The Diary

Rachel Glucina looks at the top events and newsmakers of the day.

The Diary: Paul Henry takes his parting shots

Paul Henry says he's happy moving to Sydney. Photo / File
Paul Henry says he's happy moving to Sydney. Photo / File

A new column by Rachel Glucina on live events and newsmakers

He's the proud owner of a two-bedroom, two-bathroom historic house in Sydney's Balmain, but for petrol-head Paul Henry, the new property comes at a cost.

"I don't have a car space and I'm not buying a car. It's a 30-minute walk to work and there's lots to see on the way."

This from a man whose Albany garage contains a Corvette, a Mustang, a Volkswagen coupe and a ute. How will radio producer girlfriend Linzi Dryburgh get around?

"Linzi's not moving to Sydney for some time," Henry said. "She has a house, a career and a life in Auckland."

His daughters Lucy, Sophie and Bella will visit frequently. "It will be fantastic for the girls. They'll love it." His beloved mum Olive, however, "doesn't have a passport".

Henry returned to Auckland this week to complete his contractual commitments to RadioLive and the drive show he's fronted for the past six months. "I'll still be on TV3 and a correspondent with RadioLive. We'll still be there for each other."

He thinks TV3 star Duncan Garner should replace him on the radio. "He would be my pick. Duncan would be great, but he can't do radio and stay 3 News' political editor."

Henry's focus is the new Channel Ten breakfast show starting in 10 days. He'll be joined by Andrew Rochford, Kathryn Robinson and weathergirl Magdalena Roze. "It will be much more free-flowing and less scripted than the other breakfast shows. We'll only use the autocue 10 per cent of the time."

So far, "work" has involved travelling around Australia to meet the network's reporters "and to get a feel for Oz". Highlights include drinking wine in the Barossa Valley and horse-mustering cattle on a rugged Mt Isa station.

It's a bittersweet start to a new career. "I'm sad to be leaving radio because I always loved it. I'll miss getting a bee in my bonnet," he chortled before launching into a tirade about Auckland rate rises.

"That socialist Mayor Len Brown will be responsible for no f***er being able to live in Auckland ... who could afford to pay the rates?"

Will he miss the controversy? "I'm not interested in being liked by everyone. A lot of people in our industry need to be liked. I know broadcasters [at this station] who get upset when I become news and they don't. They're desperately trying to be controversial."

He has regrets. "I didn't get my TV3 talk show up and running," he said. With a million-dollar-plus salary and a large Australian audience to woo, it's no surprise Henry skipped out.

"I didn't leave for the money, but the money is a component. It costs to move countries and I haven't sold anything. Money has to be part of the consideration because I don't have a lot of working years," he said.

Knight on the night

Last night's Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards was a swish affair at the Langham Hotel. Sir Richard Taylor (pictured), of Weta Workshop fame, won the top gong and the moniker New Zealander of the Year.

Anchors Mike McRoberts and Hilary Barry, of 3 News, played master of ceremonies. The news readers are also on loan to TV3's trade marketing division for Q&A sessions with advertising agencies, helping to drum up sales business. No word on whether they're available for birthday parties, too.

Foreign online donations help Kiwi film get to Berlin festival

On Monday, Pietra Brettkelly's feature documentary, Maori Boy Genius, premiered to a sold-out audience at the Berlin Film Festival - where Taika Waititi launched Boy in 2010. It's a coming-of-age film about Napier teenager Ngaa Rauuira Pumanawawhiti who, at 16, studied law and politics at Yale University during a summer semester.

"The film's been really well received in Berlin," Brettkelly (pictured) told The Diary. "There were lots of people crying at the premiere. One German man said 'how amazing to be so emotional about your ancestry. We don't have that here'."

Last month, the documentary maker went to American creative funding website IndieGoGo to raise cash to get the film to Berlin. "It's been very hard financially," she said.

An online campaign was quickly established to raise US$10,000 ($12,088), of which nearly US$6000 was achieved.

But others around the world, hearing about her plight on social networking sites, made donations and the fund tripled to US$18,000.

Brettkelly was overwhelmed with the support. "People said we admire you, we think it's a great project and we want to back you."

For Pumanawawhiti, now 17, it's been an emotional journey, too. He leaves Europe on Sunday to take up law and politics at Victoria University. He has been likened to a young Barack Obama. His dreams are big and he acknowledges the expectations of his community are heavy, yet liberating.

David Shearer shuns Labour Luvvie

David Shearer needs media help and he's getting it - but not from former Labour love Brian Edwards.

Edwards was paid to media-train Helen Clark and her ministers, and even got the SOS call from Phil Goff during the election after a couple of years in the wilderness.

However, he's been left out in the cold by the dynamic new Labour leader and his chief of staff, Stuart Nash. Sources tell me Sean Plunket was considered for media advice, but Nash told The Diary there will be "no external media training".

- NZ Herald

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