Sir Ed & TVNZ

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Yesterday morning at 9am, the person I would call the greatest living New Zealander, passed on, leaving this mortal coil for greater adventures.

Sir Edmund Hillary was one of those unassuming people who represented this country with the mana that is missing from so many sportspeople, politicians and actor types. I don’t believe anyone will ever respect Russell Crowe the same way, no matter how many Oscars he wins or cellphones he throws.

I was stoked with our state broadcaster last evening. TVNZ ran a magical documentary about the life and work of Sir Ed – a documentary made even more magical by the deep and theatrical narration of Gandalf McKellen. It wasn’t until about halfway through I realised that TV1 hadn’t broken this documentary up with their usual commercial interludes every 6.5 minutes. Well done, I was thinking, top marks for TVNZ. This isn’t their usual course of behaviour – responsible television for the masses. Maybe they had changed their ways? Maybe they were turning a new leaf and planned on being the socially responsible network they are actually meant to be. Remember this was the same television network who passed on making a television series with Flight of the Conchords because they were unable to, “see why it is funny”. So much for a New Zealand state run broadcaster broadcasting New Zealand made television. HBO are ready to rock (or folk if you prefer) with a 2nd series which will probably be snapped up by the government run network so that no-one else can have it (dog in manger syndrome if you ask me, and thanks for asking).

I don’t know why I thought they had changed. Where my brain at???? Sure enough at 9.15pm on the day of Sir Edmund Hillary’s death, TVNZ ran an advert using examples of it’s coverage of the death to advertise One News. The geniuses in charge of the media unit up here in Auckland must have still been drunk from yuletide festivities to think that this was a good idea. Maybe it was a long day at the office. Full blanket coverage of the death of a national icon must take it out of a broadcaster more accustomed to reporting on the state weather or leading the hunt for the fiend who was responsible for stealing three oranges from the Pakuranga New World. I think maybe it was a bit too much to expect them to go a whole day on this sort of subject without putting a televisual foot firmly into the gaping chasm of their mouth.

Whether I am getting older and grumpier (at age 40, or thereabouts, a man begins morphing into his father), I took it upon myself to log onto the interweb and inform as many news organisations as I could. I don’t think anything much will happen from this course of action, but it made me feel better.

TVNZ – you are a sorry excuse for a broadcaster. You have been for many, many years. The sooner you give up and hand the job onto someone who can actually make decisions based on logic rather than money, the better. New Zealand would be a far better place if you guys all just packed up and moved to Australia, and thusly, as Sir Robert Muldoon so eloquently put it, increased the IQ of both nations.

Please feel free to complain to TVNZ about their monsterous cock-up. Click HERE and you will be taken to a page on their website where you can do this. They are useless and they must be told.

I promise to be less grumpy next time. I might talk about kittens or something.

Boon x


One thought on “Sir Ed & TVNZ

  1. Below is an email reply I received from TVNZ following my formal complaint to their ‘people’ about my disgust. Below that is my original grumpy old man complaint.

    ViewerCorrespondence wrote:

    Hi there

    TVNZ is deeply apologetic for the error of judgement that resulted in a News promo being made using our coverage of the death of Sir Edmund.
    Because key staff were still on holiday at the time, the promo did not go through our normal process of approval; it was taken off air as soon as it was seen by senior executives.
    We agree that it should never have gone to air, and we apologise without reservation to all those who felt offended and distressed on seeing it.

    Thanks for your email.
    Happy New Year.
    Kind regards

    Christine Wilton
    Communications Executive

    —–Original Message—–
    From: []
    Sent: Friday, 11 January 2008 9:23 p.m.
    To: ViewerCorrespondence
    Subject: Complaint – An Advertisement –

    Name: Mr Mike Boon

    I think it is reprehensible that you people are using the death of Sir Edmund Hillary to advertise your One News programme on the very day he died. Do you have no shame? Are you that desperate to boost your falling ratings that you would piggy-back on the death of the greatest ever New Zealander.

    Your media people need their heads read.

    At least they wished me a happy new year. That was nice of them.


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