BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

P and TV3 Network Services Ltd - 1994-021


"Hear No Evil – Speak No Evil" was the title of an item on incest broadcast by TV3's 20/20

programme between 7.30–8.30pm on Sunday 11 July 1993. The programme

interviewed three daughters (whose identity was disguised) of a man recently sentenced to

prison for incest with his five daughters. The item also included interviews with the

offender's partly-hidden former wife, the mother of the victims, and with police officers.

Ms C and Ms P, the two daughters not interviewed, complained to TV3 Network Services

Ltd that parts of the item were inaccurate, that it had not referred to them fairly and had

breached their privacy. Furthermore, by relying on the eldest sister's account of events, it

had used an unreliable source and had been unbalanced.

Arguing that the item made sensitive use of the material provided by the three sisters who

participated on the programme in order to draw attention to the need for official agencies

to respond adequately should a similar situation again be disclosed, TV3 declined to uphold

the complaint. Dissatisfied with TV3's response, Ms C and Ms P referred their complaints

to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989. As

Ms C's referral was outside the statutory time during which referrals must be made, the

Authority declined to accept it. It has proceeded to determine Ms P's referral only.

For the reasons given below, the Authority upheld the aspects of Ms P's complaint which

alleged a breach of s.4(1)(c) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 and standard G6 of the

Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.


The members of the Authority have viewed the item complained about and have read the

correspondence (summarised in the Appendix). Ms P requested a formal hearing,

explaining that she found it much easier to express herself verbally rather than on paper.

However, she has expressed her concerns comprehensively and competently on paper and,

consequently, the Authority decided to follow its usual practice and determine the

complaint without a formal hearing.

An item about incest on 20/20 on 11 July 1993 contained interviews with three of the

five daughters who had been victims of their father who had recently been sentenced to

12 years imprisonment. Before the broadcast, TV3 had sought to have the suppression

order removed which prevented the broadcast of the daughters' names or identifying

particulars. The application was unsuccessful. The 20/20 item began by recounting that

fact. It continued by explaining that, because of its importance, it intended to broadcast

the item although names had been changed, identities hidden and voices altered. The item

reported in some detail that despite the complaints from one or more of the daughters, the

Police and Social Welfare Department declined to take action against the father during the

late 1960s and 1970s.

The three daughters who participated in the item spoke about the sexual, physical and

emotional abuse to which they had been subjected as children. Although the item's

introduction stated that "some" of the sisters had participated in the item, both the

reporter and the sisters interviewed made it clear that all five sisters had been raped and

abused by their father. For example, the reporter referred to the "five concubines" who

served their father and one sister recalled that after she had left the family, those still

living at home were being abused in various ways. The item also reported that all the five

daughters had given evidence against their father at his recent trial.

In her complaint, Ms P nominated the standards she alleged had been breached by various

aspects of the item. She listed standards G1, G3, G4, G5, G6, G14, G15, G16, G17 and

G21 of the Television Code of Broadcasting Practice. TV3 assessed the complaint against

these standards and, in addition, s.4(1)(c) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 (which refers to


A number of the standards overlap – for example accuracy and fairness are mentioned on

more than one occasion. Furthermore, as the item was a current affairs one, it is

questionable whether standards G14, G15 and G16 apply as they refer only to "news".

Taking into account the issues raised in Ms P's complaint, the Authority decided that all the

concerns were included under standards G1, G4, G5 and G6 of the Code and s.4(1)(c) of

the Act. Those standards require broadcasters:

G1  To be truthful and accurate on points of fact.

G4  To deal justly and fairly with any person taking part or referred to in any


G5  To respect the principles of law which sustain our society.

G6  To show balance, impartiality and fairness in dealing with political matters,

current affairs and all questions of a controversial nature.

Section 4(1)(c) provides:

(1) Every broadcaster is responsible for maintaining in its programmes and

their presentation, standards which are consistent with –

(c) The privacy of the individual.

