NZ radio host guilty of code breach

Staff Writer

Jamie Mackay is the host of Newstalk ZB's Farming Show on The Radio Network (TRN).

The BSA (Broadcasting Standards Authority) has found Mackay and TRN in breach of Standard 6 of their codes of practice. This standard relates to fairness.

Mackay was alleged to have told bar staff at a pub that he would give them bad publicity after being refused service. He then followed through with his threat on his January 14 show saying:

"We went to this bar on Lasseters Wharf called The Waterfront Bar, and hello to the manager there, whose name I don’t know because I wasn’t there long enough to get a name. So we wander in there, four of us, right, looking for something to eat, farmers and me, all with their money in their wallets wanting to buy some dinner and have something to drink, and the bloke said, “What have you been up to?”, just as soon as we walked in, and before we could say anything else, he said, “Have you been on it?”… I said, “We have been at the Sevens and just had a couple of beers,” and he said, “I am afraid I can’t serve you”… So, The Waterfront Bar on Lasseters Wharf, it’s probably a lovely bar to go and have a drink, but make sure when you go there, you don’t have a drink before you go there, because you might not get served."

Following this, Mackay's producer said, “There are two sides to every story, though.”

Mackay replied saying, “Well I am sticking by my story. I am absolutely sticking by my story… it’s interesting actually, there were a lot of people at the Sevens who probably wouldn’t have got a beer, it’s fair to say, at The Waterfront Bar, but I would have thought 50-somethings getting in after a few pints are not going to cause too much trouble.”

The owner of the bar said security footage showed Mackay's group were refused service for being intoxicated and aggressive, and said he had threatened bar staff with bad publicity.

The Radio Network said it "wasn't ideal for hosts to use the radio to air their own personal grievances", but they were encouraged to tell stories from their real lives.

In their ruling, the BSA said there was minimal value in Mackay's comments, which had an "undertone of revenge".

"He abused his position as the host of a radio programme in order to publicly criticise an identifiable business, and to advance his own personal agenda."

The complaint was upheld but no penalty was imposed.

TRN's GM of talk programming Dallas Gurney told the NZ Herald "it happened four months ago and it was dealt with at the time….It was very much regrettable. However, Jamie realises his mistake and has apologised to the bar and I believe the apology has been accepted."

Read the full BSA Decision here.

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (0)
Post new comment


See all