Dirty Media – a nice bit of confusion over names, and just who or what is NZ Inc?


So far we have looked at the following in this series:
And so we begin
Telling the Truth about Fran O’Sullivan and Dirty Politics
Dirty Politics and Fran O?Sullivan?s ?Unethical Alliance? With Bloggers
Dirty Media – Who feeds Fran?

Let us start?explaining the players and links between each.



At?first glance there is a nice level of branding confusion between NZ Inc. the name of the combined MFAT strategy, and NZ Inc. the company. I wonder who owns NZ Inc. the company?


Even more confusion reigns with Fran O?Sullivan?s role as owner of the website http://newzealandinc.com/nz-inc/about-us/ and her role as a Herald columnist over the years. Only recently has the website made this comment in the ?About Us? category.

NZ INC. publishes on the newzealandinc.com website, in the New Zealand Herald and other key publications. We offer internships and fellowships to high calibre students and graduates to develop future leaders in business, politics, and journalism.

So what effectively calls?itself as a “business intelligence firm” that presumably gains its income from corporate work that is very similar to public relations, is publishing in?the New Zealand Herald.

Where are these articles from NZ Inc. in the Herald?

Are they clearly labelled and numerous?

And why would Fran O?Sullivan be offering internships for leaders in business, politics and journalism from a website?

When we read an article or column written by ?brand? Fran O?Sullivan are we reading one from her as a journalist or written as the owner of a corporate website and presumably income generating company New Zealand Inc.?

More interesting parts of the website are the ?team?. It looks decidedly like there is no ?i? in ?team? from Fran O?Sullivan but if you look closely enough there is just ?me?. The substance to this being anything more than a one-woman band is tenuous.

Let us forget the free labour interns, the female who no longer even works there and the omission of former employee Alex Speirs who has already appeared on this blog where he and O?Sullivan were busted for their repetition in reporting.

Gabriel James has an impressive CV academically and a Doctorate in Plant Science. Apparently in addition to all his work and business in his chosen area of expertise of life sciences he has time to be the New Zealand Inc. Director of Digital & Business Operations. Is he merely lending his CV to make this appear more than Fran O?Sullivan Inc.? Wouldn?t someone with this CV command a rather high pay demand? ?Why would he be involved in this?

Tim McCready is far more interesting. Tim ?also works with innovative companies in business development and capital raising, and has an interest in entrepreneurship, science, trade and investment?. Really? And has time for that and also for New Zealand Inc.? But the clincher to where he came from is the rest of his bio ?Previously, Tim worked for the New Zealand government?s business development agency, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) and continues to be actively involved in the?private start-up community?. Another busy man.

McCready published on his LinkedIn:


A search of the NZ Herald website found just three search results relevant, all recent.


The first article mentions a few companies in the Agribusiness sector. Nowhere in the article is there a disclaimer that this is for any corporate mentioned. However McCready is identified at the bottom.

The other articles are in the same theme. Based around corporate enterprises and tie in NZTE.

So a few questions:

  1. Does the NZ Herald pay for these articles?
  2. Does NZ Inc. so therefore Fran O?Sullivan get paid by the NZ Herald for these articles?
  3. Does NZ Inc. so therefore Fran O?Sullivan get paid by private clientele and corporates for these articles that are then placed in the NZ Herald without disclaimers as journalism? Or are they put in there for free?
  4. Why would the NZME. Editorial Director – Business need her own website in the position? She is either writing for NZ Herald and NZME. Or not?
  5. Does Fran O?Sullivan ever write for NZ Inc. when she writes in the NZ Herald?
  6. Who owns her work? NZME. or is she free to also put them up on her website?
  7. What other journalists in New Zealand have this business model as a sideline to their main employment?
  8. Is this part of the ?native advertising? that Jane Hastings speaks of and was read out on Tuesday night by Dita Di Boni at a discussion on funding the future of journalism?

Think about this post when we start exploring the relationship between Fran O’Sullivan, a newspaper and NZ Inc.