Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Fact and fantasy

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  • James Butler,

    In a column in yesterday’s Dominion Post (which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be online)

    Is it this one?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Leopold,

    The film Once were Warriors in its opening shot expressed concisely what Joy was trying to say, and the sham of 100% Pure - And yet not a word of complaint from the Great nad Good

    Since Jan 2007 • 146 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James Butler,

    Is it this one?

    Yes! Thank you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    100% Pure, if referring to our environment is patently

    such overstatement is the stuff of advertising, not academic observation.

    Of course the agency argues they meant New Zealand is 100% pure New Zealand (plus you, O monied tourist). But they and the government are apparently quite happy for the meaning to be mistaken.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 547 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We invited the editors of the Herald to join us on Media3. They declined, but we've just received an emailed response from Tim Murphy which I'll convey and discuss on the show.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Yet another case of the Anti-PC Brigade acting just like what they hate. Their de facto state religion is the Prosperity Gospel, and Dr Joy has simply dared to nail the 95 Eco-Theses to its door.

    Apparently it's not science if it means leaving the Hummer in the garage and tearing down the McMansion.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4161 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Russell, you say:

    Some have even sought to have him sacked from his job at Massey University -- and been given short shrift by [vice] chancellor Steve Maharey

    What is this a reference too? In past roles, I've certainly commented that university academics claiming to be the critic and conscience of society ought to limit their commentary to matters on which they can reasonably claim to be expert. In this instance, it's clear that Joy has. I'd hope the VC would defend him, not chastise him.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll, in reply to Paul Williams,

    It's the "some" who have been given the short shrift by my reading.

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I interpreted Maharey's "short shrift" being directed at Unsworth et al.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4161 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Williams,

    In this instance, it’s clear that Joy has. I’d hope the VC would defend him, not chastise him.

    I thought it was clear that I meant Maharey had given short shrift to those lobbying for Joy to lose his job.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson,

    I thinks it's a pity the official response isn't just " Yup, we've got some problems, and we're working on them" (and then actually commit to working on them). You know, like an adult might if they had a mind to act mature.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I noticed John Key, by way of explaining his 'thinking', says that McDonald's should put more salt in its burgers - where is his head at?
    Does he not listen to the recent Health warnings about too much salt - this Govt will kill us, or salt the land to spite us...
    :- )
    or did I read that wrong...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4690 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I thought it was clear that I meant Maharey had given short shrift to those lobbying for Joy to lose his job.

    Of course, I misread it. Excellent. That's what I'd expect him to do.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Dr Mike Joy has presented the facts about our water quality. Solid peer reviewed data that should in no way be a surprise. If you intensively farm and don't make any effort to protect the waterways then water quality will go down. You will not be in any way "pure" let alone 100%.

    He has also presented his expert opinion that intensive dairying is the biggest problem and also said relatively simple (cheap) measures would have significant beneficial impact.

    As far as I can tell Dr Joy is fulfilling exactly the role society needs him to fulfill.

    Demanding he keep quiet in case he spoils the image that the marketing people are trying to present is kind of moronic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3266 posts Report Reply

  • Tommy Honey,

    Years ago at an innovative conference, not long after 100% Pure was launched, I was shouted down when I suggested that it was a campaign doomed to failure. The idea that even 1% impure would collapse their tagline would not be brooked by the enthusiasts. Apparently it was "unpatriotic" to even suggest it...

    Pipitea • Since Mar 2008 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    According to the Herald editorial:

    "...Dr Joy told the newspaper that although this country promoted itself as "100 per cent Pure New Zealand", the reality came nowhere close to matching this. "We don't deserve 100 per cent Pure, we are nowhere near the best in the world, we are not even in the top half of countries in the world when it comes to clean and green," he said..."

    Except anyone who reads the NY Times story will nowhere see Dr. Joy quoted as saying that. The Herald editorial writer either didn't actually read the story in the NY Times or simply made the quote up to suit their agenda.

    No wonder Tim Murphy won't front.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1776 posts Report Reply

  • Mike Dickison,

    If you actually read that international study in PLoS, as not many people seem to have, you find out why we're ranked 18th-worst for environmental impact. And it's not because of our greenhouse gas emissions (which the authors count as average, but they don't seem to include cow farting) or water pollution (also average, by their measure; they didn't measure freshwater habitat degradation).

