Declaration of Independence

Michael Cooper is committed to the interests of the public and to protecting the reputation for integrity of wine writers in New Zealand. As such, he does not accept any direct payments from wine producers for published reviews.

Direct payments from wine producers to writers for published reviews remove the independence that is crucial to a wine critic’s integrity, and upon which their reputation rests. They also create a potential for bias, whether actual or perceived.

Michael Cooper is a co-founder and member of the association, Wine Writers of New Zealand (, launched in 2011 to address this issue.