Case Number: 805

Council Meeting: November 2000

Verdict: Not Upheld

Publication: Hawkes Bay Today

Ruling Categories: Letters to the Editor, Closure, Non-Publication

A complaint of censorship against Hawke's Bay Today, published in Hastings, by Wayne Church of Napier, has not been upheld by the New Zealand Press Council.

In his complaint to the Council Mr Church said the substance of his complaint was that all three letters he had submitted for use in the letters to the editor column between 3 June and 23 August had been rejected.

The Council noted that in the period Mr Church actually submitted four letters, one of these being published on 4 July.

While publication of that letter did materially affect the "substance" of the complaint,
it did not affect the Council's adjudication.

The Council declines to uphold the complaint and reiterates that editors have the right and duty to select letters that they feel will serve the interests of their readers. There was nothing in the three unpublished letters that Mr Church presented to the Council which warranted exceptional treatment. The complaint is not upheld.