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The New Zealand Herald

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The New Zealand Herald
Front page, 5 April 2024
TypeDaily newspaper
FormatCompact (weekdays and Sundays)
Broadsheet (Saturdays)
Editor-in-chiefMurray Kirkness[1]
EditorMurray Kirkness (weekday)[2]
Founded1863; 161 years ago (1863)
(by William Chisholm Wilson)
HeadquartersAuckland, New Zealand
Circulation100,073 (30 September 2019)[3]

The New Zealand Herald is a daily newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand, owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment, and considered a newspaper of record for New Zealand.[4]

It has the largest newspaper circulation in New Zealand, peaking at over 200,000 copies in 2006, although circulation of the daily Herald had declined to 100,073 copies on average by September 2019.[3]

The Herald's publications include a daily paper; the Weekend Herald, a weekly Saturday paper; and the Herald on Sunday, which has 365,000 readers nationwide.[5] The Herald on Sunday is the most widely read Sunday paper in New Zealand.[5]

The paper's website, nzherald.co.nz, is viewed 2.2 million times a week[5] and was named Voyager Media Awards' News Website of the Year in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.[6] In 2023, the Weekend Herald was awarded Weekly Newspaper of the Year and the publication's mobile application was the News App of the Year.[6]

Its main circulation area is the Auckland region. It is also delivered to much of the North Island, including Northland, Waikato, King Country, Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty, Manawatū, and Wellington.[7][8]


New Zealand Herald and Daily Southern Cross excerpt regarding the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), 14 January 1878

The New Zealand Herald was founded by William Chisholm Wilson, and first published on 13 November 1863. Wilson had been a partner with John Williamson in the New Zealander, but left to start a rival daily newspaper as he saw a business opportunity with Auckland's rapidly growing population.[9] He had also split with Williamson because Wilson supported the war against the Māori (which the Herald termed "the native rebellion") while Williamson opposed it.[10] The Herald also promoted a more constructive relationship between the North and South Islands.[10]

After the New Zealander closed in 1866, The Daily Southern Cross provided competition, particularly after Julius Vogel took a majority shareholding in 1868. First published as The Southern Cross (without daily in its title) in 1843 by William Brown, it became a daily publication in 1862, with its name modified to The Daily Southern Cross. Vogel sold out of the paper in 1873 and Alfred Horton bought it in 1876.[9]

In 1876 the Wilson family and Horton joined in partnership and The New Zealand Herald absorbed The Daily Southern Cross.[9][11]

In 1879 the United Press Association was formed so that the main daily papers could share news stories. The organisation became the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) in 1942.[12] In 1892, the New Zealand Herald, Otago Daily Times, and Press agreed to share the costs of a London correspondent and advertising salesman.[12] The NZPA closed in 2011.[13]

The Wilson and Horton families were both represented in the company, known as Wilson & Horton, until 1996 when Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media Group of Dublin purchased the Horton family's interest in the company. At some point, the company was purchased by APN NZ, a New Zealand subsidiary of APN News & Media.[citation needed] In April 2007, APN NZ announced it was outsourcing the bulk of the Herald's copy editing to an Australian-owned company, Pagemasters. The Herald is now owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment, formed in 2014. That company was owned by Sydney-based APN News & Media and the Radio Network, formerly owned by the Australian Radio Network.

In November 2012, two months after the launch of its new compact format, APN News and Media announced it would be restructuring its workforce, cutting eight senior roles from across the Herald's range of titles.[14]

Notable contributors[edit]

  • Dita de Boni was a columnist for the newspaper, writing her first columns for the NZ Herald in 1995. From 2012 to 2015 she wrote a business and politics column until – after a series of articles increasingly critical of the Key government – the Herald discontinued her column for financial reasons.[15]
  • Gordon Minhinnick was a staff cartoonist from the 1930s until his retirement in the 1980s.
  • Malcolm Evans was dismissed from his position as staff cartoonist in 2003 after the newspaper received complaints about his cartoons on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.[16]
  • Laurence Clark was the daily political cartoonist from 1987 to 1996 and continued to publish cartoons weekly in the Herald until 2000.[17]
  • William Berry, editor of the New Zealand Herald in 1875 and the Daily Southern Cross in 1877
  • William Lane Leader writer from 1900 then appointed editor in 1913.


