Before leaving employ as an Otago Daily Times subeditor,
your blogger would frequently visit the office of deputy
editor Barry Stewart to discuss editorial journalism, current
events, food, and your blogger's personal tribulations. These
conversations will now continue occasionally by telephone, as
a dialogue between Wellington and Dunedin. It is hoped they
will make fine occasional blog fodder.
Now remember I told you we were going to discuss Cliff
Yeah, have you moved on from there?
Well a little bit, sort of. We were going to discuss him
back in January because he was about to play in Wellington,
and I was thinking about rubbing in the fact that he wasn't
going to play in Dunedin. But then I thought that might not
be good form, to move to Wellington and then rub in the
I thought about that too. But we have some
pretty exiting events happening here so perhaps we can live
without Cliff although I'm sure he has some fans down this
Yeah fair enough. And, well, did you know Cliff Richard
shares my birthday? Did I tell you that?
I think you did.
And so I had this idea, what if I interviewed Cliff
Richard for my blog, because we share a birthday. But then I
thought, it would be just as interesting to do a conversation
with Barry Stewart. Because you're now deputy editor of the
ODT, isn't that correct?
How's that for you?
Deputy editor... Yeah it's good. It's good in the sense that,
well, you realise we've just bought the Mountain
Yip, I do.
So some exciting things are happening in the industry, you
know, and it's good to be a part of that. Seriously. I think
we are well placed to thrive in this environment and yeah,
it's good. There have been some changes here, obviously, as
you know, and I think that was a very positive signal
only to the industry but also to staff. We're not sitting on
our hands; we're looking to the future. So that's pretty
It is exciting. And do you know what? It came as quite a
surprise to me to hear you were deputy editor.
It came as a surprise to you?
Yeah. Do you know why?
Yeah, I do.
Because you already thought I was.
That's right. I already thought you were deputy editor.
And any time I'd put your name down for a reference or
something, I'd put "Barry Stewart, deputy editor". So I'm
glad you've caught up.
Well, it was a subtle
difference. When I shared it with Mr [Simon] Cunliffe, Mr
Cunliffe was deputy editor news, and I was deputy editor
Oh right. Oh, so you already were deputy editor.
Yeah but there's a subtle difference there.
Now Barry, what's this I hear about a balloon being used
as an instrument of decision-making for a waterfront
Ah yes, that's a fairly creative idea.
Have they done the balloon stunt yet? Have they floated a
balloon to the height of a 28-storey building?
No, they haven't done it yet.
But it's coming?
Ah, I believe the hearings are in recess at the moment as
they revisit a few issues that need clarification. The
balloon height-measurement is one of them, so we can all see
exactly the height it's going to be.
Based on a balloon.
Which may shock a few people actually, I suspect.
It may. But, whatever. Whatever. And did you know, at the
waterfront here in Wellington they have a jumping wharf. It
is just this enclosed area where the platforms and the planks
of the wharf form a little square around a bit of water, and
it's full of jellyfish, and people just jump into it. It's
right near Te Papa, and they have different heights of
platforms, and some of them are really high. They've got a
lifeguard there, and people do all kinds of funny diving; you
know like, whirly twirly diving, and then they land in the
jellyfish water. My Dad's coming later this month, and I
thought he and I could go and jump off the jumping
That would be a bonding thing for you two,
It would. Do you think he'll go?
I'd prefer if your mother went.
Yeah. I don't think that's going to happen.
No. She's not coming to Wellington, not coming to
However, that's nice Dad's coming.
Yeah, it is. Yep.
Yeah. How are you settling down? Job going all right?
Yeah, but I only worked for a fortnight until that
Oh, is it all over?
Yep. And it's good so now I've got money, I'm not going to
work again till the end of February, and that's assuming I'll
get work at the end of February. 'Cause it's summertime and I
feel like going to Hokitika with my Dad and that kind of
thing. Um, yes, but have you been swimming this
Have I been swimming? I've been working; I
haven't had a holiday.
Are you going to have one?
Yeah, I'm going to Perth.
Will you go swimming there?
No 'cause I was thinking about it and I was like, "Gee, I
wonder if Barry Stewart ever goes swimming." Because you work
so hard, but then on the other hand you've raised a son who's
like this ace diver, and a daughter who's a ballet
Who is also a very good swimmer.
They're very active lifestyles. And maybe you could go
Yeah. My daughter's going to be there as well, in Perth, so
it's going to be a nice family reunion. And also, wait for
it, the big news: my son's going to get married while we're
Whoah. Is that why you're going, in fact?
No, we were going anyway but they surprised us by saying:
"We're going to get married when you come over."
Cool. That's exciting.
Yeah, it's good.
Hey Barry, what should I have for dinner?
What should you have - where are you?
I'm at the movie theatre, and I could go anywhere on
Courtenay Pl for dinner, and then come back to the movie
Ooh, what should you have... Some kind of healthy option,
You can't go far wrong with sushi, can you. Tuna?
No! It's all going extinct. You know that.
Yes exactly. Well, but you could buy the stuff that's less
Skipjack is the name of that variety. Skipjack.
My son actually walks around with a list of endangered fish
species in his pocket.
So do I.
Yeah, you can download one from the Forest & Bird
website, a pocket guide.
Ahh. Well, we should all be sustainable.
We should all be sustainable. That's a great note on which
OK, I'll talk to you next time we're having a
Conversations with Barry.
Next time you go to the movies.
Yeah next time I go to the movies. Thanks Barry, thanks
for your time.