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RNZ must say sorry to Ellis

NZ Herald

Radio New Zealand has lost an appeal against a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it apologise to convicted child molester Peter Ellis.

Radio NZ had argued that an apology was a voluntary expression of contrition and to be ordered to say sorry, when it was not, amounted to dishonesty.

The order for an apology and publication of a summary of the authority’s decision in four major daily newspapers was the result of finding that National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme in August 2003 was not fair and balanced. A man interviewed on the programme had made new allegations against Mr Ellis.

Radio NZ also had to pay Mr Ellis $5300 costs and $5000 to the Crown. It accepted the finding that the story lacked fairness and balance but objected to apologising.