Standard G1 – Factual Inaccuracies

Ms P claimed the item was factually incorrect when it said that she was bitter, that she

was a sex-machine who was repeatedly raped and that one of her sisters, who appeared on

the item, had been raped and had been sexually abused in the local tip. Moreover, despite

her eldest sister's reported comment, Ms P added that she had had no contact with her

after that sister had left home. She stated, in addition, that she had not "spiked" her

father's food as the broadcast alleged and she objected that the item had re-written her

past without her consent. Moreover, it was inaccurate to describe the time lapse between

the father's first offences and his imprisonment as 30 years.

The Authority can determine a number of the straight-forward specific aspects of the

complaint under standard G1 (truth and accuracy) in that the item did not report some of

the matters which Ms P claimed were contraventions. For example, "Sharon", not Ms P,

was reported as stating that she had "spiked" her father's food and "Angela" said she had

helped. Furthermore, "Sharon's" statement that she had been abused in the local landfill

was her own words. The Authority has no grounds for doubting the accuracy of her

recollections. The reference to the time lapse of 30 years, while involving some

exaggeration, could be seen as "rounding up" the length of time rather than as a breach of

the accuracy requirement.

The Authority's lack of knowledge about the other specific matters referred to precluded its

determination of them under standard G1. Moreover, in disputing the allegation that she

had been a repeatedly raped sex-machine, Ms P seemed to be objecting primarily on the

grounds that her history was being rewritten by the item. Because of its lack of knowledge

of the specific details about the complainant's past, the Authority decided that it could not

determine the complaint under standard G1. Nevertheless, it has taken the thrust of Ms

P's concerns into account when considering the complaint under the following standards.

Standard G4 – Dealing with People Referred to Justly and Fairly

The complaint that she was not dealt with justly and fairly was the issue raised by Ms P

under standard G4. Initially, the Authority thought two matters were of particular

importance in resolving this aspect of the complaint. First, it noted that the item's

introduction assumed that the circumstances relating to each of the five sisters were

similar. Secondly, two of the sisters, Ms C and Ms P, did not participate in the item. Ms P

explained that she had withdrawn from participation in the preparation of the

programme because of the reporter's "lack of compassion" and respect for her privacy. Her

views of the facts, she continued, were ignored by TV3.

In response, TV3 pointed to the corroborative information that the complainant had

supplied but added that her specific views on some issues were not presented in the item as

they focussed on her relationship with her eldest sister. That matter, TV3 explained, was

not the item's theme.

After examining the complaint, the Authority was of the view that the fairness matters

which the complainant raised as standard G4 issues were best addressed as either privacy

or balance matters. This approach took into account the possibility that standard G4

might not be applicable because Ms P chose not to participate in the programme.

Standard G5 – Respect for the Principles of Law

Under standard G5, Ms P complained that the item, by breaching the suppression order,

did not show respect for the principles of law. TV3 argued that it had been careful to

comply with the order.

The Authority decided that the specific issue raised, compliance with a legislatively imposed

suppression order, was a matter for the Solicitor General. Accordingly, it declined to

determine this specific aspect of the complaint.

Standard G6 – Balance, Impartiality and Fairness

Standard G6 requires broadcasters to show balance, fairness and impartiality and the

Authority was required to decide whether the item was unfair in assuming that the

experiences of Ms P, who was not interviewed on-camera, were similar to the three who

participated. In recounting "Angela's" fight for justice, TV3 did not distinguish between the

five sisters' experiences and the item assumed that they were similar.

Furthermore, the complainant denied some of the comments made by her sisters who

appeared and the problem for the Authority, as noted above, was that it was not aware

of what each of the sisters' experiences were. Ms P again referred to her past being

rewritten and TV3 replied that it used the best sources of information available. In its

letter in response to Ms P's complaint, TV3 wrote:

You chose not to appear and TV3 respects that choice but you were consulted. It

was clear during that consultation that the views you wished to express, had you

appeared, would have been to settle a difference of opinion within the family. It

appeared that your aim was contrary to the aim of 20/20.

