Rachel Smalley's tearful on-air apology

Last updated 07:24 03/04/2014
Newstalk ZB

Rachel Smalley has made an emotional apology after calling New Zealand women 'heifers' and 'a bunch of lardos' during an ad break.

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A tearful Rachel Smalley issued an on-air apology this morning for her comments about New Zealand women being "lardos" and "heifers".

At the end of her Newstalk ZB show Early Edition the broadcaster said she "made a flippant comment yesterday which upset and hurt a lot of people".

Smalley left her microphone on yesterday morning after an item about the morning after pill and how it may be ineffective on women who weigh more than 70kg.

According to Bloomberg, the average weight of New Zealand women is 74.6kg, the sixth highest national average in the world. New Zealand men come in eighth heaviest in the world with an average weight of 88.5kg.

Smalley's comments triggered a huge social media storm, which led to today's apology.

She said the comments went on air "in an environment where... it was out of context and was hurtful. It was stupid, it was judgmental and it was offensive".

"It was not made as a statement of fact and it was in no way representative of any opinion I have ever held, ever. And I'm sorry, I truly am.

"My role as a journalist has always been to inform and not to offend and yesterday I crossed that line."

"I'm so very sorry that I said what I did and I am sorry for the hurt that I caused and the many people that I let down, not least myself, my friends and my family."

Her show ended with a song and not the usual crossover to breakfast host Mike Hosking.

Smalley left TV3 for Newstalk ZB last year.

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- The Dominion Post

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