Willie Jackson

Media commentator, radio host and Urban Maori Authority boss Willie Jackson doesn't really care if you love or loathe him. The former trade union organiser long ago retreated from the negotiating table but still pulls no punches when he speaks his mind.

Sports writer pulled no punches in work

05:00am 19 Apr 2014


This week I attended the funeral of one of the country's finest sports producers and writers, John Matheson.

I first met Matho in the media box at Wellington's "Cake Tin" in 2003 when the All Blacks lost to England.

He infuriated me at the time because he kept running down my favourite player down - Carlos Spencer.

And while I would have to admit it wasn't one of the best games Carlos played, I wasn't in the mood to listen to someone constantly running him down.

I will never forget when I confronted Matho and said "give it a break mate". And he replied "Come on dawg (his favourite term) don't take it too seriously, big guy".

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Visit a right royal waste of money

05:00am 11 Apr 2014


The visit to New Zealand by the future English king Prince William, his wife Kate and their baby George is nothing but a right royal waste of money and reinforces the call for us to become a republic.  

The only politician making mileage out of the tour is Prime Minister John Key who seems giddy around the royal entourage.  Key should realise there is really only one royal in New Zealand and that's pop star Lorde.

The millions spent on this three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be better used on writing a new constitution for us to become a republic, with the Treaty of Waitangi being accepted (as it is now) as our founding document.

That doesn't make me an anti-royalist but a pro-New Zealander.   

We cannot ever forget or totally discard our ties to the motherland.  Our histories will be forever entwined but it really is time we cut the apron strings to England and started creating our very own history.

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Harawira's deal with Dotcom raises issues

05:00am 09 Apr 2014


The criticism around Hone Harawira doing a deal with Kim Dotcom is not only unfair but raises questions of hypocrisy and racism.  

Hypocrisy because why is it that other political leaders in the country are able to utilise and manipulate MMP to their parties' advantage and Hone Harawira apparently is not allowed to?  

And racist because it looks like Harawira is again being singled out because of his strong pro Maori views.

Political commentators have seen nothing wrong over the past 18 years with parties like New Labour, the Democrats and Liberals coming together under the Alliance banner - parties that were at opposite ends of the political spectrum and philosophically opposed to each other in more ways than one.  

Yet these parties used MMP to get their members into Parliament, just like Prime Minister John Key did when he had a cup of tea with ACT leader John Banks.  ACT was dead in the water at the time.  But Key needed a coalition partner and manipulated MMP to secure this.  

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Trust needs shakeup

05:00am 28 Mar 2014

Unlike many critics I refuse to accept that the Kohanga Reo National Trust is an organisation that reeks of corruption.

But the way it has been portrayed you would think that millions of taxpayers' dollars have been stolen.

Ernst and Young presented an independent financial report which clears the trust of any misappropriation.

The company says it has not identified any gaps in the controls governing the administration of funds on behalf of kohanga reo.

It is also clear about the trust's commercial arm Te Pataka Ohanga, saying that it is in effect a procurement entity that purchases for all kohanga reo.

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Debate makes MP damaged goods

05:00am 21 Mar 2014

The polls might be stacked against Labour at this stage but the way they have pursued the Judith Collins story over the milk company debate shows they are not out of the race by a long way.

Ironically what has come to light is Ms Collins, one of the star performers of the National Government, might now be deemed damaged goods and John Key needs to decide whether his loyal lieutenant is now a liability.

And the longer this story continues to linger, the worse it gets for Ms Collins and Mr Key.

Even the news that trade with China will increase from $20 billion to $30b over the next few years has been overshadowed by that dinner with the Oravinda hierarchy and an unknown Chinese official.

Most people would have thought the story had done its dash after Ms Collins was forced to apologise and correct her story over the now infamous dinner with Oravinda bosses in Beijing on a taxpayer funded trip.

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