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Thur 15 May: Nanny state; Albany chicken cull; World famous NZ town

Published: 8:11PM Thursday May 15, 2008

Nanny state
If you bother to watch the ads you might have noticed there's a lot offering you some suggestions on how to lead your life - don't smoke, cut back on drinking, slow down, be nice to people with disabilities - even what snacks you should offer your kids. Social marketing campaigns, as they're called, are big bucks for the ad industry, and taxpayers foot the bill. And if you thought they're on the increase, you're right. Given that this is government spending, Close Up thought someone from government may front to tell us why this spending is so necessary. We approached the Minister of Broadcasting Trevor Mallard,  Associate Health Minister Damian O'Connor and State Services Minister David Parker. Dr Michael Cullen also declined our offer. So in the absence of anyone from the government we have Andy Knackstead from the LTSA and former ad man Mike Hutcheson live in the studio.

Albany chicken cull
You might remember the fuss over Albany's trademark chickens - free ranging behind the shops in the main drag. Business folk wanted the chickens to stay because they had been an icon of the once rural village for decades. But animal campaigners said they were subject to unspeakable abuse and it was time they were gone. Today, the chickens went under the gun. Council sharpshooters were called in to kill the last of the roaming fowls. Eight met their fate leaving a half dozen savvy survivors. We ask North Shore City Council why it's came to this.

Famous NZ town
They call themselves rat race refugees - successful international businessmen and women who throw it all in for a lifestyle change. Lisa Strathdee's one of them - a former assistant to Italian designer Romeo Gee-lee, she and her Italian boyfriend left Italy three years ago to move to one of New Zealand's remotest spots - the Hokianga. It's an area many Kiwis haven't even heard of but Lisa, with the help of a few other residents, is making it world famous.