However, despite not being aware of the different factual situations which applied to each

complainant, the Authority was aware that TV3 knew that some of the sisters had reacted

differently. Consequently, the Authority decided that the item was unfair to Ms P in

suggesting that the sisters' experiences were similar. In addition, the Authority concluded

that the item was unbalanced in not acknowledging the different perspectives and

recollections of the sisters. To Ms P, the differences were major and the Authority was

sympathetic to her objection that TV3 did not acknowledge that the sisters were not united

and that two of them did not want the programme made. By recounting the experiences

of some of the daughters, TV3 suggested not only that the experiences were similar but

also that the current attitudes of all the daughters were identical.

Privacy Principles

After examining the comprehensive complaint, the Authority decided that privacy was the

core issue.

The Authority would note that although privacy has been the major concern in only 3%

of its decisions, it has been necessary for it to develop a number of principles to apply when

a complaint is made that a broadcast has invaded an individual's privacy. It issued an

Advisory Opinion in June 1992 to all broadcasters outlining five relevant privacy

principles it intended to apply. The Authority would add that these principles have been

sufficient to deal with all complaints alleging a breach of privacy received since then. The

Advisory Opinion provides:

By way of introduction to the Advisory Opinion, the Authority wants to stress that,

although it records five relevant privacy principles:

- These principles are not necessarily the only privacy principles that

   the Authority will apply;

- The principles may well require elaboration and refinement when

   applied to a complaint;

- The specific facts of each complaint are especially important when

   privacy is an issue.

The Opinion continued:

Although the right to be left alone is a common sense definition of privacy, as its

decisions may be appealed to the High Court it is necessary for the Authority to

follow what it considers to be appropriate legal precedents. Because of the paucity

of reported cases and the lack of a clear definition of privacy in New Zealand, the

Authority has relied upon precedents from the United States in developing the

following five principles which have been applied to privacy complaints so far by

the Authority when determining them under the Broadcasting Act 1989.

The following two privacy principles enunciated in the Advisory Opinion are applicable in

this instance:

i) The protection of privacy includes legal protection against the public

disclosure of private facts where the facts disclosed are highly

offensive and objectionable to a reasonable person of ordinary


ii) The protection of privacy also protects against the public disclosure

of some kinds of public facts. The "public" facts contemplated

concern events (such as criminal behaviour) which have, in effect,

become private again, for example through the passage of time.

Nevertheless, the public disclosure of public facts will have to be

highly offensive to the reasonable person.

Principles Applied to this Decision

A critical matter in deciding whether privacy has been breached is the reference in privacy

principles (i) and (ii) to the disclosure of "highly offensive" facts. The Authority decided

that Ms P's experiences as an incest victim fell under this heading.

Ms P did not appear on the item. The central question, the Authority believed, was

whether sufficient information had been revealed for a person who knew her or the

family's circumstances – but not necessarily the intimate matters disclosed in the item – to

identify the family and, specifically, Ms P. Amongst the matters disclosed were three

undisguised photographs of Ms P and her brothers and sisters as children, a house in

which the family lived some years ago, two different neighbours from the family's past,

the mother's present backyard and garden, the official buildings in the town in which the

family lived for some years and the voice and deportment of three of the daughters and

the mother.

Before determining whether or not Ms P would be identified by the broadcast, the

Authority believed there was one other factual matter which was relevant to its decision

on this specific complaint. That matter was the newspaper coverage of the father's trial in

February last year, the item on a TVNZ news and current affairs programme about that

time reporting the father's sentence, and an interview with the eldest daughter carried in a

New Zealand weekly magazine last April. Those items gave the father's correct name when

reporting that he had been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for offences first reported

to the police by the eldest daughter in 1969. The magazine article gave the eldest

daughter's married name and recorded the first names of some of her sisters. It included

an undated photograph of the daughters' parents. The 20/20 item covered much of the

same ground that the magazine had already traversed.

