Brendon Burns – all the news that’s fit to print

You’d think a bloody journalist could keep his blog up to date. Or maybe Brendon Burns can’t find much news that’s fit to print on his side of the House.

Burns became a Labour member of Parliament last year after a career including 12 years in the Parliamentary Press Gallery (much of it for The Press) and editorship of The Marlborough Express for seven years.

With credentials like that, it should be reasonably easy to maintain a blog.

But obviously not if you (a) want it to be readable while (b) using it to push the party line.

The most recent item on Burns’ blog was posted back in February, when he was railing against the establishment of Powershop in Christchurch.

Actually, he did nothing more than post one of his own media statements. Hence the posting is peppered with attributions to himself – “Brendan Burns said “

A new entrant in the Christchurch electricity market is a front for double-digit price increaser Meridian, says Labour’s Christchurch Central MP Brendon Burns.

“Powershop is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Meridian, has a board of Meridian executives, is run by a former senior executive from Meridian, offers Meridian products and even has photos on its website showing Meridian’s Wellington waterfront offices,” Brendon Burns said today.

“Competition in electricity pricing would be very welcome, but this appears to be an attempt by Meridian to off-set some of the market share it has lost since imposing a cumulative 13 percent rise on its Christchurch customers within six months.

“Instead of matching the big-time advertisements that its SOE rival, Mighty River Power, is running in Christchurch via its own subsidiary Mercury, Meridian would be better off using the money to curb its price hikes,” Brendon Burns said.

And so on.

But has he had nothing to say since then?

Finding out isn’t simple, on the user-unfriendly Labour Party web-site.

Look up Brendon Burns on the list of MPs, and you will find nothing but a photo of him and a list of his responsibilities (MP for Christchurch Central, Spokesperson for Broadcasting, Associate Spokesperson for Environment and Water Quality).

So where are his speeches and media releases and so on in one handy spot?


But a search through an item headed “Labour News” led to Burns’ most recent media statement, issued on 16 March.

In this he condemned Television New Zealand’s shedding of 90 jobs, a move he contended was “part driven by callous government demands for a dividend from TVNZ.”

He has yet to post this stuff on his blog.

As a seasoned editor, he no doubt is painfully aware it’s a crock of unpalatable pap.

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