Photo: (L-R) Patrick O'Meara, Lee Taylor, Jessica Mutch, Gyles Beckford, Jane Patterson, Andrea Vance and Nicky Hager. Photo: RNZ / Jeremy Brick
All these journalists are according to the Prime Minister ‘Left-wing’ conspiracy theorists working to bring down the government; all are controlled by the Far-left, Labour Party, Green Party and New Zealand First. Plus it would seem you can put the Maori Party and even Peter Dunne…into the same camp, it would seem that only David Seymour supports the Nats...what else can he do?
If a vote was held on banning overseas trust funds it would be successful so long as Peter Dunne showed some courage and was prepared to stand tall.
1. This report from Radio New Zealand explains how the above journalists came together to analyse and explain the real meaning of the Panama documents…
Two weeks after RNZ, One News and Nicky Hager joined forces to tackle the Panama Papers; Alex van Wel looks back at how and why the collaboration came about.
RNZ and TVNZ aren't natural bed-fellows.
We at RNZ float in a delightfully non-commercial world, guided by our Charter's public interest. Audience size is critical to us, of course, but we sometimes pretend it isn't. TVNZ, on the other hand, openly fights it out in the battle for ratings.
The question is whether we turn it to our advantage, or hold onto old ways.
Digging into the Panama Papers - Click here for full Panama Papers NZ coverage
Still, the notion of a partnership with TV came as a shock to many RNZers.
More than anything, they asked why?
But it took the journalists - the only ones in New Zealand with access to all the documents that make up the Panama Papers - only seconds to realise the benefits of collaboration, of sharing our knowledge, our expertise, and our ideas.
They saw the answer in a flash: none of us are better than all of us.
We agreed in our first joint meeting to be open about our work and to publish or broadcast our findings simultaneously.Instead of racing each other to a half-baked headline, we'd give the story the time and thought it deserved.
Even the most hardened amongst us was surprised by this spontaneous meeting of minds.
"Wow. That was good," investigative journalist Nicky Hager emailed me after the first meeting. Nicky, TVNZ's Editor News gathering Phil O'Sullivan and I quickly put down a few simple ground rules and unleashed the hounds.
Lists of names and companies to investigate were shared immediately, emails spun around with leads, lines of enquiry and ideas on how to divide up the work.
But access was a problem and training had to be done via a dodgy video link to Latin America.
Then the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) announced it was making some of the Panama Papers data public today - 9 May, putting the pressure on us to come up with something quickly.
Three RNZers, three TVNZers and Nicky got together in a small, stuffy room in RNZ's Wellington office, and started digging.
Methodical checking in a database of over 11 million documents takes patience, organisation and persistence. I dropped in from time to time to assess the mood.
There was a bit of hesitancy at first, as the team got used to this new world of collaboration, but within a few hours any nosy editors entering the room were roundly ignored.
Intense discussion over this lead, that company, this trust, that fund, absorbed them.
Chocolate, popcorn, and other gluten-laden treats littered the desk, reporter debris was everywhere.
The focus was the story: TVNZ and RNZ divisions evaporated.
There wasn't much sleep, but the enthusiasm was clear.
"I love it," said RNZ's political editor Jane Patterson at the end of a 12-hour day last Monday.
By Wednesday a coverage plan had materialised, with 6am yesterday set as our target for story one. To read the full report, go to:
2. To hear how the Prime Minister reacted to the Panama papers question listen to Q1 from Andrew Little, and Q2 from James Shaw…Q4 from NZF Ron Mark these three questions reveal a PM in complete denial mode. His attack on deaf Green MP Mojo Mathers was absolutely the sign of a twisted and bitter man…who seems to love attacking innocent females.