Jim Tucker’s in-depth articles

Pohokura 2

Fuel Sell

What kind of future does Taranaki face now one of its two key economic pillars has had the wrecking ball swung at it? READ MORE: Fuel Sell

Water, water – but not everywhere

New Plymouth people are among the biggest water wasters in the world, according to their local council. Are we really that bad? No…but that’s unlikely to stop the council introducing compulsory water meters. READ MORE – Water, water …not everywhere


The story of New Plymouth’s most accomplished mayor. And this question – will he stand again? Lean’s Times


McLeod & R Park HR

New Plymouth ‘s rugby arena, Yarrow Stadium, is in trouble – both grandstand complexes have been closed as earthquake risks. The ground can still be used, with crowds sitting at each end. What is the future for the stadium? And how did it get there in the first place? Read the full story HERE> The battle for Yarrow Stadium



New Plymouth nearly lost one of its prime reserves, the Fitzroy Golf Course, this year. After this was written, the idea’s main champion, Mayor Neil Holdom, backed off the plan. He had little choice after hundreds of people made submissions to the council deploring his intention. Read how it happened: The Fitzroy golf course story


Handley at Colson RdWill New Plymouth ratepayers be shelling out millions and millions for waste disposal over the next couple of decades? New Plymouth District councillor Richard Handley has other plans:  Zero waste


Taranaki surf breakThere may be dangerous bacteria and viruses floating around in Taranaki’s renowned surf breaks – but how would we know? Surfers want Taranaki Regional Council to start testing the surf for bugs:  Water bugs


Dementia centre planPlans for a super-modern dementia care centre – developed with the help of the world’s leading researchers – will be built soon at an idyllic Taranaki setting:   Maida Vale’s bold plan

Banner pic‘Swimmability’ is the new political buzzword being used about the state of our rivers and beaches. But what about our surf breaks, of which there are about 80 in Taranaki that are used year-round? How safe are our surfers? Find out here:  Swim-inability Article

We’re also running a survey on surf break health risks. Please fill it in by clicking Taranaki Surf Break Health Safety

The Fourth EngineA bunch of leading Taranaki innovators is offering free advice to people with inventions, on how their creation might be turned into commercial success. Read about the ‘fourth engine’ of the region’s economy: The Innovators

George Mason bushwalkThe story of Taranaki’s most generous environmental benefactor, Dr George Mason. He’s giving millions to ensure research continues into what makes the planet tick: Dr George Mason

Witt lead picTaranaki’s polytechnic needs to reinvent itself to help stem the loss of the province’s young people. Read how Witt plans to do that: Sharpening our Witt

Lead CathedralHow they’re going to save New Zealand’s oldest stone church – Taranaki Cathedral in New Plymouth: Saving our soul

Hospice Herosim lr

It’s a quarter century since New Plymouth got its first hospice, set up in a disused Taranaki Base Hospital ward. Today it’s well-appointed stand-alone facility – but getting there meant political infighting that lasted a couple of decades. Read the history here: Hospice Heroes

Roebuck farm (1) LR

The Sheep Whisperer

Jodi Roebuck is a Taranaki sheep farmer whose sheep run after him, and a pasture and seed man with such revolutionary ideas he’s in demand around the world as a speaker and trainer. See what makes him so interesting: Sheep Whisperer

Seabed mining

Why a mining company wants to dig a big hole in the South Taranaki seabed using a method never tried on this scale before – and why a lot of people want to stop them: Seabed mining

Gavin Faull

A businessman with a world-wide business tells why he retains his ties to the small North Taranaki settlement of Tikorangi: Gavin Faull story

Super rugby preview

How two Taranaki high schools help shape the future of New Zealand rugby: Nursery Tales


Neil Holdom was as surprised as anyone when he was elected mayor of New Plymouth in the October local body elections. In this story, he talks about what happened next – and what he has planned for the district: The Accidental Mayor


How Taranaki is coming back from its worst recession in a generation


judd-and-feedback-lrJUDD-GING ANDREW

My interview with out-going New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd: andrew-judd-interview-full-text

 Council candidates 3NEXiT

What happens next with our local body politics

Why New Plymouth is facing the biggest disruption to its council in more than a generation: NEXIT

Jam 3 June 3 2016Our new front door

Originally budgeted to cost $16 million, the new northern entrance to New Plymouth has come in around $24 million, and there’s more work to be done before we get a smooth ride: New front door

Coach Colin

Coops 1The man who trains rugby coaches as well as players

Colin Cooper is less well known is his extraordinary success as a mentor to up-and-coming coaches: Coach Colin

Len Lye shy

Curator rejects a call to show more of his kinetic sculptures

Len Lye building

The managers of New Plymouth iconic Len Lye Centre say they can’t display more than four Len Lye kinetic sculptures at any one time. Here’s why: Len Lye sculpture scarcity  And here you can read why I think the managers are wrong: Why they’ve got Len wrong

Waiongana footbridge

The day the you-know-what hit the fan

An investigation into whether millions spent on fixing Waitara’s sewage problems has done the job. Click here: Waitara’s sewage dramas

TailsJet-star wars

How a budget airline is changing the way we fly

Australian cheapie airline Jetstar first landed in New Plymouth on February 1 this year. JIM TUCKER looks at what it’s done to our travel. ROB TUCKER took the photos: Jetstar Wars

Mooloo reviewedFerdi-Mooloo

With Super Rugby about to kick off, Jim Tucker re-examines the deal that put Ferdinand and Mooloo in the same paddock: Mooloo reviewed

Susan Rogers-AllanWhatever happened to…Susan Rogers-Allan

Taranaki is renowned for shipping out natural gas and dairy products, but it exports another product, as well – people. Live magazine is tracking some of them down, and in this article we find out: Susan Rogers-Allan

Silver – the new goldGwen Green

A new economy is developing in Taranaki, a phenomenon that threatens to engulf everything from real estate to health services.

