Guyon Espiner and Susie Ferguson breathed fresh air into the new Morning Report today.

They added some long lost assertiveness to New Zealand's only public radio breakfast show.

The format for the Radio New Zealand show has only been tweaked.

But the return of an assertive interview style is a blessed relief and may bring back lapsed every-day listeners like myself .


With the lead story there are signs of a fundamental rethink of news values at the state broadcaster with the lead story.

The story Peter Jackson's jet being chartered for the MH370 search - which was sort of interesting.

But Morning Report seemed more enthusiastic than myself that it was the biggest story of the day.

In the two pillars of news stories - important and interesting - to me it was fifth story interesting.

I really did not care about the specs for the plane or its registration number.

In my opinion these kinds of stories will have to be handled more carefully to ensure RNZ does not alienate its loyal but suspicious established audience.

It was a self generated story based on a tip given to an RNZ reporter and so unlike RNZ you can see why they used it so strongly.

Yet as the story dragged on - and on - it was apparent Morning Report was itself lost at sea with a story it deemed the most important in what was a relatively flat news day.

Radio New Zealand is still finding its way in this new era.

Susie Ferguson is no stranger to listeners and had a crisp delivery.

For lapsed regular listeners like me the main interest was in the new presenter Guyon Espiner.

Espiner provided some long lost assertiveness in the second item and an interview with Building Minister Maurice Williamson.

Williamson does not mind some rough and tumble and it sounded like he was prepared for a grilling about the failure of a government scheme for public servants.

Had Robinson or Mercep done the interview I am not sure I would listen so long to an item on leaky buildings.

The Peter Jackson lead was the most significant aspect of the new show and perhaps unsurprising that RNZ is out of practice with this sort of story.

But we can expect more stories on RNZ that are interesting as well as important.