Raffles v Television New Zealand (15/006)

Content:  “Blues star who assaulted man in late night brawl added to All Blacks”

Publisher: Television New Zealand, Website

Complainant: E. Raffles

Outcome: No Grounds to Proceed

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The Chairman took into account the concerns of the Complainant about the content and the headline of the article and the preliminary comments from the Publisher, Television New Zealand, which said the article listed the facts and outcomes of the trial and the effect that had on Moala’s ability to be selected for the All Blacks. Television New Zealand said they did not agree with the Complainant the content and headline of the article would lead to discrimination against, or denigration of, any section in society.

The Chairman held the article was reporting the facts surrounding the trial and outcome of George Moala’s assault on Clifford Matoka and his recent selection for an All Blacks test in Samoa. The article did not present any particular perspective on whether Moala should have been selected and only included a quote from Steve Hansen, All Blacks coach in relation to the upcoming test in Samoa.

As the article was not presented from a particular perspective, the Chairman said it was not necessary for a reasonable range of significant viewpoints to be sought and presented in the article. The Chairman said the article was therefore not in breach of Standard 2 Balance.

The Chairman confirmed that issues surrounding the Fairness Standard may only be brought by the person or organisation taking part or referred to in the publication, or their representative or caregiver. The Complainant did not meet the criteria.

The Chairman considered the content was responsible as it was based on facts and in no way glamorised or condoned criminal activity.

With regard to the concerns of the Complainant that the content was denigrating to George Moala and the Polynesian community, the Chairman considered the content was factual in nature. He said the article did not denigrate any section of the New Zealand community on account of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, occupational status, or as a consequence of a legitimate expression of religion, culture or political belief so was not in breach of Standard 6.

The Chairman held the headline and content of the article presented facts and was not in breach of Standards, 2, 3, 5 or 6 of the OMSA Code of Standards.

Accordingly, the Chairman ruled there were no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Chairman’s Ruling: No Grounds to Proceed

Date of Ruling: 2 July 2015