never the ‘indigenous’ name of this country.

Having had no original Maori name, the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman first named the country in 1642, with Captain James Cook anglicising it to New Zealand in 1769.

When the Treaty of Waitangi was drafted, the Maori version Niu Tireni was used.

While the name Aotearoa had been applied to the North Island, it was popularised for the whole country by the Englishman Percy Smith writing in school journals in the early 1900s.   

The New Zealand Geographic Board has the authority to change place names and landmarks, but changing the name of the country is the responsibility of the government.

Asked whether the Government would support the Maori Party’s petition, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “We’ve got no plans to go through an official process to change the name of New Zealand”. She indicated her support for unofficial change: “I think there is a natural change in usage, that people are picking up and using and I would encourage that… I do like the fact it is increasingly happening regardless.”

The Prime Minister will not put the matter to a referendum because most New Zealanders believe the name of the country should remain New Zealand. Place names should also remain as they are until local communities say otherwise.

If you would like to register your support for the name of our country remaining New Zealand, please sign our NZCPR petition HERE.

Changing the name of our country by stealth is part of a wider agenda being orchestrated by the Ardern Government to replace democracy with tribal rule by 2040 – the 200-year anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Called He Puapua, this blueprint for Maori separatism is being introduced under the guise of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

He Puapua was developed in 2019, but the final report was deliberately withheld from Labour’s coalition partner New Zealand First during election year. According to the former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, “He Puapua was never shown to one NZ First Cabinet Minister. This report was deliberately suppressed… this report is a recipe for Maori separatism, they knew it and that’s why they suppressed it till after the election. It was a gesture of ingratitude and bad faith.”

The constitutional authority of democratic governments to exercise their powers and fulfil their responsibilities arise from the consent of the people. By deliberately concealing He Puapua from voters during the election campaign, Jacinda Ardern has abused the democractic authority given to her.

A heavily redacted copy of He Puapua was discovered by the NZCPR in early March on the Ministry of Maori Development’s website. The full version of the report was located shortly afterwards and is posted on the NZCPR website HERE.

He Puapua revealed waves of radical reforms that are all part of the plan are being imposed onto the country – including replacing New Zealand with Aotearoa, substituting Maori words for English in official communications, re-writing school history, awarding 5 percent of government contracts to Maori businesses, and indoctrinating government employees through compulsory cultural competency training.

With the introduction of 50:50 co-governance – and the power of veto – a key goal of He Puapua, Labour’s abolition of Maori ward petition rights under Parliamentary urgency in February can be seen as the first step towards Maori control of local government.

Maori control of water, with a royalty paid to Maori tribes, is another key goal specified in He Puapua, and the Government’s Three Waters proposal has been designed to deliver that objective – by giving iwi a controlling interest in the new water entities.  

The current restructuring of the entire health sector, including the abolition of community control of local health services, has been designed to deliver the He Puapua goal of a separate Maori health authority – with the power of veto over the entire health system.

In spite of the Covid crisis putting enormous pressure on the health system, the government is pressing ahead with their divisive health reforms. Just this week they announced their new health agency appointments, with Cabinet Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s sister Tipa Mahuta taking a top job as co-chair of the Maori Health Authority.

Underpinning He Puapua is the claim that the Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed Maori an equal “partnership” with the Crown. But this partnership claim is a lie – a political construct designed to advance Maori sovereignty.

Under normal conditions, one could expect the media to hold the Government to account and investigate the legitimacy of these fabricated partnership claims – especially when the stakes involve the transfer of the ownership and control of significant public resources.

But that media scrutiny no longer exists in New Zealand – at least as far as much of the mainstream media is concerned. The journalistic standards of fairness, accuracy, and balance have been compromised as a condition of access to the Ardern Government’s Public Interest Journalism Fund.

This $55 million fund is only available to news organisations that promote the Treaty partnership fiction. It’s no wonder that He Puapua has received little investigative scrutiny from our local media.

Last week, however, Sky News Australia contacted the NZCPR to discuss the He Puapua agenda. The show’s host, broadcaster Andrew Bolt, began our interview by expressing concern that Prime Minister Ardern’s ‘woke’ politics are leading the country towards a form of ‘apartheid’: “Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister of New Zealand has been the poster child of the left for a couple of years now but what she is doing to New Zealand actually amazes me. In fact, it scares me. Be warned this is where woke politics is taking us all – to a form of apartheid.” You can watch our interview HERE.

It seems extraordinary that New Zealanders are increasingly forced to turn to the Australian and other international media for any critical analysis of what is happening at home.

Following the Sky News screening, Newshub – a benefactor of the Government’s media fund – published a ‘fact check’ of our interview. In summary, they pretty much agreed with everything that was said, but disagreed with things that were not said!

