The Press Association and The Press Agency
The new association would allow only one morning and evening paper in each centre to subscribe; this left many rivals unserved. Open warfare broke out when the association bought for £1,000 the exclusive lease of a Government wire to transmit news telegrams to members. The rival group, calling themselves the Press Agency, organised under the chairmanship of T. W. Leys, editor of the Auckland Star. After a bitter campaign, in which charges of bribery and corruption were alleged by the Press Agency and repeated in Parliament (they were never proved), the Government capitulated and leased a second wire. Each group tried to outdo the other. Competition was not only intense but expensive to the two groups; the Post Office noted officially that messages duplicated “by two competing press associations for supplying intelligence to newspapers were amongst the chief producers of public dissatisfaction”.