On 10 September 2012, the Herald moved to a compact format for weekday editions, after 150 years publishing in broadsheet format. The broadsheet format was retained for the Weekend Herald.[18]

Political stance and editorial opinion[edit]

The Herald is traditionally a centre-right newspaper and was given the nickname "Granny Herald" into the 1990s.[10]

The Herald's stance on the Middle East is supportive of Israel, as seen most clearly in its 2003 censorship and dismissal of cartoonist Malcolm Evans following his submission of cartoons critical of Israel.[19]

In 2007, an editorial strongly disapproved of some legislation introduced by the Labour-led government, the Electoral Finance Act, to the point of overtly campaigning against the legislation.[20]

Journalistic mishaps[edit]

Mistaken identity incident[edit]

In July 2014, the Herald published a front-page story about the death of Guy Boyland, a New Zealand-born soldier killed in Gaza. The paper pulled a photograph of the television star Ryan Dunn, killed in 2011, from Boyland's Facebook page, erroneously claiming it was of Boyland. When the Herald's mistake was revealed, the paper issued apologies to Boyland's family, his friends, and the paper's readers.[21] In a 2016 study by Philippa K. Smith and Helen Sissons, the authors said the mistake was caused by "a series of lapses in the newsroom". They concluded that the incident caused damage to the Herald's reputation, which it tried to repair by apologising. The Herald promised to reform its newsroom processes.[22]

Ethics incident[edit]

In July 2015, the New Zealand Press Council ruled that Herald columnist Rachel Glucina had failed to properly represent herself as a journalist when seeking comment from Amanda Bailey on a complaint she had made about Prime Minister John Key repeatedly pulling her hair when he was a customer at the cafe in which she worked. The Herald published Bailey's name, photo, and comments after she had retracted permission for Glucina to do so. The council said there was an "element of subterfuge" in Glucina's actions and that there was not enough public interest to justify her behaviour. In its ruling the council said that "The NZ Herald has fallen sadly short of those standards in this case." The Herald's editor denied the accusations of subterfuge. Glucina subsequently resigned from the newspaper.[23]

COVID-19 disinformation[edit]

In 2020, the New Zealand Herald ran inserts provided by the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, pushing Chinese state disinformation about COVID-19.[24] The newspaper subsequently deleted the story from its website.[24]


The Weekend Herald[edit]

In 1998 the Weekend Herald was set up as a separate title and the newspaper's website was launched.[25]

Herald on Sunday[edit]

A compact-sized Sunday edition, the Herald on Sunday, was first published on 3 October 2004 under the editorship of Suzanne Chetwin and then, for five years, by Shayne Currie. It won Newspaper of the Year for the calendar years 2007 and 2009 and is New Zealand's most-read Sunday newspaper. In 2010, the Herald on Sunday started a campaign to reduce the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in New Zealand, called the "Two Drinks Max" campaign. The paper set up a campaign Facebook page, a Twitter account, and encouraged readers to sign up to the campaign on its own website.[26] It is currently edited by Alanah Eriksen.[27]

Herald Online website[edit]

The newspaper's online news service, originally called Herald Online, was established in 1998. It was redesigned in late 2006, and again in 2012. The site was named best news website at the 2007 and 2008 Qantas Media Awards, won the "best re-designed website" category at the 2007 New Zealand NetGuide Awards, and was one of seven newspaper sites named an Official Honouree in the 2007 Webby Awards.[28] A paywall was added for "premium content" starting on 29 April 2019.[29]


  • Managing editor: Murray Kirkness[30]
  • Weekends editor: Stuart Dye[31]

Regular columnists[edit]


Coat of arms of The New Zealand Herald
The arms of the newspaper, The New Zealand Herald, consist of:[32]
On a wreath of the colours two Trumpets in saltire Or bound together by a Maori Taniko in the shape of the letter H proper.
Per chevron Azure and Gules in chief on a Pale Or between a representation of the Constellation of the Southern Cross and a Lymphad sails furled oars in action Argent a Sword point upwards Gules in base a Caduceus Or.


