Treasury – Bloggers and New Media not welcome

The Treasury has been acting a a bully boy on behalf of the old mainstream media. Bernard Hickey and David Farrar have both been tod they can’t attend the Treasury lock-up because they aren’t real media, and if they do want to attend they they will look the other way for $108.00.

Not surprisingly both Bernard and DPF have taken exception to this and managed to get access to the lock up. The reply to Bernard Hickey via email though is revealing.

Hi Bernard

Caroline forwarded me your email. I appreciate the points you make. For the past few lock-ups we have had an increasing number of attendees coming along that, on reflection, didn’t have a legitimate reason for attending the lock-up e.g. bloggers, reporters from student magazines etc. This was a frequent complaint by ‘bona fide’ attendees.

The use of parliamentary accreditation was our attempt to limit the attendees to those who should be in the room. The difficulty we have with relaxing the definition of media for you is that we would then be forced to treat others the same and we very quickly get back to where we started.

I hope this clarifies the position we have taken.

Kind regards



Chris Bunny | Manager | The Treasury

Phone +64 4 917 6201 | [email protected]

What a pompous ass. Both Chris Bunny and the old media hacks who whined about people like Bernard and David attending. Bernard Hickey points out in his reply that he actually was awarded a Qantas Media Award, how could that be if he wasn’t “approved media”.

Can I suggest that we are a legitimate media outlet and a ‘bona fide’ attendee. On Friday we won the Qantas Media Award for Best Business Website. Other nominees were , and (Fairfax).

We have 125,000 readers a month. We generate more page impressions each month than We aim to provide useful information to 2 million New Zealanders who have NZ$260 billion worth of mortgages and term deposits they have to make decisions about every 6 – 18 months. The budget is a very important factor in those decisions. We also have many readers in the financial markets and ratings agencies here and overseas.

I don’t understand why free coverage would be restricted to those with parliamentary accreditation. Does that mean only people who have reporters in parliament are able to cover the budget of the government of New Zealand? This sounds to me like an attempt by the traditional media to protect their patch by imposing a ‘tariff’ and that the Treasury is agreeing to it. I’m a bit surprised. I thought the Treasury was keen on new entrants and innovation and competition and all that good stuff.

Of course there is now the obligatory Facebook group. PR FAIL! from treasury on this one. I’m of a mind to go now even though I’d rather poke pins in my eyes than sit in a sealed room with David Farrar.