KAPAI'S CORNER: Column

By Tommy Kapai

Move over WikiLeaks, it's time for TakeALeak
The name WikiLeaks has risen like a Betty Crocker cake from almost obscurity to front-page headlines across the globe.
For those who haven't followed the feeding frenzy directed at Julian Assange, the creator of WikiLeaks, and what it is about, then in his words it is an "uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking" - and so far he has leaked some serious stuff to the world.
The global jury of journalists are now deciding is he right or wrong to do so.
For any good journalist worth his or her salt, they have to be controversial by nature and it is the role of good journalists to take on the abuse of power.
But where to draw the line is the debate raging at the moment, and most of it is coming from the countries and companies who have been caught with their WikiLeaks pants down.
We only have to look at the abuse of power that allowed the Soccer World Cup to be bought lock stock and smoking mirrors by the ogliarchs of Russia - and the sheiks who have squillions, to understand the type of corruption leaked by Wiki.
Hopefully, the truth of this outrageous own goal of greed and corruption will soon be a WikiLeaks scoop.
Corruption is authority plus monopoly - minus transparency, and for my two bobs worth of big bucks buying off World Cups, we need to know how it happened.
Others may argue that it is free speech gone too far but equally I ask: "Which country is suffering from too much freedom of speech? Is there one?"
What many don't know is we have a Kiwi version of WikiLeaks here in Aotearoa called TikiLeaks and, even more incredulously, it has been revealed to me we have our own uncensorable system here in Tauranga called TakeALeak.


When I logged on last night, I was shocked at what I found floating around in cyberspace above Tauranga Moana.
Where do they get this information from?
Headline after uncensored headline like "Gondola planned for prominent Mount maunga".
"Chairman has his luxury car refloated after amorous rendezvous on Sulphur Point slipway."
"How much did TECT get wiped out on with funding for failed surf reef?"
"Local author takes his Oscar winning talents to Horiwood."
"Why did Federated Farmers demand immediate ban on imported artificial bee pollen and was it a cause of recent PSA vine infection?"
"Smokers cost their employers 200 hours a year standing outside looking stupid."
"Local French Maori Rugby Club to host 5 star elite tour groups for world cup."
It's riveting reading that has never made the headlines until TakeAleak has leaked it to Tauranga.
On and on it goes with thousands of previously unpublished words and questions like
"Who owns the cyberspace above us" asks treaty negotiator?
"Should Blakely Pacific be challenged in the Environment Court for trying to carve up Matakana Island?", asks councillor set to sell his own 200 acres.
WBOPDHB fails to muzzle local Maoris' media campaign on closing down morgue.
HSNO group about to be formed to monitor all agri chemicals and hazardous substances.
More leaks than a Papamoa School, posted one amazed reader, taking a look at TakeAleak.
So who owns the news and what right do we all have to read it?
Do we gag it for our own good?
In the UK right now, there are 300 secret gag orders.
Those are gag orders that not only prevent the press from reporting corruption and abuse, they prevent the press from - reporting - the press has been gagged.
For me, the common currency on all of this corruption and power is good old greed and greed is the name for excessive feeling of need. People who pursue a greedy life try to inflate their egos and value of their lives by measuring it with financial quantities.
I saw it first hand for 10 years working for the rich 'n' famous - so-called successful people and their fingerprints are all over the reason half the world goes hungry yet there is enough kai to feed us all.
Greed carries a price for the free press, except what that means for the big boys I used to work for is that litigious billionaires and big companies can buy the media's silence - in most cases.
That was until WikiLeaks and TakeAleak changed the landscape of leaking forever.
broblack@xtra.co.nz

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 24 Jul 2014 08:21:57 Processing Time: 1039ms