Tributes to Sir Paul Holmes
Fri, 01 Feb 2013 10:32a.m.
By Kim Choe
Sir Paul Holmes’ former colleagues and his political adversaries have paid tribute to the broadcaster, who died early this morning.
Leighton Smith announced Sir Paul’s passing on his Newstalk ZB talkback show.
After reading a statement from the Holmes family, an emotional Mr Smith said, “Although we knew this was coming, I find it a very emotive moment. For 22 years we worked in this studio together – him first, me second – and we both shared that prostate thing. And I’ve got to say that I’m very sad.”
Mr Smith said he hoped part of Sir Paul’s legacy would be to bring a greater awareness to the need for early detection of prostate cancer.
“If Paul had discovered it early enough, we wouldn’t be talking about this now.”
Weather presenter Jim Hickey worked at TVNZ with Sir Paul for decades, and remembered him fondly.
“I was the link between the finish of the news hour and Paul coming into the studio, usually late, and with great bluster and gusto,” Mr Hickey told Mr Smith on Newstalk ZB.
Mr Hickey said he would often end up on the receiving end of Sir Paul’s repartee.
“If there was a big story or he was fired up about something, he’d fire a few salvos at me!”
“He was a man who could entertain – he was a master of the occasion, there’s no doubt about that.”
Brent Harman was general manager at Newstalk ZB’s predecessor 1ZB in 1987, and hired Sir Paul for what would transpire to be the turning point in his career.
Mr Harman described Sir Paul as a “tenacious broadcaster and journalist” who whetted New Zealand’s appetite for talk radio.
“He took a totally different approach to news,” Mr Harman told 3 News.
“He added his own sense of humour, his own touch of irony. And I think it took time, but when the listeners gravitated towards it and heard it and started to enjoy it, they never looked back.”
Mr Harman said Sir Paul was a one-of-a-kind storyteller and a hard worker who would begin researching for his show at 2:30am every day when the first copy of the New Zealand Herald rolled off the press.
“We will never see a journalist and broadcaster as gifted as Paul again – I’m absolutely confident about that. He had an array of special talents. In a way, what made him a great journalist was he was interested in people. He was interested in good, in fairness – and that allowed him to approach news with his own special touch.”
Admiration from interviewees
Those on the receiving end of Sir Paul’s probing questions say he will be greatly missed.
Prime Minister John Key has called his passing “the end of a broadcasting era”.
“Paul Holmes was a gentleman broadcaster,” Mr Key said in a statement. “He conducted his interviews with intelligence and insightfulness, and while he never suffered fools, his interviews were never without kindness and empathy.”
“He was a trailblazer in New Zealand journalism with a style that was all his own.
Mr Key said he counted Sir Paul as a friend, and was honoured to attend his investiture ceremony in January. He said New Zealand media wouldn’t be the same without him.
“Paul has been part of New Zealanders’ lives since the 1970s. For more than a decade he was compulsive viewing at 7pm and, up until very recently, he was still on Q&A and his radio show. It is hard to imagine a broadcasting spectrum without him.”
Labour leader David Shearer said Sir Paul was an everyone’s man.
"He was hugely respected not only by his peers but by New Zealanders across social and political spectrums," he said.
"He had a fine sense of the `ordinary Kiwi' along with an uncanny understanding of the issues of the day."
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei said Sir Paul was adept at holding politicians to account.
“His focus was on the people listening and watching, not on making life easy for the politicians,” she said.
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2/02/2013 11:58:50 a.m.
paul hyland wrote:
Paul lived his life to the full,but I'm also reminded of the scripture-'what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul'.I only hope Paul made it to heavens glory ,and he did if he believed four of the most important verses in scripture-Acts 16:31- 'believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved'and 1 cor.15:4-'how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures'.Also,the words of Jesus Christ himself-'I am the Way,the Truth and the Life-no man cometh unto the Father,but by me', and 'it is appointed unto men once to die,but after this the judgement' Yes,Paul was a man who lived life to the full and gave pleasure to many people,but ultimately the last words come from the Lord Himself-'He that rejecteth me and recieveth not my words hath one that judgeth him:the word that I have spoken,the same shall judge him at the last day'.I hope Paul made it.
