With 37 of his 48 years as journalist spent in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and having worked with nine NZ Prime Ministers, from Muldoon to English, Barry Soper has a few stories to tell.
In this exclusive and intimate event, Barry will be sharing with us his unique insights on the characters that move through the New Zealand political scene – past, present and future, giving New Zealand Chamber of Commerce members the opportunity to receive an update on NZ politics ahead of the September General Election.
Barry has served an unprecedented three terms as chairman of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, he is the longest fulltime member and is commonly regarded as the country’s most experienced political broadcast journalist. Several years ago he was honoured by his colleagues with a lifetime membership of the Press Gallery and was in 2001 named radio journalist of the year. Barry has also fronted and regularly features on numerous TV news features, is a radio talkback host, and has a regular column in the NZ Herald.
Through his work he has known and travelled abroad with nine New Zealand Prime Ministers. He has also met and interviewed some of the most celebrated world leaders including Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter, most of the Australian Prime Ministers, among them Paul Keating who once called him “a blow fly”, and more recently Bill Clinton who called him a gentleman. Barry covered all the Fiji coups in 1987, 2000 and 2006, and was the first international journalist to secure an interview with rebel leader George Speight. Unfortunately, during the Rabuka coup he was also the first international journalist to be locked up by the regime! He has covered major events from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, well as his funeral, in South Africa.
His years of political experience and analysis, and anecdotal experiences gathered from his years of travelling with Prime Ministers makes Barry is an accomplished storyteller, with an abundance of incredible tales that give colour and context to the events that shaped modern New Zealand and global politics. As we approach the New Zealand General Election in September, we can be thankful that it is not expected to be as dramatic and divisive a competition as many of the recent Western elections, but it is still nonetheless an important one in shaping the direction of New Zealand’s future.
The New Zealand Chamber of Commerce is very pleased to host Barry Soper so that he can meet with members and share his unique perspective and stories with us. We are also grateful to our sponsors Air New Zealand for helping us to stay close and connected with New Zealand.
The event will conclude with a short Q&A, followed by networking opportunities, drinks and nibbles.
Limited Spaces. NZCC Members Only Event.