Media Short-Takes
Friday, February 22, 2013 at 10:03AM
Bill Barclay

Today's 'Business Herald' contains two classic spin-doctoring items, one of which is of direct local interest:

The first on the 'Insider' page claims that some criticism of farming's environmental impact is unfair. It bases this on the apparent back-up of applications for QEII covenants "as a way of preserving special areas without losing ownership". What codswollop - the only reason is that they can now obtain rate rebates on the land so covenented. Most councils have now adopted this policy, and the 'back-up' followed like effluent in the pond.

The second relates to our Peter Vitasovich. There is a laudatory piece by Helen Twose on the 'Success' page that could have ben written by Peter himself. It refers to the failure of the Tauranga joint venture - North Island Mussel Processors Ltd. which was placed in receivership last year and subsequently acquired by his two partners in the venture - Sealord and Sanford. Vitasovich explains it as being due to the fact that "despite a lot of effort the venture didn't work and the parties involved were unable to decide on a way forward".

That is not exactly how it was described in the National Business Review article at the time - Vitasovich's company was said to have owed NIMPL over $1m in processing fees from the previous season, and the partners took the receivership route in their own protection. There has been no indication as to how the matter was resolved other than the fact that they took over the company and modern processing facilities.

Good luck to Peter with his new venture in turning mussels into up-market food products and getting away from the commodity trap where the industry has been heading over the last few years. But just describing 2012 as the year "he'd probably rather forget" does not quite cut the mustard. Sealord and Sanford would also probably rather forget it - having appeared to have been left to carry the can.   

Today's 'Hauraki Herald' on the other hand had a well constructed and generally accurate (except for the Graham Naylor reference) story on Whitianga MBSC. At last the Times sent a genuine journalist to the meeting - Chris Gardner - I hope we see a lot more of him, and that his stories get down to the HH. A longer version appeared in the WT on Thursday. Interesting to note that he he took absolutely no notice of the rubbish promulgated by the TCDC spin doctors. That will be disappointing for the Mayor, as it changed the emphasis away from his calumny regarding the prime responsibility of past councils.  But at least he was able to ensure that it was printed in a full page ad. in today's HH, at our expense.  




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