With regard to that prior material, the Authority noted that three daughters were

interviewed (including Ms P) for the TVNZ item but their appearances and voices were

extensively disguised. Further, although the print material might have revealed the

complainant's identity to her friends and acquaintances, the facts put into the public

domain should have remained private because of the suppression order.

On the issue of the effect of the previous publicity on the present complaint, a majority of

the Authority emphasised the highly personal nature of the material revealed by the item.

Although noting that the complainant, because of the disclosures in the media referred to

above, could well have been identified by acquaintances and friends who had not

previously known of her past, in view of the suppression order referred to in the item's

introduction, the prior disclosure in the print media was irrelevant.

In the view of the majority, the fact that the suppression order remained in force at the

time of the broadcast, despite an application to have it lifted, meant that the information it

protected was "private" within the terms of privacy principle (i). Alternatively, the

majority accepted that if the print media's prior disclosure had made any of that

information "public", then continuation of the suppression order caused it to become

private again, within the terms of privacy principle (ii).

The minority disagreed for the reason that the information had been previously disclosed

in a mass-circulation magazine. Noting that Ms P's identity had not been revealed to the

public at large by the broadcast but only to a limited number of people who would have

had reasonably extensive knowledge about her childhood, the minority decided that the

disclosure by 20/20 did not breach principles (i) and (ii).

As a majority had decided that the previous disclosure was inapplicable in deciding this

complaint, the Authority was then faced with the issue – was Ms P's identity in fact

revealed by the broadcast?

In dealing with the question, a majority of the Authority was of the opinion, first, that

disclosure of the private facts to one person would be sufficient to contravene the privacy

principles. It then concluded that although Ms P was not seen on the item except, possibly,

in a photograph as a child, sufficient background information about the family had been

revealed to enable a person who had known Ms P as a child to realise who was being

referred to.

In addition, the majority considered that a person who knew Ms P as an adult and who

was aware of some details of her family background – but not the fact that she was a

victim of incest – could, from the information presented in the item, identify Ms P as one

of the five sisters referred to.

The minority was of the view that Ms P had been revealed by the magazine article referred

to above or, with regard to television viewers, by her participation on the TVNZ item.

Although it was very unlikely that her appearance on that item, in itself, would have

revealed her identity in view of the techniques of disguise which were used, the minority

considered that the appearance combined with such details as her father's full name, and

her appearance in a t-shirt which she had worn while canvassing for support for a

petition dealing with sexual offenders, would have disclosed her identity to at least as wide

a circle of friends and acquaintances as would have recognised her from the 20/20 item

complained about. Furthermore, the minority noted that a breach of privacy could not be

claimed by someone who consented to it. Appearing on television voluntarily, although

disguised, the minority maintained, risked the possibility that one could well be identified

by friends and possibly by acquaintances.


For the reasons set forth above, the Authority upholds the complaint that

the broadcast by TV3 Network Services Ltd of an item on 20/20 on 11 July

1993 breached standard G6 of the Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.

A majority of the Authority upholds the complaint that the broadcast

breached s.4(1)(c) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.

The Authority declines to uphold any other aspect of the complaint.

Having upheld a complaint, the Authority may make an order under s.13(1)(d) of the

Broadcasting Act 1989. It records that it has earlier upheld a complaint from Mrs S, Ms

P's mother, that the 20/20 item "Hear No Evil – Speak No Evil" disclosed Mrs S's identity

and contravened s.4(1)(c) of the Act. In that Decision, the Authority ordered the

broadcaster to pay compensation of $750 to Mrs S. (Decision No: 1/94)

The Authority believes that it is important to distinguish Ms P's complaint from that of her

mother's. The mother, Mrs S, was filmed surreptitiously for her unexpected appearance in

the item. The surreptitious nature of the filming was the major aspect for which the

Authority considered that s.4(1)(c) had been breached and for which Mrs S should be

compensated. In this instance, as noted above, Ms P was not filmed surreptitiously and did

not appear live in the item.

