Recycling a three year old story to attack the PM

Today the SST breathlessly reveals:

Aroha of McGehan Close flees NZ

Note the current tense – flees.

Once she was the poster girl of John Key's rise to power. Now, the girl from McGehan Close says she would never vote for National and has no plans to return home from Australia.

As a young woman in Auckland, she says, there were no houses, no jobs, no hope: “There was nothing left in New Zealand.”

In 2007 Aroha , then aged 12, had become the face of what John Key, leader of the Opposition at the time, called New Zealand's underclass.

Key had labelled her community in Mt Albert's McGehan Close a “dead end” and “the nation's street of hopelessness” created by the Labour government.

He has now had six years to turn things around, but Aroha is not convinced. She has no plans to come back to New Zealand, where she could find only part-time work on the in a fast- restaurant.

In Australia, she has a full-time job working in warehousing for Coles supermarket. She married her new husband Stuart on Melbourne's St Kilda beach, and has taken his name, Spashett. They are buying a house.

Very glad to see Aroha is happily married, working and on her way to a house.

But two things about the story. Nowhere in the story does it mention when Aroha left NZ. The headline implies very recently.

Well the media ran exactly the same story just before the 2011 election. The Herald reported on 20 November 2011:

The poster child of National's victorious 2008 election campaign says New Zealand has nothing to offer her and she's moving to Australia for good.

Now think the 2011 media stories were newsworthy. Absolutely. But the SST has repeated basically the same story from three years ago. Why did they republish a three year old story, and worse of all make it look like fresh news? And is it coincidence they published it two weeks before the election?

The second thing is the story is outright wrong.

“The last time I spoke to him was when he took me to Waitangi Day. After that I have never heard from him again. 

That is contradicted by the 2011 story which says:

Nathan said Key had checked with Aroha regularly until the start of this year.

While it was Aroha that made the incorrect claim, the SST could have fact checked her. It only took me one minute on . And I'm not even a paid journalist.

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