2/02/2013 11:40:07 a.m.
Sir Paul Holmes you were such an amazing man, you touched the hearts of so so many people & made a lot of people sweat but thats what made you who you are today & who you will continue to be in your new life up above watching over all those people whose hearts you touched & of those you made sweat!!! You are just such an amazing, intelligent, loving, respectable, man that will be so sadly missed by so so many people i got such a shock when i heard, tears streamed down my face then each time it came on it all started again, i remember watching you on Holmes & had a great laugh when you came on shortland street :-* SIR PAUL HOLMES YOU ARE 1 IN A MILLION & WILL MISS YOU WITH ALL MY HEART :-* FLY FREE OF ALL YOUR PAIN :'( Still can't really believe you were taken so quick & way to young!! Live free paul & never stop that humour you have :-) amazing man, amazing spirit!! God always takes the best. Love you forever Sir ;-) xxox
2/02/2013 12:34:30 a.m.
I will remember Sir Paul as being so much part of our daily lives for many years. Whether it was starting our day with him on the radio, being entertained by him at the end of the day on TV – I used to love his aside comments to the studio crew, reading his newspaper articles or books, singing on his own CD, developing ‘his farm’ which he spoke of so warmly, his family which he obviously adored, producing olive oil, crashing his planes; Sir Paul lived his life to the full, and shared so much of it with NZ. It is such a sad day to have lost such a journalistic icon and character. To his family and friends I hope that the out pouring of love and respect for Sir Paul from so many NZer's and from those who worked with him will over time bring some comfort to you all.
1/02/2013 11:07:00 p.m.
Such a very sad day for the Holmes Family and indeed New Zealand, a wonderful and caring man and a great broadcaster will be sadly missed, my condolences to the Holmes Family and RIP Sir Paul
1/02/2013 10:57:06 p.m.
Angela Carpenter wrote:
Sir Paul Thank you for signing your CD of 13 songs for me in 2000. I love your choice of songs and your singing voice is nice and easy to listen too. It will be treasured always. RIP Sir Paul
1/02/2013 8:40:41 p.m.
Just Me wrote:
Holmesy.Through-out your life-time you touched so many with your brilliant verbal resonance.You gave wording and meaning to so much and we are for-ever grateful.I am sure Denis Connor rues to this day he was interviewed by you.But never mind it was great tv at the time.
Now as you head off to the Happy Hunting Ground(as the North American Indians call the here-after)I must say we NZers view it as a privilege to have ever had such a wonderful person in our lives even when on tv or on the radio.
A Mighty Tree has fallen.Long may you remain in our memories.
1/02/2013 8:29:15 p.m.
Just an extraordinary man, Paul you are a legend.
1/02/2013 7:06:14 p.m.
Rita Brady wrote:
Sir Paul. my one and only memory of you is when you parked your car 2 cars away from me at New World Havelock North Wow i said to myself. you looked at me and smiled before you carried on with your day.That memory will stay with me always even if it was for but a second Love and prayers to your Family you may have gone but wont be forgotten RIP Sir Paul
1/02/2013 6:28:06 p.m.
Aileen & Jim Keery wrote:
Our family wish to thank Sir Paul for all his years of service and for always being an honest, hard working journalist. Even if you didnt always agree with him he commanded your respect and he will be sadly missed. All our thoughts to the family, friends and his workmates. Go with peace Holmsey.
1/02/2013 6:25:19 p.m.
Janine Wagstaff wrote:
I have watched you, listened to you for many many years and I will miss you so very much. You were an inspiration in my life, thank you! You are one in a million Paul. Much love to your family xxx
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