Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 5. 1965.
Time magazine has for many years produced a South Pacific edition, printed in Australia. This edition, airfreighted to New Zealand, was usually on sale in city shops on Friday afternoons. Then Time, decided that it would print part of its South Pacific edition in New Zealand. It was intended that under this new arrangement New Zealand readers would receive their copies of the newsmagazine earlier than before, and indeed they now do—Time appears on sale on Wednesdays, not Fridays as before.
To print Time in New Zealand the publishers, Time Incorporated, let the contract to a New Zealand printer (this is standard Time policy—all editions of Time are and always were printed by independent contractors). The firm to win the New Zealand contract was New Zealand Newspapers Limited, proprietors of The Auckland Star.
Now if there was one feature of Time magazine that most people would agree about, it was Time's unfailingly high technical standard. Any firm contemplating printing Time would know this, and certainly one would imagine that Time Incorporated would make quite sure that any new printer of its magazine could "deliver the goods."
So here is the tragedy. Since New Zealand Newspapers Limited began printing Time, the technical standard has declined sharply. The first issue, on the first news page, contained some paragraphs that were in a totally different type from that used in regular issues of the magazine. The result looked odd, to say the least. After this initial shambles came the April 2 edition which will be remembered by many readers for the appalling way in which it was trimmed. Paper edges were rough. The tops and bottoms of many pages were not cut off parallel with the type line, and the rotary feed marks (small tears in the paper, about 3 cm. apart at the top and bottom of the pages) were plainly visible. The result was dismal.
It is nothing short of a crying shame that this important contract should produce such a low-standard finished article. The importance to New Zealand of winning recognition in the world as a producer of quality goods cannot be doubted. The Prime Minister, commenting on the Time venture, emphasized the importance of this and other such ventures to the New Zealand economy. And yet, given the opportunity, it seems that, in this instance at least, our industry has not been equal to the challenge.