  1. ^ "NZME managing editor Shayne Currie moves into new role". The New Zealand Herald. 14 March 2023.
  2. ^ "Murray Kirkness appointed new editor of New Zealand Herald". The New Zealand Herald. 18 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b Te, Saing (2021). Media Ownership in New Zealand from 2011 to 2020 (PDF) (Report). Commissioned by the Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD) Research Centre. Auckland University of Technology, School of Communication Studies. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2023. Retrieved 23 July 2022.
  4. ^
    • "Behind the Lines: The New Zealand Herald". Museum of Australian Democracy. Government of Australia. 2022.
    • Wild, Jane (9 August 2017), "NZ Herald glass plate negatives and the man in a hat with a cat", Heritage et AL, Auckland Libraries, Unique collections and resources from Auckland Libraries research centres and heritage collections, This builds on our partnership with the New Zealand Herald getting the newspaper of record microfilmed and digitised ...
    • Sommer, Udi; Rappel-Kroyzer, Or (2 October 2022). "Online coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Anglo-American democracies: Internet news coverage and pandemic politics in the USA, Canada, and New Zealand". Journal of Information Technology & Politics. 19 (4): 393–410. doi:10.1080/19331681.2021.1997869. S2CID 244545175. We comprehensively study the coverage of the outbreak on the internet website of a newspaper of record in each [country]. ... the websites of the New York Times, New Zealand Herald, and the Globe and Mail ...
  5. ^ a b c "NZ Herald audience numbers continue to climb". NZ Herald. 4 January 2024. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  6. ^ a b "'First-rate': NZ Herald wins Website and News App of the Year at Voyager Media Awards". NZ Herald. 4 January 2024. Retrieved 4 January 2024.
  7. ^ "More eyes on the Herald as readership rises to 844,000 a day". The New Zealand Herald. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  8. ^ "NAB – New Zealand Herald". Newspaper Advertising Bureau. 2012. Archived from the original on 8 May 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  9. ^ a b c "Background: Daily Southern Cross". Papers Past. National Library of New Zealand – Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  10. ^ a b c "Background: The New Zealander". Papers Past. National Library of New Zealand – Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  11. ^ Horton, Michael (1 September 2010). "Horton, Alfred George". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  12. ^ a b Mark Derby. "Newspapers – Growth and expansion, 1860–1900", Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 13 August 2014
  13. ^ Stone, Andrew (31 August 2011). "Farewell NZPA, hello three new news services". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 31 March 2023. Retrieved 27 October 2023.
  14. ^ "Eight jobs to go in Herald restructure". 3 News NZ. 9 September 2012. Archived from the original on 31 July 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  15. ^ Brown, Russell (27 August 2015). "Everybody has one". Public Address. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Cartoonist sacked after being accused of anti-Semitism". The Sydney Morning Herald. New Zealand Press Association – NZPA. 15 August 2003.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "New look Herald smaller and bigger". The New Zealand Herald. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  19. ^ "Furore over sacking of Kiwi cartoonist". Scoop NZ. 1 September 2003. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  20. ^ "Editorial: Democracy under attack". The New Zealand Herald. 12 November 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  21. ^ Greenslade, Roy (29 July 2014). "NZ Herald sorry for publishing photo of Jackass star instead of dead soldier". The Guardian.
  22. ^ Smith, Philippa K; Sissons, Helen (15 December 2016). "Social media and a case of mistaken identity: A newspaper's response to journalistic error". Journalism. 20 (3): 467–482. doi:10.1177/1464884916683551. S2CID 151488768.
  23. ^ "New Zealand Herald used 'subterfuge' to interview woman who had hair pulled by John Key". The Guardian. Australian Associated Press. 3 July 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  24. ^ a b Kinetz, Erika (15 February 2021). "Anatomy of a conspiracy: With COVID, China took leading role". AP News. Associated Press. Retrieved 12 March 2021. On Feb. 22, People's Daily ran a report highlighting speculation that the U.S. military brought the virus to China, pushing the story globally through inserts in newspapers such as the Helsinki Times in Finland and the New Zealand Herald.
    The New Zealand Herald said it has an 'ad hoc commercial relationship with People's Daily', labels their content as sponsored and reviews it before publication. 'Upon further review of the story that you have referred to, we have removed this particular item from our website', a spokesman said in an email.
  25. ^ "A brief history of The New Zealand Herald". The New Zealand Herald. NZME. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  26. ^ "Editorial: Two Drinks Max: Sign up and make us safer". The New Zealand Herald. 24 October 2010.
  27. ^ "NZME platforms continue to be the number one news destination for Kiwis". NZME. 3 March 2022.
  28. ^ "Herald website judged best news site". The New Zealand Herald. 19 May 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  29. ^ "NZME puts a price on its paywall". Radio New Zealand. 26 April 2019.
  30. ^ "NZME managing editor steps into new role". The New Zealand Herald. 14 March 2023.
  31. ^ "Contacts". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  32. ^ Tonson, A.E. (1970), New Zealand Armorist, vol. 3, p. 18

External links[edit]