RORY ALLAN AGAINST TVNZ

Case Number: 3015

Council Meeting: APRIL 2021

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: TVNZ

Ruling Categories: Editorial Discretion
Editorial Freedom

Overview

On 20 March 2021 TVNZ published a story on its website headed NZ remains only non-European country in top 10 of World Happiness Report.

Rory Allen complained about the use of the word Aotearoa in the first paragraph. It was not officially recognised as the name of this country and the news organisation should stop trying to “force the use of this word onto people”, he said.

The word Aotearoa was unacceptable as a general replacement for New Zealand. Using it in this way was misleading and would over time change public opinion in a way that Mr Allen said he did not believe the public wanted to go.

The Media Council notes that Te Reo is one of the official languages of New Zealand. “Aotearoa” is widely used in New Zealand as the alternative name of this country, and in our assessment is accepted as such by most New Zealanders.

The use of Te Reo is a matter of editorial style and something editors have the discretion to decide.

No principles have been breached

Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed.

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