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The owner of a building company that took on popular TV show Fair Go over an episode found to be inaccurate by the Broadcasting Standards Authority says he pursued the case “for the benefit of tradespeople”.
New Homes Direct owner Michael Morrison told the Herald the process of filing the complaint and getting to the decision stage had been a huge ordeal for them.
“At this stage we are just considering our options. I will meet with the team on what our next steps would be,” he said.
“The reason why we pursued this is for the benefit of tradespeople,” he said.
Morrison’s comments follow New Zealand’s broadcasting watchdog upholding the complaint from New Homes Direct about the episode, which aired in September last year.
The BSA said there was no breach of privacy and balance standards did not apply due to the nature of the programme – but agreed the show was inaccurate and misleading in its portrayal of the building issues.
These issues included price variations and the company’s responsibility for delays and outstanding council invoices.
The BSA determined the complainants were portrayed unfairly and TVNZ has failed to take reasonable efforts to ensure the programme was accurate and did not mislead.
In a statement, the authority said Fair Go’s presentation and discussion of issues was likely to have caused “unwarranted harm” to the complainants’ reputation.
“We are conscious the Fair Go series, and its investigations into various consumer issues, is of public interest and carries high value.
“However, where a person or organisation referred to in a broadcast might be adversely affected, their comments must be fairly depicted.”
The authority said in this case the broadcaster had not met its obligations.
A TVNZ spokesperson said the broadcaster accepted the BSA’s decision.
TVNZ has been ordered to publish a statement summarising the authority’s decision and to pay $2000 legal costs plus disbursements to the complainants and $1000 in costs to the Crown.
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