Skip to main content

Critical rhetoric can be a positive thing

 |  Ady Cole-Ewen  | 

In the latest from the Mayor in the 19th January TCDC online weekly wrap up, he refers to “an “article” (his quote marks) published in a local community paper” about Maori wards which he said was inaccurate and offensive and for which he does not yet know at the time of writing whether the publisher will be apologising.

It seems that the Mayor does not get the difference between an “article” written by the newspaper’s staff and an opinion piece from an outside contributor which, as has been made clear previously, may not reflect the opinions of the Editor.

Opinion pieces in the NZ Herald by contributors such as Matthew Hooton or Richard Prebble may not reflect the views of the Editor, but they are printed nevertheless to allow the expression of a broad range of opinion.

 If there were factual errors in the piece about which Mayor Len is complaining, then the writer should correct them and perhaps apologise, not the Editor.

 The Mayor goes on to say that “anti-council rhetoric may ignite into more serious threats and action,” This seems a little overdramatic and oversensitive for one in his position and cannot be an excuse for the Mayor’s lack of discretion in using bad language in his won situation.  Politicians need to develop a thickish skin, as editors of community newspapers receiving actual threats have to do. No council is beyond criticism. There are many ratepayers and residents who feel the Council is not beyond reproach.

It also seems that the TCDC despite its claims of supporting small business does not include, for whatever reason, the local community newspaper which has an impressive circulation of 9000 and growing.  Many people I’ve spoken to value it and believe that its editor tries very hard to be positive, broad minded and even-handed but is also not afraid to cut through into local issues which need deeper investigation, a different approach, or more attention and more efficient solutions which may differ from whatever official line is being expressed or taken.

The Mayor seems to be concerned that his weekly column has been discontinued but after enquiring from the office of said newspaper, (the Editor was unavailable) the staff said this is incorrect and that it was due for inclusion in the coming issue and that sometimes the Mayor had been given more space than the intended quarter page due to more words than were allocated being provided from TCDC communications. I was informed there is no charge at all for this column and that the Mayor’s column was an initiative by the paper.  I have been looking for such a column in the other local papers and it doesn’t seem to be there.

 Ady Cole-Ewen Wharakao

In the latest from the Mayor in the 19th January TCDC online weekly wrap up, he refers to “an “article” (his quote marks) published in a local community paper” about Maori wards which he said was inaccurate and offensive and for which he does not yet know at the time of writing whether the publisher will be apologising.

It seems that the Mayor does not get the difference between an “article” written by the newspaper’s staff and an opinion piece from an outside contributor which, as has been made clear previously, may not reflect the opinions of the Editor.

Opinion pieces in the NZ Herald by contributors such as Matthew Hooton or Richard Prebble may not reflect the views of the Editor, but they are printed nevertheless to allow the expression of a broad range of opinion.

 If there were factual errors in the piece about which Mayor Len is complaining, then the writer should correct them and perhaps apologise, not the Editor.

 The Mayor goes on to say that “anti-council rhetoric may ignite into more serious threats and action,” This seems a little overdramatic and oversensitive for one in his position and cannot be an excuse for the Mayor’s lack of discretion in using bad language in his won situation.  Politicians need to develop a thickish skin, as editors of community newspapers receiving actual threats have to do. No council is beyond criticism. There are many ratepayers and residents who feel the Council is not beyond reproach.

It also seems that the TCDC despite its claims of supporting small business does not include, for whatever reason, the local community newspaper which has an impressive circulation of 9000 and growing.  Many people I’ve spoken to value it and believe that its editor tries very hard to be positive, broad minded and even-handed but is also not afraid to cut through into local issues which need deeper investigation, a different approach, or more attention and more efficient solutions which may differ from whatever official line is being expressed or taken.

The Mayor seems to be concerned that his weekly column has been discontinued but after enquiring from the office of said newspaper, (the Editor was unavailable) the staff said this is incorrect and that it was due for inclusion in the coming issue and that sometimes the Mayor had been given more space than the intended quarter page due to more words than were allocated being provided from TCDC communications. I was informed there is no charge at all for this column and that the Mayor’s column was an initiative by the paper.  I have been looking for such a column in the other local papers and it doesn’t seem to be there.

 Ady Cole-Ewen Wharakao


Recent Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Democracy is key

In this wonderful land we are free to take our part in a democracy where the representatives of everyone make the rules to live by. The authority we give them is part of our freedom. For freedom does not mean ‘no rules’  but a shared responsibility for citizenship and mutual support. Freedom als…
Letters to the editor

Mindless pursuit of a failed ideology

Six elements of the new government’s policy agenda with its obsessive focus on “economic growth” expose a callous indifference to more deaths and much worse health outcomes that will inevitably result. Repealing smoke-free laws that would have prevented youth smoking is outrageous.  Now, more yo…
Letters to the editor

Ref: “Question whether the Earth has moved”, 11 June 2024

The Informer published an article about the formation of an “Alliance” (21 May), a potential opportunity for co-operation of Residents and Ratepayers Associations across the Peninsula. The article reflected the information made available to The Informer at the time and it was clear to the reader …
Letters to the editor

Voices of Gallipoli – Mark Wright masterful

If you missed the well attended event “Voices from Gallipoli” at the Monkey House Theatre last Friday then it was your great misfortune. On a rather wet night Mark Wright, who wrote and performed his own play, gave the audience a compelling insight into the Gallipoli campaign fought in 1915/16. …
Letters to the editor

From a Waikawai resident who lives deep in the bush

There was a NZ Defence Force exercise in the Waikawau area recently. A local resident reported that she saw soldiers in swampy ground near her home. She heard gunfire from this area and said, “it sounded like a BB gun going off”.  She was not concerned about it as she had heard from a neighbour t…
Letters to the editor

No to More Mining on the Coromandel

The article titled $2 billion export goal for mining in The Informer, June 4, states that doubling mining export value is a great goal. No, it isn’t. The points I wish to raise and call attention to in this article are: • “It will be good to see the government invest in upgrading geological mod…
Letters to the editor

Save the Trees? Not happening.

The Council has erected a number of signs like this one saying, ‘Save our trees”. You can see them at different points along Buffalo Beach Road and in other places along the coast. However, TCDC is not doing what they are asking of the public. They are not saving the trees as you can see in the …
Letters to the editor

New Zealand political system

It was with dismay that I read Trevor Ammundsen’s muddled hypothesis about why one does not have to be Māori to stand in a Māori Ward (May 21). Trevor mightn’t have enough familiarity with New Zealand history to realise that this rule has always been standard. Even at a national level, one does n…
Letters to the editor

Where are the Short-Term Plans?

Never mind the “Long Term Plan”,  what’s the short term plan for fixing the broken public toilets at Cooks Beach which have been out of action for months?
Letters to the editor

Not a Melting Pot

I believe the author of the article, issue 1106, 21 May, is deliberately or insensitive to the fact that he is actually stirring the pot of interracial and cultural understanding. This is benefitting his own agenda of suppressing Māori people and their human rights.