Case Number: 3021

Council Meeting: APRIL 2021

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Stuff

Ruling Categories: Accuracy
Editorial Discretion
Editorial Freedom


Roger Willoughby complained about the Media Council’s dismissal of Heather Morris’s complaint about the use of Te Reo, as reported by Stuff on 11 March 2021. “I believe you are out of touch with the 97 per cent of New Zealanders who do not speak Te Reo. I would guess that the vast majority are fed up with Te Reo being pushed upon us. I think it is very divisive,” Mr Willoughby said.

He also objected to the statement attributed to Māori Language Commissioner Rawinia Higgins in the Stuff article saying eight out of 10 Kiwis see Te Reo as something to be proud of. “I think Ms Higgins has made this up and has no evidence to support her claim,” he said.

Although Mr Willoughby made a formal complaint, it is not clear whether he was complaining about the Media Council’s previous decision or the Stuff story reporting this, or both.

The Media Council does not intend to enter into further debate about the Heather Morris decision and notes that the comments of Rawinia Higgins were clearly her opinion, so no principles were breached.

Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed.