The New Zealand Truth was a tabloid newspaper published weekly in New Zealand. It started as the Auckland Truth in 1887. Described as “scandal mongering” and “scurrilous”, it has employed well-known New Zealand authors, including Robin Hyde in 1928. Redma Yska, once a Truth reporter, has recounted how the paper “introduced a `new journalism’ in 1905, which aimed a core diet of sex, crime, radical politics and random muckraking directly at the masses.” He ends by noting that at the end of 2009, “after 104 remarkable years in New Zealand journalism, Truth quietly sank into liquidation. Truth Weekender, complete with 16-page sex industry pullout, quickly took its place. The wicked old title refuses to die.” [see ref. 1]
As SPCS has pointed out in a series of published articles on its blog, since at least 2007, Truth directors’ seeming obsession with porn sleaze and prostitution advertising ( e.g. a regular 16- page “adult services” pullout in The Truth Weekender ) as a means of earning a quick buck, played an important part in its collapse – leading to the liquidation of two companies and numerous creditors left out of pocket.
The announcement in mid-June 2013 of the closing of the paper was followed by its publisher – Truth Weekender Ltd [“TWL”] being put into liquidation on 2 July 2013 by special resolution of the shareholders (at the time the tabloid was called the Truth Weekender). The First Report by the Liquidators listed the company at that time as having 56 creditors. The IRD was estimated to be owed about $30,000, trade creditors $110,630 and related party debt $301,280. The company remains in liquidation with little prospect of any of the unsecured creditors receiving anything.
The Truth Weekender had in fact emerged from the earlier tabloid known as NZ Truth, whose publisher – Truth Publications Ltd (“TPL” incorporated on 17 January 2007), was put into liquidation on 21 October 2009, reportedly owing lenders and creditors over $620,000.
The NZ Herald article dated 3/11/09 stated:
“… a report by liquidator Lloyd Hayward released late last week found creditors are unlikely to be paid.
“It is unlikely there will be a distribution to creditors.”
“Unsecured creditors and subordinated lenders are owed $622,074 and include New Zealand Couriers, Warehouse Stationery, Vodafone, Mercury Energy and the New Zealand Herald.”
Truth Publication Ltd was struck off the register of companies on 25 February 2011. (Note: Truth Weekender Ltd remains on the register)
Soon after the commencement of the liquidation of Truth Publications Ltd on 21 October 2009, a remarkable event occurred! The “Truth” appeared to rise phoenix-like from its [financial] ashes – emerging resplendent as The Truth Weekender (“TW”) under the management of Dermott Malley [see ref. 2] who had financial interests in the failed company (TPL) via Onyx Capital Ltd [see ref. 3]. The claimed “new” tabloid (TW) differed very little from its tawdry sleaze-ridden predecessor, other than the fact that it was published on a Friday rather than on Thursday as its predecessor had been. The ‘amazing’ “new” tabloid served up the same sleazy diet of extensive adult industry (sex). It was in large part financially suckled by the proceeds (revenue sources) of prostitution and pornography.
Malley and John Andrew Pin, became founding directors of Truth Weekender Ltd [“TWL”], and it was incorporated on 27 October 2009 just six days after TPL was put into liquidation. Both men secured financial interests in the new company via Onyx Capital Ltd and MDL Solutions Ltd respectively. Both shareholders had previously held shares in the failed Truth Publications Ltd. When later, TWL was put into liquidation it was owned 50:50 by Onyx Capital Ltd and Horton Media Ltd. Horton Media owned by Matthew William Horton, did the printing of the tabloid.
David Bruce Crow, brother of the banned company director Stephen (Steve) Peter Crow, was appointed director of TWL from 31 May 2012, when Malley resigned, through to 12 March 2013 at which date Malley was reappointed, this time as sole director.
The Truth Weekender had lost a significant readership base while Dermott Malley was director, first from 27/10/09 to 31/05/12 and then from 12/03/13 onwards when he was reappointed as director, following David Bruce Crow’s departure as director, a decline which continued until liquidation commenced on 2 July 2013. The National Business Review published a very good analysis by Georgina Bond on the demise of Truth, in which she stated:
“Mr [Matthew] Horton, who owns a 50% stake in Truth, says the newspaper had continued to lose ground with advertisers and readers over the last few years.
“It had taken a very seedy turn over the last five years and I think that probably cost the paper a lot of sales.”
The “seedy turn” Horton referred to is a reference to the sex sleaze incorporated into the paper by way of adult [sex] industry advertising largely linked to the Crow brothers: David Bruce Crow and Stephen (Steve) Peter Crow. The writer adds::
“Management changes earlier this year, when original owners handed over the reins to the Crow brothers David and Steve, had been disruptive.”
It appears that the management of Truth Weekender Ltd was in the reins of banned director Stephen Peter Crow, for the entire period David Bruce Crow was listed as solo “director”. It seems that David Crow was pursuing his real estate sales job with Ray White based in Orewa throughout this period.