Political commentator Frank Newman (who last week reported on a MediaBias survey that found State funded TVNZ and Radio NZ had the most left-wing and pro-Labour bias, followed by Newshub) has fact-checked Newshub’s fact-check of our Sky News interview, and concluded that while Newshub had confirmed the accuracy of the Bolt interview, it had itself made a number of factual errors.

In his comprehensive analysis – see HERE – Frank highlights the commitment of the New Zealand Media Council to ‘Accuracy, Fairness and Balance’ and notes, “As Newshub is a member of the NZ Media Council, I am sure there are many who look forward to it upholding those principles and providing a fair voice to those with a view that challenges the prevailing political narrative of the day.”

It might be long wait!

Without a doubt, media bias is now a serious problem for New Zealand, as this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator business leader and former media boss Bruce Cotterill explains:

“A free and independent press is a critically important foundation to any democracy. Without it, governments can go unchecked and the rule of law will suffer. One only has to see the events in Hong Kong over the last two years to see the impact on a society where the influence of the press has been extinguished.

“Sadly, our media does not appear to be as independent and free as we should prefer… A quick look at the treatment dished out to the political elite by Sky News Australia highlights the inadequacy of our own journalistic inquiry and how accepting we Kiwi viewers and readers have become.”

Unfortunately, things are getting worse.

With the controversial Three Waters reforms now in the news on a daily basis, where is the critical media inquiry into the rationale for a 50 percent controlling interest in these new water entities being passed to Maori corporations, who will no doubt be free to act in their own best interests?

Control of the other 50 percent will be contested by multiple councils seeking representation for their ratepayers who have funded these billion-dollar assets.

In one region, 22 councils will be competing for representation on six seats of their water authority board, while the other six seats will be given to local iwi.

These changes reverse more than 150 years of local council ownership of local water assets. Passing a half interest to Maori under a false notion that they have partnership rights is an outrage that is not being scrutinised by the media.

So, not only are our media failing to report issues in an accurate, fair, and balanced manner, but a purge now appears to be underway to “cancel” anyone expressing opinions contrary to the views of those who claim to be our “sole source of truth”.

In January, we saw the axing of John Banks from Magic Radio for describing early Maori culture as ‘stone age’ (even though New Zealand was a stone age society without metal implements). Shortly after Magic’s staunch defender of free speech, Sean Plunkett, was “cancelled”.

Back in June, Magic Radio’s breakfast host Peter Williams likened the Public Interest Journalism Fund, with its requirement to “actively promote” the Treaty partnership, to “something the Chinese Communist Party or Kim Jong Il would put in place” – and he concluded: “By the way, ‘actively promoting’ anything is just not journalism. I’d cut to the chase and call it propaganda.”

Two weeks ago, Magic breakfast listeners heard Peter Williams sign off on a Friday with “see you Monday”, only to be told on the Monday, that he had “retired”.

Duncan Garner has gone from the AM Show, and Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson will be out at the end of the year. As Sky host Andrew Bolt pointed out in our interview, it is a very dangerous time for New Zealand.

Broadcaster Sean Plunkett, however, is working on a new media platform that will stream live and provide balanced content of the kind that is now all too often lacking in our mainstream media.

In a recent interview, in which he explained, “I got cancelled – I got cancelled by wokism”, he expressed grave concerns about the implications of government funding of the media: “There can be no doubt that organisations like Stuff, The Spinoff, Newshub are taking money that has strings attached, big heavy strings. And I don’t see how you can have a news media you trust as a consumer, as a New Zealander, if someone is paying that organisation to change the way it talks to you and the stories it tells.”

Journalist Graham Adams is also extremely concerned about the damage to democracy caused when independent media become puppets for government propaganda, and he suggests: “As a result of such widespread cynicism, one of the proudest boasts for any media organisation is fast becoming the claim it hasn’t received any government funding.”

Let’s make no mistake about the situation we face. Under the cover of the Covid crisis, the government is pushing ahead with a range of reforms that will fundamentally change our society from an open democracy based on the equality of all, to a tribal apartheid system that allocates resources and grants rights according to a person’s heritage and the colour of their skin.

Is this really the sort of future we want for New Zealand? 

Please note: To register for our free weekly newsletter please click HERE.


*Do you trust media that have received funding from the Government’s Public Interest Journalism Fund?

*Poll comments are posted at the end of the main article.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.



NZCPR Guest Commentary:


Bruce Cotterill

“We seem to show a lot of photos of the Prime Minister smiling and the opposition leader frowning. As noted, our television news broadcasts are the worst offenders. We have developed a trend of sending the latest crop of bright young things, some fresh out of journalism school, out to report on what they see and hear.

