While attending a wedding in London, John Key was interviewed for the BBC’s Hardtalk program by reporter Stephen Sackur.
About eleven minutes into the first segment, then continuing into the second segment, Sackur challenges Key on the “clean, green” image of New Zealand, largely relying on criticisms lodged by Massey University ecologist Mike Joy.
I find two things noteworthy about this interview.
First, the fragility of NZ’s ‘clean, green’ image. If this ‘brand’ is squandered, it will be a long, expensive fall for NZ exporters, especially those marketing agricultural products. The National Government seems to be either careless or clueless about this risk, judging from a wide range of environmental mis-steps under the Key regime, most recently its fresh water non-strategy.
Second, the challenging style of the interviewer, Stephen Sackur. He was extremely well-prepared, relentless in his prodding, and fearless in pushing back against Key’s bromides. New Zealand journalism could use a few dozen Stephen Sackur’s!
John Key might shine in a spoof with an Aussie comedian (I thought he was great, although the video did nothing to sell Napier), but he’s not yet a match for a big league journalist.