    We're #13 for fertiliser use on arable land (which is only about 2% of our land area: fertiliser on pasture wasn't counted at all). Has over-fertilising of crops even been on the radar in the 100% Pure conversation?

    We're also #1 in the world for endangered animal species—which means birds (because we have hardly any mammals or amphibians). NZ does have quite a few threatened bird species, most of which we can't blame on current National government policies. I don't think the number would be much different if DoC had had adequate funding for the last 20 years, because species decline and recovery is a slow process. We're #1 because we're a small island country, which always increases the number of endangered species (the PLoS study admits they haven't corrected for that). We're also #1 because we were settled so recently—recently enough that a few vulnerable species are still hanging on, whereas the other countries in the world wiped out theirs thousands of years ago.

    So we should be a bit careful about citing that "18th worst" ranking to support Mike Joy's areas of concern—freshwater ecology—because the study doesn't have much to say about that.

    Since Feb 2010 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Mike Dickison,

    I love it when people bring facts to discussions. I just wish our media could.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 402 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Except anyone who reads the NY Times story will nowhere see Dr. Joy quoted as saying that. The Herald editorial writer either didn’t actually read the story in the NY Times or simply made the quote up to suit their agenda.

    I’ve just worked this out. The editorial writer (and this isn’t the first time this has happened) didn’t understand the paper’s own reporting.

    The quote seems to have been given directly by Joy to the Herald’s reporter, Nikki Preston, who wrote it up thus:

    Massey University senior lecturer in environmental science Mike Joy, who was quoted in the article, said the reality was New Zealand was nowhere near 100 per cent Pure.

    “We don’t deserve 100 per cent Pure, we are nowhere near the best in the world, we are not even in the top half of countries in the world when it comes to clean and green."

    Which was mangled in the editorial thus:

    His remarks are included in a recent New York Times article that suggested this country’s clean green image, represented by snow-capped mountains, clean rivers and pristine countryside, was false and misleading. Dr Joy told the newspaper that although this country promoted itself as “100 per cent Pure New Zealand”, the reality came nowhere close to matching this. “We don’t deserve 100 per cent Pure, we are nowhere near the best in the world, we are not even in the top half of countries in the world when it comes to clean and green,” he said.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mike Dickison,

    So we should be a bit careful about citing that “18th worst” ranking to support Mike Joy’s areas of concern—freshwater ecology—because the study doesn’t have much to say about that.

    Thanks. That's very useful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18716 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I was amazed by Key's "it's just marketing" comment - the implication was that because it's marketing it doesn't actually have to be true, so go on polluting as you were

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    so who is going to make a complaint to The NZ Tourism Board to the Advertising Standards Authority?

    For surely they've breached some code, if not of accuracy then of ethics

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 326 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I was amazed by Key's "it's just marketing" comment

    I made an 'against the trend' comment on this at the time saying something along the lines of "what else could he have done"? The PM's got to be a spokesperson for NZ. I understand the validity of criticising him and his government for not doing more to address the problems, but I can't think what else a PM should do when there is criticism of the country in international media other than to to try to counter it (however valid).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I made an 'against the trend' comment on this at the time saying something along the lines of "what else could he have done"?

    He could and should have said he would do something about it (and also, more importantly, he should do something about it). He may be Teflon in NZ, but the rest of the world can and will lampoon him mercilessly for such a stupid comment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8319 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I was amazed by Key's "it's just marketing" comment - the implication was that because it's marketing it doesn't actually have to be true

    I don't mind the 'just marketing' concept so much (except for how clumsily it's being said), because 100% pure was obviously only ever meant to be a brand, and marketing of this kind nearly always uses some kind of artistic licence. What annoys me is the arrogance of trying to tell us that it's traitorous to not drop what we're doing, ignore things we seriously care about, and patriotically follow the national company line as loyal employees of the New Zealand International Tourism Corporation.

    Sit down and shut up indeed. Any branding campaign like this should have been more than prepared for eventual criticism from overseas, and that might involve just being prepared to stomach it and wrap up if it's already been a good run. When claiming "100% pure" with a clear implication of what people are expected to think, it should hardly be a surprise of the angle that criticism would take.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 321 posts Report Reply

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