From Horowhenua comes a story about a man, a cam, a building which may or may not be earthquake proof, and a radio broadcast.
The man is Horowhenua district councillor Ross Campbell.
Camera to stop bullying
The cam is a body camera he wore in the council building because he said he might be bullied.
And the broadcast, which had Mr Campbell talking on Radio Live with no response from the Horowhenua council ended up at the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Broadcast standards breached
It found the broadcast was misleading and had breached several broadcasting standards.
It’s the latest round in the fractious history of the current Horowhenua district council, particularly two of its elected members, Mr Campbell and the mayor Michael Feyen.
It started even before the 2016 local election when the two men refused to enter the HDC building on Levin’s main street, citing earthquake safety concerns.
The elections saw Mr Campbell back on the council with Mt Feyen as the new mayor, displacing the long-serving incumbent Brendan Duffy.
Mayor Feyen then used his power as mayor to have Mr Campbell as his deputy.
Crs dumped Campbell as Deputy Mayor
This lasted no time at all when the other councillors used their voting power to dislodge Mr Campbell and appoint Councillor Wayne Bishop as the number two.
The bitterness continued. Mr Campbell made news when he wore a body camera in the council building, citing threats from another councillor.
Last year Radio Live host Lynda Hallinan interviewed Mr Campbell on her talk show.
When Campbell explained his position Hallinan asked where the leadership was and if the CEO or someone “should stand up and say stop…. guys stop behaving like idiots.”
When Horowhenua District Council (HDC) complained to the station owner Mediaworks, the owners upheld a fairness complaint.
( Editor’s Note: But the council said the broadcast had also breached accuracy and balance standards, not just Fairness. And later the Broadcast Standards Authority noted that even though Mediaworks admitted the broadcast had caused harm, they did not publish any statement saying so.)
At that time, the Horowhenua Council said ‘not good enough’ and sent its complaint on to the Broadcast Standards Authority.
Now the Authority says Mediaworks breached its fairness, balance and accuracy standards by making no attempt to contact the council.
It has ordered Mediworks to broadcast an approved statement about its ruling.
Radio Live no longer exists but the statement will go out at 12.10 pm on the company’s Magic Talk network during Sean Plunket’s session sometime this month. To read the full BSA finding go to https://www.bsa.govt.nz/decisions/all-decisions/horowhenua-district-council-and-mediaworks-radio-ltd-2018-105-29-july-2019/