Brian Edwards Media

More proof that you can’t judge (even a very expensive) book by its cover.

One of our readers has drawn my attention to an item in the Easter Sunday edition of the  Sunday Star Times. The paper had asked a number of well known people to answer the question: What does God mean to you? An eclectic mix of respondents included fashion icon Colin Mathura-Jefree, novelist C.K. Stead, Warriors and Kiwis centre Jerome Ropati,  former Anglican Dean of Christchurch the Reverend Peter Beck, the Sceptics’ Vicky Hyde and businessman Eric Watson.

In general the responses were what one might have expected. But this response from Eric Watson really surprised me:

“I genuinely believe the teachings of most religions are founded around promoting good morals and strong community characteristics, representing a way of life that’s about helping one another, forgiveness, charity and seeing the good in people. So you could say religion has helped shape how I live my life. It is one of the world’s great mysteries and I often think God is seen as the answer to a number of unanswerable questions or used as an excuse for inappropriate/extreme behaviour we simply can’t explain or come to grips with.”

Inspirational, uplifting and an apt reminder of where our real values should lie in these selfish and materialistic times. And these are the values that have helped Eric Watson shape his life. Sometimes you just don’t know people at all.



  1. Not sure why you think a quote in a newspaper means you “know” someone.

    This is the same guy who has just been charged over Hanover? Yup. Innocent until proven guilty an’ all but I’d like to see him explain that ballsup in terms of good morals and strong community characteristics.

    BE: Now the problem is, Dotty, that if you put an irony alert on something you write, it rather defeats the purpose of the irony. Which, as I’ve observed on several occasions, makes life for anyone writing for a New Zealand audience highly problematical.

  2. ‘Fraid I agree with Dotty. One quote in a newspaper in response to a patsy request from that paper does NOT make a lifelong adherence to principles!
    Or were you being ironic Brian?
    If so I do apologise for being more than usually thick today, but in my defence I am still reeling from watching the ageless and very exciting Specials on stage at Shed 10 last night…

  3. “God is … used as an excuse for inappropriate/extreme behaviour”
    Well I guess in Eric’s case his god has been working overtime on Eric’s excuses.

    Belief can be mind opener or just another idea floating around in your mind. In Eric’s case I note he speaks about this from a somewhat removed position – sounds good but I doubt he he talking about his actual experience. I am not convinced.

  4. “BE: Now the problem is, Dotty, that if you put an irony alert on something you write, it rather defeats the purpose of the irony. Which, as I’ve observed on several occasions, makes life for anyone writing for a New Zealand audience highly problematical”

    Well that makes sense then.

  5. Well to steal a little “Woody Allen”, I think at times people create their own moral universe. I am sure that Eric would have been very interested in the forgiveness aspects of God and the “seeing the good” part as well.

  6. Perhaps his PR agency wrote it…or his defense team.

    Truly bizarre.

  7. What a load of codswallop. This surely has to be some PR effort to make Eric sound all caring and concerned about the welfare of others.

    Quite strange considering that he’s in boots and all with the Hanover business and has the FMA hunting for his blood.

  8. He’s very good at telling people whatthey want to hear,especially if their’s no cost involved.Its all a con?

  9. It’s amazing when you follow the money you so often find a pot of God at the end of the trail.

  10. I fear that the irony that you spoke of Brian, has been lost on the above…or perhaps they aren’t really interested !!!! off with his head they all cried

  11. I’m all for people expressing their belief in God and how religion has shaped their lives. However, if just seems incredibly timely that Mr Eric Watson is suddenly appearing in the media as a “good guy” when the FMA/SFO is investigating one of his companies – Hanover.

    And yes they have yet to have their day in court, but here we have a shareholder of Hanover all smooth talking and being positioned as a successful multi-millionaire businessman when his business partner is positioned as finance company villain no.1 (Mark Hotchin) which doesn’t seem fair to this Christian writer.

    It could be said that God moves in mysterious ways, however when it comes to the media, I’m not too sure. I’d like to know who is doing his PR, and whether the Herald directly asked Eric Watson for his views or did this eventuate from the Herald talking to his PR person!

  12. sociopaths have no sense of irony.

  13. Some of the hardest-nosed businessmen I’ve ever dealt with have been rabid Christians. God on their side and all that.

  14. What has Watson done that would cause so many of you to be so cynical about his particularly expressed view of religion? More people have been murdered and stolen from in the name of religion than in the name of anything else over the centuries. Why would anyone then begrudge Watson the opportunity to avail himself of the use of it as pert of his PR offensive?

  15. The best god money can buy…