Nevertheless, a majority of the Authority upheld Ms P's privacy complaint on the basis

that, because of the identifying details disclosed about the family, she would have been

identified, if only by a small number of people who had known her as a child or were close

friends now.

In the circumstances, which includes the majority basis of the decision, the small number

of people who would have identified Ms P and the absence of the use of surreptitious

filming techniques, the Authority concluded that an order for compensation was neither

appropriate nor necessary. Furthermore, it decided that the broadcast of a correction

might result in further publicity which might identify Ms P.

The Authority was concerned when Ms P stated in the Complaint Referral Form that the

item's promo disclosed aspects of her past to her two sons – potentially a matter of great

importance. However, as it was not a matter raised in the original complaint, the

Authority was unable to determine the issue.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority


Iain Gallaway
28 April 1994


Ms P's Complaint to TV3 Network Services Limited

In a letter posted in early August 1993, Ms P complained to TV3 Network Services Ltd

about an item broadcast on 20/20 between 7.30– 8.30pm on Sunday 11 July. The item

entitled "Hear No Evil – Speak No Evil" interviewed three daughters of a man who had

recently been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for incest with his five daughters.

Explaining that she was one of the daughters who did not appear during the item, Ms P

said the item had caused her and other family members a great deal of pain. She listed the

broadcasting standards which she considered were breached by the broadcast and gave her

reasons for the breach in each instance.

Standard G1 requiring truth and accuracy had been breached, she said, when all the

daughters had been described as bitter to which she replied: "I am not". Moreover, the

voices of the programme's participants were not changed. She also contested the statement

that one of her sisters had been raped regularly in the local rubbish tip, adding that the

point was not given in evidence at her father's trial. Further, she disputed the eldest sister's

statement that she had cared for Ms P when she left home. She had had no contact, she

said, with her eldest sister after she had left home.

Standard G3 requires that individuals be given the right to express their own opinions.

Noting that TV3's reporter did not contact her until asked to do so by another daughter,

Ms P said she was offended by the reporter's approach. She continued:

[TV3's reporter] informed me my views did not fit into her story line, or what had

then already been filmed. My views did not count.

This caused a great deal of distress, we all have different views and this fact they

chose to ignore. Five members of our family were not approached for their


The obligation in standard G4 is to deal justly and fairly with any person referred to. This

standard had been breached, Ms P stated, as contrary to the comments which had been

broadcast, she was not bitter and not a sex machine but her past had been rewritten

without her consent.

Respect for the principles of law is the standard G5 requirement and, Ms P said, although

TV3 had been required by the High Court not to identify the family, the item included

photographs of the family and their homes and had shown former neighbours talking

about the family.

Broadcasters are required to show balance, fairness and impartiality under standard G6

which, Ms P complained, was breached because, as a result, her past was rewritten.

The remaining standards identified as breached are included in the section headed "News,

Current Affairs and Documentaries". Standard G14 requires that news be presented

accurately, objectively and impartially and Ms P said it was contravened as the 20/20

item implied that the five sisters held the same views.

Standard G16 requires broadcasters to review constantly the integrity and reliability of

news sources. Ms P said that because some family property had been stolen, it was a

"question for concern" that TV3 had used the eldest sister as its main source.

Presenting news in a way which causes unnecessary distress is to be avoided pursuant to

standard G16. However, Ms P wrote, the broadcast (and its promos) had made the recent

weeks "a hell" for her and her family.

Associated with that requirement is standard G17 which prohibits the unnecessary

intrusion into family grief. Describing the media harassment since the beginning of the

trial as unbearable, Ms P said that the broadcast had added to her pain.

Ms P pointed out that standard G21, which requires that significant errors of facts must

be corrected at the earliest opportunity was important. She added that the programme

was in error to group the five daughters as sharing a common experience. She wrote:

I am not a sex machine

I was not repeatedly raped

I was not a support factor for that programme

I am educated and until this harassment had put my past in my pocket and was

trying very hard to get on with my life

I was not a bitter woman.