In 2011 under Malley’s leadership as a director, Multimedia Solutions Ltd, the owner of the “TW” masthead, purchased adultspace.co.nz – a sex industry web-based business – and arranged for TWL to manage it. The administrative contact of this sex website domain name is officially David Crow (see www.dnc.org.nz), but the website appears to have been run, and is still run, by Steve Crow his brother.
Reports from insiders point to a management disaster over the period that David Bruce Crow was listed as sole director of TWL from 31/05/12, a date when his company Pravda Ltd acquired 50% holding in TWL, through to 12/03/13 when he resigned and transferred all his shares to Dermott Malley’s Onyx Capital Ltd. It appears that Steve Crow ran the sex business side of the TW paper from within the offices of TWL and he acted as a shadow director throughout this period, while still banned as director
The NZ Herald reported back on 3 November 2009, soon after Truth Publications Ltd was put into liquidation on 21/10/09:
“A related party of Truth Publications Ltd called in liquidators Meltzer Mason Heath in September 2009 to find out how much the company would be worth after Truth stopped trading on August 31 2009. A decision was then made to liquidate the company and sell its assets to the company’s masthead owner, Multimedia Solutions, for $70,000” [a company in which both Malley and Horton have financial interests in].
“The owners of Multimedia Solutions include businesses associated with Dermott Malley and John Pin, who were both directors and indirect shareholders in Truth Publications.”
See: See: http://www.spcs.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Diagrams/Truth-Publications-Ltd-Diagram.pdf
Dermott Malley sought to explain the demise of The Truth Weekender in an interview video uploaded onto You Tube on 18 July 2013, entitled The Last Owner of the “Truth”.
To view it go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7I8d27PfZ9s
Dermott Malley, here states he was born in 1951, and is introduced by the host of “The Beat Goes On” as a “Special Guest”. The “programme” presentation has all the trappings and veneer of a spiffy David Letterman special, but the well-presented interview had only been viewed by nine people by 11 April 2014, having been posted nine months earlier.
Dermott Malley stated in “The Beat” interview that in purchasing the business in 2007:
“… we looked at the opportunity of going back to its [the NZ Truth paper’s] roots and trying to turn it around [i.e. reverse the declining readership trend]. What we were unaware of is how ingrained it had become in the adult [sex] industry and the difficulty of making any change that that caused. The sex industry essentially had dominated its advertising revenue by the time Fairfax Media sold it. It just became too difficult to change… The circumstances were such that it limited what we could do.”
SPCS points to Truth Tabloid as a Vehicle for “Sleaze Promotion”
On 9 September 2009 the SPCS published an article in which it was stated:
Dermott Malley’s “scandal mongering” and “scurrilous” Truth Weekly tabloid (ref. 1) makes much of its money by advertising porn, and services relating to the sex industry. It also publishes articles sensationalising Steve Crow’s triumphs in sleaze promotion. [Observing] Crow [as one journalist has stated] ‘is to watch first-hand how you go about spreading moral decay and degeneracy through a nation of innocents’ [ref. 2]. He [Crow] uses Malley’s Truth tabloid [ref. 3] to spread this degeneracy and both men have a ring-side seat to watch the moral degeneracy as well as the collapse of four of Steve Crow’s porn companies.
The SPCS provided references for these comments, including:
(1) The New Zealand Truth is a tabloid newspaper published weekly in New Zealand. It started as the Auckland Truth in 1887. Described as “scandal mongering” and “scurrilious”…..
(2) The Porn King: Inside the seedy mind of Steve Crow
NZ Herald – Canvas Magazine 1 October 2005
(3) A colour feature section of each 52 page Truth weekly (”FH2? pages 19-24), that is 31% of each paper, is regularly devoted to promoting hard core porn DVDs, brothels, strippers, promiscuity and all manner of sexual perversions. For more on Truth tabloid see endnotes in SPCS article.
1. TRUTH: The Rise and Fall of the People’s Paper Redma Yska. Craig Potton Publishing. Cited in: Crusading tabloid well and truly exposed. Published 15/01/11
2. Dermott Malley – Retired CEO Truth Weekender Ltd. Truth Weekender Ltd. Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Publishing industry. 2007 – June 2012 (5 years). See: http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/dermott-malley/a/a32/b21
3. Onyx Capital Ltd is the owner of 24ha of horticultural land situated in Maungatapere. The company is owned by trusts associated with the Malleys.
Truth Publisher Owes $622,000. Published 3/11/09
The Truth Newspaper to stop publishing. Published 17/06/13
NZXescorts, banned company director and Truth Weekender Ltd. Published 19/06/11
NZ Truth Changes Hands, Revamps Content. Published 22/10/09. Press Release: NZ Truth Weekly