TVNZ ordered to apologise to Colin Craig
Television New Zealand has been told to apologise to Conservative Party leader Colin Craig for a "childish" satirical Seven Sharp skit.
The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) found the item about Craig, which mocked him for threatening defamation against satirical website The Civilian, was a personal attack.
"The comments about his personal character and attributes went too far, and turned the item into a sustained personal attack against Colin Craig that was childish and unfair, in circumstances where he had no chance to defend himself," the BSA said.
Comments made about Craig were "personal abuse masquerading as satire", and breached the fairness standard, the BSA said.
In the skit, comedian Jesse Mulligan, one of the presenters on the show, stood in front of a large screen displaying the words "Jesse's Guide to Making Fun of Colin Craig" and then gives a range of opinions about Craig.
The state broadcaster was ordered to broadcast an apology to Craig for unfair treatment, and pay $1500 costs to the Crown.
A number of complaints were filed about the show, which aired on April 24, as well as an earlier item about Craig that aired on April 17.
The earlier item related to Craig's opposition to the Marriage Amendment Bill.