She also stated that the case was not thirty years old, as the item said, and that was

apparent when the dates were worked out.

She repeated her concern about TV3's reporter's attitude describing her lack of compassion

and respect for the family's privacy as offensive. She referred to the Court order which,

despite the wish of one or more of the daughters, stated that the family was not to be

identified. Despite this order, Ms P concluded, four separate family photographs were

shown, five family homes were depicted, there were four references to the "five daughters

– sisters – concubines" and, in addition, a reference to the charges and the sentence.

TV3's Response to the Formal Complaint

TV3 advised Ms P of its Complaints Committee's decision in a letter dated 8 October 1993

when it reported that the complaint had been assessed under the nominated standards

and, in addition, the requirement to respect an individual's privacy in s.4(1)(c) of the

Broadcasting Act 1989.

TV3 began by stating that it had not used the Court evidence of Ms P or the other sister

who did not participate in the programme. It continued:

The documentary is a personal tragedy and the revelations from your sisters were

treated sensitively, poignantly and without any sensationalism. Your sisters took

part in the documentary (to varying degrees as requested by them) of their own

volition – they were willing participants and they wanted their story told.

The item's emphasis, TV3 added, was the public concern that the police and social welfare

might continue not to act on such matters as had occurred with the events explored on

the programme. The item, while presenting the family history had deliberately avoided

disclosing "gruesome details".

TV3 also questioned Ms P's differing attitude to different parts of the media, noting that

Ms P had been interviewed on the Holmes programme and, with some of her sisters, had

lobbied publicly in support of a petition about sexual offending. As a consequence of these

activities, TV3 observed, it was probable that her identity as a complainant in her father's

trial was known before the broadcast of the 20/20 item.

TV3 then dealt with the complaints made under the nominated standards.

Beginning with the truth and accuracy requirement in standard G1, TV3 explained that

its reporter had discussed the programme and the approach adopted with Ms P who had

then talked about the offenses. The conversation had moved on to a discussion about the

eldest sister (Ms H) and her alleged bad side. As the item was not about Ms H or about the

relationship with the sisters, TV3 noted that Ms P had declined to take part in the

programme. It added:

It was 20/20 who wished to be impartial and certainly accurate.

TV3 also said that the voices were altered by modulation. The sister who described the trips

to the tip was the best source of evidence, it continued, but the prosecution, for evidential

reasons, had not included it in the case brought to court.

As for the standard G3 requirement to allow individuals to express their opinion, TV3

maintained that Ms P had been consulted but because of the relationship with her eldest

sister, had declined to take part in the programme.

The item had not dealt with Ms P unfairly in breach of standard G4 and had complied

with legal principles as required by standard G5. Indeed, TV3 added, care had been taken

to comply with Justice Neazor's ruling and there had been no criticism from the Solicitor


The standard G6 requirement for balance was achieved as the material presented had been

corroborated by official records and family members. TV3 added:

You chose not to appear and TV3 respects that choice but you were consulted. It

was clear during that consultation that the views you wished to express, had you

appeared, would have been to settle a difference of opinion within the family. It

appeared that your aim was contrary to the aim of 20/20.

When dealing with the complaint under standards G14 and G15, TV3 referred back to his

response to the standard G1, observing:

This documentary would probably be the most scrutinised of any produced within

TV3. The sources used and the information presented were the most accurate

possible. 20/20 did not take sides nor display any impartiality – the best possible

was achieved.

It was not aware, it continued, of the allegation about stolen family material which,

nevertheless, was a family matter.

Regarding the duty in standard G16 to use reliable news sources, TV3 repeated that the

item, about the inaction of official agencies at the time, was a "compelling account of

sexual violation". It hoped that the programme would encourage other victims to come

forward and seek assistance. The three sisters who appeared, TV3 said, had recounted not

only their sexual violation but also their physical and emotional abuse and that it was not

the victims' fault. In fact, "they are blameless for their predicament".

