One of New Zealand's most controversial and outspoken columnists has joined the Bay of Plenty Times stable.
Garth George, who has been writing newspaper columns for more than 15 years, will write for the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend, starting this Saturday.
George has been a newspaper journalist for more than 50 years and lives in semi-retirement in the Bay of Plenty, to which he and his wife escaped from Auckland in 2007, as soon as he retired from full-time employment.
He is a recovered alcoholic and has abstained from alcohol for 36 of his 71 years and unashamedly reveals his Christian faith when the opportunity arises.
In last year's New Year honours list, he was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to journalism, after being nominated by an elderly Tauranga resident who had been reading his weekly columns in the New Zealand Herald since 1996.
He is no longer writing for the Herald.
His columns range from politics, the state of society, the economy, moral and ethical issues, education, health, welfare, the environment, religion, food and even the weather.
This Saturday, he argues that child abuse, which is at epidemic proportions in New Zealand and all too often fatal to defenceless infants, is here to stay.
Garth George's email address will appear at the end of each column and he welcomes reader comments which, he says, are an encouragement to him, be they positive or negative.
"They help me to keep going."
Radio host Brian Kelly's column, which has been appearing in the Saturday paper, will now appear in Friday's edition, starting tomorrow.