Case Number: 2874

Council Meeting: MARCH 2020

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Nelson Mail

Ruling Categories: Accuracy
Court Reporting


Dai Mitchell has complained about an article published in the February 20, 2020 edition of theNelson Mail. He says the article is inaccurate in saying that the Brook Valley Community Group had taken an appeal to the Supreme Court when the appeal had not been heard by the full Court of five judges but only by a panel of three judges who refused permission for the case to proceed to the full Court.

The Media Council can find no arguable case to put to the Nelson Mail. The article did not state that the appeal had been heard by the Supreme Court, only (in a very brief summary of the history of the litigation) that it had been taken to that Court.

In addition, the Nelson Mail had previously reported, in May 2019, on the Supreme Court proceedings and their outcome, so that anyone with more than a passing interest in the issue would have been aware of the position.

To a more general reader, the February article conveyed the accurate point that the Brook Valley Community Group had been unsuccessful in all litigation.

Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed

There are insufficient grounds to establish a breach of any Principle and this complaint will not proceed.