by Peter Williams on the Breaking Views blog

It should be “who has” — learning English would be more useful than Te Reo?

If you enter “redundancies at Stuff” in your search line there’s no shortage of stories appear.

What’s worse is they come from different times in the last twelve months.

In October the company proposed to cut staff in its regional newsrooms. Cities like Palmerston North, Nelson, and Timaru would have just 3 reporters to cover their region across the week, instead of 7. There was some plan to have a sort of head office regional reporting team to compliment that arrangement but I don’t know if that plan ever went ahead.

Then in May there were reports about 16 sub-editing jobs being made redundant [a consequence of that is shown above —Eds].

Now the latest plan is for another 8 people in the so called National Correspondents team to go as well.

So that’s 36 job losses in the last 10 months, close to ten percent of the company’s journalists.

Then there’s been the departure of the new editor of the Post in Wellington, the Head of News and a couple of high profile, albeit very woke, senior reporters and columnists who specialized in climate and feminist issues.

All of which begs the question, just what kind of financial state is the company formerly known as Fairfax and INL really in?

The Executive Chair of Stuff, Sinead Boucher, was allowed to buy the company for a dollar in 2020. She made great pronouncements then about how wonderful it was to have the company back in local ownership again.Plans for 10 percent of the company to be gifted to a trust for the benefit of staff, with a further opportunity for staff to buy more shares down the track were announced.

Nothing appears to have come of those plans.

As far as we know Sinead Boucher is still the beneficial owner of 100 percent of the company, although if it was only worth a dollar in 2020 it’s hard to see how the value has increased since.

It’s had a decent chunk of taxpayer money through the Public Interest Journalism Fund – somewhere in the vicinity of 6 million dollars but we haven’t seen any indication of the company’s financial performance since it was taken over by Sinead Boucher.

Even the country’s other large non-government owned and non-share market listed media companies Mediaworks and Discovery have their financials reported through the companies office.

That’s even if the news is bad and even if, as is the case with Mediaworks at the moment, the reporting is seriously overdue.

But we know nothing about how Stuff is doing. All we can do is hazard a guess the place is still losing truckloads.

The number and frequency of redundancies tell you that.

Peter Williams was a writer and broadcaster for half a century. Now watching from the sidelines. Peter blogs regularly on Peter’s Substack where this article was sourced.