The New Zealand Press Council
If you have a complaint about the editorial content of a newspaper, magazine or periodical in circulation in New Zealand (including their websites) you may complain to the Press Council.
The Press Council was established in 1972 as an industry self-regulatory body and provides an independent forum for resolving complaints involving the press.
The Press Council is funded by industry and there is no cost to lodge a complaint.
The Press Council also lobbys on Freedom of Expression and Freedom of the Press issues.
Press Council Members
NEW ZEALAND PRESS COUNCIL OFFICERS
Hon Sir John Hansen KNZN, Independent Chairman, Retired Judge of the High Court, Canterbury
Mary Major Executive Director
Representing the public
Pip Bruce Ferguson Independent Researcher, Hamilton
Sandy Gill Consultant and mother, Lower Hutt
Chris Darlow Lawyer, Auckland
Tim Beaglehole Emeritus Professor, Wellington
Liz Brown Consultant, Horowhenua
Peter Fa'afiu General Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Tamaki Redevelopment Company, Auckland (Alternate member)
Representing the Newspaper Publishers Association (NPA)
Mark Stevens Digital Editor, Fairfax Media NZ, Wellington
John Roughan New Zealand Herald Assistant Editor, Auckland
Representing Magazine Publishers
Jenny Farrell Editor, KiaOra Air New Zealand inflight magazine, Auckland
Virginia Larson Editor, North & South (Alternate member), Auckland
Representing the NZ Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (Media Division)
Stephen Stewart Journalist, Wellington
Penny Harding Journalist, Wellington
Case Number: 2354 CHARLIE SMYTH AGAINST THE PRESS
Council Meeting NOVEMBER 2013
The Press Council has upheld four complaints against the article “Luck of the Irish has downside in sex-disease stats.” The intro read “Irish workers helping with the rebuild are sharing the love but it seems they may also be helping to spread sexual disease.”
Charlie Smyth, Skry Adamson, James MacAodhgain and Justin Devlin complained about the article, the headline and the cartoon that illustrated the article.
The Press Council noted there was no statistical information given to support the statements linking the Irish to the chlamydia. The link between the Irish nationals and the chlamydia statistics was of the newspaper’s making and not supported by any reported information. The report was inaccurate and discriminatory.
Cartoons are generally regarded as opinion and are given wide licence to offend. However, in this case the cartoon was not on the op-ed pages, but was an illustration for a news article. As such it did not attract the same dispensation.
In the context of this complaint the cartoon was an integral part of the article, and as such the complaint was upheld.