Henry flag complaints rejected

By Heather McCracken

Controversial broadcaster Paul Henry has won his latest brush with the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Two complaints over comments he made on TV One's Breakfast about flying a Maori flag from the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day were rejected.

During the July interview with Auckland University of Technology Professor Paul Moon, Henry said holding hui to choose a flag was a "colossal waste of money", and the Tino Rangatiratanga flag was a "flag of division".

The complainants said the item was denigrating to Maori and breached standards for accuracy, fairness, good taste and responsible programming.

TVNZ said the comments were clearly Henry's own opinion, and did not belittle or demean Maori.

The case was Henry's second before the authority this year. A complaint over comments he made about a Greenpeace female's facial hair was also rejected.

But TVNZ this month upheld complaints about Henry's description of Susan Boyle as "retarded".

The state broadcaster found the comments, made on Breakfast in November, breached standards of good taste and decency.

Henry did not return calls yesterday.

In another decision last week, the Broadcasting Standards Authority found TV3's coverage of Maori TV's Rugby World Cup bid was "legitimate satire".

The authority said it would have been obvious that Ali Ikram's item on Nightline was not meant to be taken seriously.

- HERALD ON SUNDAY

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