Offensive idiocy

July 9th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Canterbury Television was blocked by from covering an earthquake memorial event at its former site after an apparent government blunder.

The Department of Internal affairs has apologised to Canterbury Television () after journalists were turned away from covering the arrival of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday.

Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, paid tribute to the people who died in the CTV building during the Christchurch earthquake. The pair laid a wreath at the site.

The building was where 115 of the 185 people who died in the February 2011 earthquake died.

Among those victims were employees of the station and 28 Japanese students*.

However, CTV’s head of news and content, Jacqui Shrimpton, said it received no notice of the site visit or what it entailed from the Department of Internal Affairs, which managed the event’s media coverage.

It is possible the doesn’t have list or contacts for regional media, and just uses a national media list. But regardless,¬†they should have regional media lists.

When a CTV journalist and cameraman arrived they had been ejected by police because their names were not on the list, Shrimpton said.

“We are frustrated and disappointed to not have been invited and were embarrassed in front of Christchurch media to have been sent away.”

Police had been apologetic, but strict security meant they could not allow the journalist and cameraman to stay.

The Police need to take some of the blame also. There’s a time to follow orders blindly, and there’s a time to use some discretion. At a minimum the officers should have checked higher up the line, until someone with authority could say of course you should let CTV staff in, so long as they have ID (which they would have).

The combination of the DIA oversight and the Police inflexibility combined in what really was a quite offensive way, albeit unintentionally – blocking CTV from covering a memorial at their own former site.

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11 Responses to “Offensive idiocy”

  1. gravedodger (1,527 comments) says:

    There is the lead for TV3 tonight and guess who will be to blame.

    The little creep will be winging off to the village of the damned as we speak.

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  2. Kleva Kiwi (281 comments) says:

    Sounds like the police did everything right.
    Have to disagree with you here DPF, the police should not be making on site discretionary decisions and ignoring protocol when dealing with visiting foreign dignitaries. What if the CTV crew had been impostors trying to get close the the Japanese Prime Minister?

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  3. WineOh (575 comments) says:

    Kleva- he’s not saying that the cops should have let them in, he’s suggesting that they should have checked higher up the food chain to the powers that forgot to invite the CTV crew who probably had the most cause to be there- considering some of their colleagues will have died in that building.

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  4. GPT1 (2,101 comments) says:

    I am not convinced it’s fair to blame the five oh. I imagine they have fairly strict protocols not only domestically but in concert with Japanese security. It sounds like they were sympathetic and apologetic but were stuck. As Kleva states they’d look pretty stupid if it was a security breach as opposed to the (admittedly far more likely) cock up. I would be surprised if there is an ability to race it up the food chain – although you’d think that DIA would have a “trouble shooter” to address unexpected issues during visits.

    Either way it is horribly embarrassing especially given it was CTV and DIA are right to apologise.

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  5. peterwn (3,192 comments) says:

    Kleva and GPT1 – Remember that police are in constant contact with their communications centres and AFAIK there is an Inspector available in the centres who would have ready access to higher ranking police officers. So if the police officers on the scene did not contact ‘communications’ there is something wrong – seems like typical inflexible ‘cop culture’.

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  6. RRM (9,606 comments) says:

    On Facebook the hard core element are outraged Key even met with the Japanese PM recently, because whaling should apparently take precedence over all other matters in NZ-Japan relations.

    I’m not surprised the Police site took an uncompromising approach W.R.T. the guest list. They could have been nutters who could have done anything…

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  7. RRM (9,606 comments) says:

    And FFS how long will CTV’s ‘institution in mourning’ special status last?

    This was an opportunity to cover a b-list local news story. No-one’s graves were danced upon.

    It sucks that they were not on the list. I hope the apology was for the inconvenience not for whatever offense may supposedly have been taken.

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  8. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    I feel Abe’s gesture sincere when we remember the Japanese declined to meet with Jenny Shipley as PM of NZ because they felt she was walking all over NZ’ers.

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  9. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “What if the CTV crew had been impostors trying to get close the the Japanese Prime Minister?”

    No precedent. Simple as that

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  10. dad4justice (7,898 comments) says:

    The police are God just ask Aunty Helen and Peter.

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  11. william blake (108 comments) says:

    There could be wider issue here of organisations with budgets forgetting core stakeholders; CERA?

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