Midwives' complaint not upheld

18:20, Aug 29 2012

A complaint to the Press Council against the Waikato Times about its coverage of the death of a Huntly mother and child has not been upheld.

A complaint was made against this newspaper and others by the New Zealand College of Midwives (NZCOM), after the story was published on May 24

The NZCOM argued standards of accuracy, fairness, balance and privacy were breached in the reporting of the death of Casey Missy Turama Nathan, 20, who died at Waikato Hospital six hours after giving birth at Huntly Birthcare. Her baby son died two days later.

The Times reported that the midwife who helped to deliver Ms Nathan's baby had 18 months' experience, prompting NZCOM to argue that it was premature to imply that this was a possible contribution to the tragedy.

However, the Press Council ruled that the story was of significant public interest and Ms Nathan's family's opinions on her death were clearly portrayed as such and they were entitled to have them aired.

The council also disagreed with NZCOM's contention that the newspaper failed to contact the midwife concerned and noted the lengths to which the paper had gone to seek comment from her, and its consideration in not publishing her name.


Waikato Times