As the temperatures drop and the snow falls, the mainstream media ignores the plight of folk in the quake damaged eastern suburbs of Christchurch.

There's been a whole heap of news coverage of the wintry storm that has descended on New Zealand this week.

It led the six o'clock news bulletins of both TVNZ and TV3 last night. There were stories about traffic foul-ups, farmers putting out feed for the animals on snow covered fields - the usual stories that the mainstream media dishes up on occasions like this.

They like to present this kind of stuff as the whole nation mucking in to fight a common enemy - the weather.

But the television cameras have stayed away from the eastern suburbs of Christchurch because that narrative doesn't fit where I live. Where are the stories about people freezing in damaged homes and garages? Why are the mainstream media not demanding to know why people are still living like this, three years after the quakes? Why are they not asking  why people in the eastern suburbs are being forced to endure a third winter living in shocking conditions?

Why are Gerry Brownlee and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) being allowed to get away with it?

The dismal coverage of the plight of folk in the eastern suburbs was there for all to see on TV3's six o'clock news show.

TV3 sent  weather presenter  (and journalist) Ingrid Hipkiss to present its coverage of the snow storm from picturesque Hanmer Springs, eighty miles north-east of Christchurch.  It was all very charming, with people building a snowman behind Hipkiss while she spoke to camera.  But it was a million miles away  from what many people are enduring in suburbs like Aranui and New Brighton.

Why wasn't Hipkiss  out in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch showing the rest  of the country the appalling conditions that many  people are living in? Why did TV3 send Hipkiss to Hanmer - a small town  that was untouched by the quakes, where people happily build snowmen?


  1. Because they are the "Invisibles" Simon. The poor are never shown in a good light. Only when there is a Drug Fight or some other disorder do we see anything about the people living in low income areas.


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