TV3 denied harassing Ms P in contravention of standard G17, adding that it was not

responsible for the actions of other journalists. It also pointed out that the family

members had approached TV3, not the reverse. It also denied that the programme

contained incorrect facts which required correction under standard G21.

Dealing with the aspect of the complaint which alleged an invasion of Ms P's privacy, TV3

said that despite the request from some of the sisters that they be identified, the Court of

Appeal had confirmed Justice Neazor's reasoning that name suppression was mandatory

when a trial decided that incest had occurred. That ruling was complied with by TV3.

For the above reasons, TV3 declined to uphold any aspects of the complaint.

Ms P's Complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority

Dissatisfied with TV3's decision in a letter dated 25 October 1993 Ms P referred her

complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting

Act 1989.

In the Complaint Referral Form completed at the Authority's request, Ms P said that the

programme had been inaccurate in relying on three members of a ten member family.

She denied that TV3's reporter had been sensitive when telephoning and asking for details

of a sexual nature. She had not declined to take part because of a dislike for her eldest

sister (Ms H), as TV3 claimed, but because of her objection to the item's message "of

negative reinforcement for victims".

Because the item had showed official buildings in the town where the family had lived, she

had been recognised as part of the family referred to. She was concerned about, she added:

The way in which a TV company has lied both to me and others at the cost of a

story but more importantly the lack of compassion for us. I would never have

thought people would be so eager to put the boot in when we were already down.

We had no time to regain our strength after the case when the creeps told us how

our lives were even after knowing our feelings on the matter.

TV3, she added, had declined a later request not to broadcast the item on the basis that it

spent too much money. That attitude, as she had told TV3 at the time, had made her a

victim again. She also objected that TV3 had treated her as a liar and, furthermore, had

disclosed to her two boys (the younger being 7 years old) that she had been raped. She


I wonder if they are happy for my children also to be part of this sick story.

She added:

It seems to me the fact that I was raped is bad enough. Was it really important for

them to know Dad was doing this at the dump? Who does this help other than

their ratings?

Expressing her concern that the three sisters who had appeared on the programme, and

who had not been totally truthful, had disclosed to her friends (who had previously not

known) that she had been raped, she said the questions asked had upset her and had

caused her and her family a great deal of pain.

Noting that she found writing a difficult activity, she asked for the opportunity to present

her case orally in order to explain the pain inflicted upon her and her two sons.

TV3's Response to the Authority

As is its practice, the Authority sought the broadcaster's response to the complaint. Its

letter is dated 8 November 1993 and TV3, in its reply dated 17 November, stated that it

did not wish to comment further.

Further Correspondence

In view of the allegation in Ms P's Complaint Referral Form that her two sons had learnt

of her history at her father's hands from the promo for the item, in a letter to TV3 dated

20 December 1993 the Authority sought, if possible, a copy of the promo. Further, as TV3

had referred to Ms P's appearance on TVNZ's Holmes show in which she had been

canvassing in support for a petition in connection with sexual offending, the Authority

also asked TV3 for a copy of the relevant tape.

TV3's solicitors replied in a letter dated 14 February 1994 and advised that it was

obtaining the relevant tape from Ms P's oldest sister as she had lent the material to TV3

when it was attempting to have the name suppression removed.

The tape was enclosed with a letter dated 2 March 1994. It comprised a field tape and a

tape of the item broadcast on TVNZ's Holmes programme. That broadcast item gave the

sentence of the complainant's father, reported his name and showed two sisters (with

identities hidden) leaving the court. It also included comments from an interview with

three of the sisters which, TV3 advised, was filmed during the trial. The voices and

identities of these sisters were heavily disguised but each was wearing a distinctive t-shirt

carrying the statement "I'm against sex offenders". TV3's solicitor's letter contained such a

t-shirt for the Authority to examine.