JIM TUCKER looks at how we will cope:  Silver the new gold Nov 2015

Pressing On:

Re-invention of the daily news

DN Blg 2 LR

An era lasting 163 years ended when the Taranaki Daily News printing press shut down for the last time on May 15, 2015. JIM TUCKER examines big changes at our local rag: Pressing On

Collins LRForward Momentum

How the Taranaki rugby team intends to make more history. After winning the national provincial rugby competition last year, the Taranaki Rugby Football Union looks at how to repeat that first-time success. JIM TUCKER rates their chances. Live magazine, August-September edition, 2015

READ the original HERE> and the Live magazine version HERE>

LL Centre 1 lo resLen and I

The remarkable story of how New Plymouth businessman and engineer John Matthews got hold of the Len Lye kinetic art collection for his home town,  which has just completed its new $11.5 million Len Lye Centre (pictured).

Click HERE> to read the article that appeared in Live magazine’s June-July edition, 2015, and HERE>  to see the version which appeared in the August, 2015, edition of North & South magazine.

 Avoiding the R.I.PFitzroy Jan 9 2014 2pm 5 LO-RES

With school pools closing down and fewer kids being taught to swim, Taranaki’s prime surf beaches have become even more hazardous. JIM TUCKER and CHRISTINE WALSH look at what’s happening to keep our children safe.

Click HERE> to read the article, which appeared in the February-March, 2015, edition of Taranaki’s Live magazine.

Mt Messenger Tunnel 1 (comp)For Trucks’ Sake

In the heat of the 2014 election campaign, Prime Minister John Key promised something the people of Taranaki have yearned after for 175 years – a better road north. Or did he? JIM TUCKER looks into what opposition politicians dubbed a classic case of “pork barrel” politics.

Click HERE> to read the article.

Published in the December-January, 2015, edition of Taranaki’s Live Magazine: HERE>

Barbara McKerrow #5Waitara land that cost many lives makes yet more misery

Waitara’s Pekapeka Block may rate as the single most controversial piece of ground in the country. More than 150 years after it touched off the European-Maori land wars, JIM TUCKER looks at the plight of people still despairing over its disputed ownership. Photos by Rob Tucker.

Click HERE>  to read the article.

NZ Herald.co.nz – January, 2014

briggs 1Ronnie’s dad and the wall of death

For a generation, they led the world of speedway. Another generation later, Barry Briggs, Ronnie Moore and Ivan Mauger met up in New Plymouth for a reunion. JIM and ROB TUCKER talk to Briggs about Kiwis success, a dozen mates in wheelchairs, and that haunting smell of the speedway track.

Click HERE> to read the article.

Taranaki Daily News, October, 2013


2 Responses to Jim Tucker’s in-depth articles

  1. Peter Watt says:

    Hi Jim. Fantastic, comprehensive overview of The Daily News and the state of journalism, thanks. Now I will meander through the rest of your site. I was hoping to see your own opinion on what’s going on. I’m suspicious of comments from so many vested interests. Your views would have been more than appropriate if you’d interviewed your typewriter:) Cheers and all the best, Peter Watt

    • Jim Tucker says:

      Hi Pete. Great to hear from you. So, my own view. Hmmm.
      I think there’s always a risk when you appoint someone editor who has comparatively limited experience, but then you could ask: compared to what? In the past, when newspapers’ fortunes moved at a more sedate pace, the only time risks were taken with editor appointments was when a paper was in trouble (hence my own appointment as editor of the Auckland Star when I was about the same age as Ryan Evans).
      The interesting thing was, because the asset had been more or less written off by the owner, NZ News Limited, I could experiment with all kinds of innovations, many of them risky. We had a ball for two years. The problem was, once the paper stabilised (temporarily), the cone of conservatism re-descended and I was required to pull my head in.
      The difference for Ryan is that all newspapers are now at risk, and the amount of global planning going in to save them quite severely proscribes what he can do. He also faces a severely reduced staff – fewer reporters and no subs.
      I was told the whole strategy revolves around getting things up online first, but frankly that’s not going to be enough. The Daily News section of Stuff might well carry news sooner and it can be updated easily, but as an overall diet it pales in comparison with the print version. It’s a tricky balance between giving the discourse away free while retaining enough content to justify people’s spend on the physical paper.
      If this plays out logically, the paper will disappear as a daily and either become a community paper a few days a week or vanish totally and just appear online, except for the profitable Saturday edition.
      Whatever happens, however, there is always going to be a need for good journalism, both for news and for the big read stuff that I’m indulging in for Live magazine. Just where it will appear remains anyone’s guess.

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