The New Zealand Media Council last month failed to uphold a complaint against Mahurangi Matters, which alleged that a story that appeared last year was “inaccurate, unbalanced and unfair”.
The complaint arose after Mahurangi Matters published the story “Brother’s dispute threatens boatyard” on the front page of its August 2 issue.
The story concerned the potential closure of Robertson Boats – a major Warkworth boatbuilder – following a dispute between brothers Conrad and Martin Robertson.
Martin Robertson subsequently complained to the Media Council saying the article presented a “one-sided view of a long-running dispute” and that while one party in the dispute, Conrad, had been quoted extensively, there had been no approach to himself.
Martin Robertson also complained that lease expiry date mentioned in the story was incorrect.
In its defence, Mahurangi Matters argued that the lease expiry date was not fundamental to the story and that it had been subsequently corrected online. Mahurangi Matters further argued that the article was about the future of the boatyard and not about the rights and wrongs of the dispute between the brothers.
In its decision, the Media Council agreed the incorrect lease expiry date was not a “fundamental error”. It also found that the article was not about the dispute, save as part of the background to the possible closure of the boatyard. The focus of the article was on the effects of a closure of the boatyard on the Mahurangi community.
Full details of Media Council ruling can be found on its website: https://www.mediacouncil.org.nz/rulings/