“But reporting what you see and hear is not journalism. Journalism involves questioning what you see and hear. Is it true? Is it right? Who did it? Who said it? Why do you think that? Where is the supporting information and evidence?

“That’s what we’re missing.

“When a prime minister — or any government minister for that matter — says something, the reporter’s job is not solely to report on what has been said. First you need to check the facts. If the facts are right, report it. If the facts are not right, ask why and find the truth. We need both sides of the story.

“Last year, the Prime Minister gave up her regular Monday morning slot on Newstalk ZB, one of the few media commitments where she was regularly and rightly grilled on matters relating to the Government’s performance.

“She replaced that with a series of light-hearted romps around the music radio stations where she discusses everything but the performance of the Government and answers questions about what she had for breakfast and what she did on the weekend.

“I recently spoke to a senior journalist based in Wellington. He is someone whose opinions and writing I respect. I asked why the questions from the press gallery didn’t seek to dig deeper into what are often flippant answers from our government ministers. He simply said the following; ‘If you are too tough, you don’t get invited back’.

“What he meant was that those who are being selected to ask questions of ministers are those who ask the soft questions. If you want to ask tough questions, you don’t get invited to do so.

“Some call this censorship of the press. I call it a denial of access. If the media is threatened with a lack of access, or in other words, if access is used as a negotiating tool or a bargaining chip, then we have a challenge to our democracy that is greater than anything we have had to previously consider…”

*To read the full commentary please visit the website.


What’s new on our Breaking Views blog…

Breaking Views is administered by the NZCPR – the views are those of the authors. Here is a selection of this week’s articles… 

  • Frank Newman: Fact-checking the fact-check
    Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt interviewed Dr Muriel Newman on the He Puapua report, Maori representation, the Treaty of Waitangi, the Public Interest Journalism Fund, and Three Waters. The following day Newshub published an article called, “Fact-check of Sky News Australia segment warning of ‘apartheid’ in New Zealand”…
  • Graham Adams: Double-edged sword of government-funded journalism cuts deep
    The fact that journalists rarely mention the impending Three Water reforms handing 50 per cent control of the nation’s water to iwi is compelling evidence it is deliberately avoiding their most contentious aspect. Viewing the Treaty as a partnership is, of course, the basis for such a revolutionary policy…
  • Derek Mackie: TVOne News abandons any pretence at balanced reporting
    I usually try my best to miss the TVNZ One News bulletin because it invariably annoys the hell out of me and I start arguing with the TV. This is when my wife tells me to go away and don’t come back until I can think of something positive and uplifting to say. So, I retire to the cupboard under the stairs and take out my frustration on the computer… 
  • Michael Bassett: Media Greedies
    The first handouts have been made. Interestingly enough, they haven’t been mentioned in any mainstream media that I’ve seen. Stuff received $300,000 to establish a “cultural competency course”. NZME that produces the New Zealand Herald got $440,000. One estimate I’ve seen is that 40% of the total beneficence will go to Maori projects…
  • Clive Bibby: Lockdowns and Opening Up
    My sense is that Kiwis are beginning to recognise the true nature of this administration. History tells us that the modern version of totalitarianism is little different to the previous ones that seized control of countries then set about dismantling all the democratic institutions that underpinned individual freedoms…
  • Melanie Phillips: Downing Street’s green emperor has no clothes
    Boris Johnson is off to the US to persuade the Biden administration to stop dragging its feet over “climate change”. Ye gods! How can such an intelligent man be so bone-headedly…dumb?It’s Boris Johnson who needs to understand that the policy he’s promoting of Net Zero carbon emissions is leading his country and the world off the edge of an economic and social cliff…
  • Henry Armstrong: Pathetic Planning, Puerile Politics and the Pandemic
    Covid 19 continues to provide Ardern an unprecedented daily TV exposure which she is blatantly exploiting for purely political gain. The 1pm pantomime, now referred to by some as “The Mork and Cindy Show”, continues to confuse with meaningless or totally spurious information – “Gosh, 3456 swabs were taken yesterday”…
  • Bob Edlin: Classism and the pox weren’t the only exports sent here by the Poms
    The only thing England successfully exported was classism and syphilis? Parliamentary democracy looked like a great import to us, here at Point of Order, but it’s fair to say it’s not everybody’s idea of a good way to run a country and maybe we should take our cue from the way Maori chiefs run their tribes…
    Nothing like a survey to prove what we all know to be true: The media is biased. A group called MediaBias has released the results of media monitoring for the period Oct 1 2019 to Aug 31 2021. Of the 15 media outlets they tracked, all “mainstream” media was biased to the left…

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