Tamihere unrepentant over Amy

By Kathryn Powley

Former radio host John Tamihere says MediaWorks broke an agreement over issuing a joint press release. Photo / David White
Former radio host John Tamihere says MediaWorks broke an agreement over issuing a joint press release. Photo / David White

John Tamihere says he would happily ask his daughter the questions he controversially put to a woman named Amy at the height of the Roast Busters saga.

On November 11, six days after Amy's call to RadioLive, after public condemnation and advertising withdrawals, Tamihere and co-host Willie Jackson were pulled off air for the rest of the year.

On air, Tamihere had asked Amy, among other things, how old she was when she first had sex, and whether underage girls who had sex with "Roast Busters" members did so consensually.

The Herald on Sunday has obtained a copy of MediaWorks Radio Standards Committee report which clears the pair of breaching broadcast standards.

Tamihere, who has left the company, said the decision to terminate his contract was mutual.

"But for some unknown reason, [MediaWorks] proceeded to break an agreement which was that we would jointly issue a press release.

I never got the chance to have that conversation. They just dropped the story as it was."

He suggested he was talking with lawyers, saying he had "live rights and remedies flowing right now".

Tamihere - who has three daughters - also said Amy could have hung up at any time, and she might have been a rogue caller who might not have known anything.

"Those are the questions I would have posed to my own daughter, and if I'd pose them to my own daughter why, if I had a witness on the line who'd said she was, could I not put some of those questions [to her]?

"Of course, we abhor rape and violence against women etc etc, but she's a long stretch to connect that with a three-hour talkback show dealing with social media disclosures by a pack of young West Auckland male youth."

MediaWorks Radio Standards Committee report finds Jackson and Tamihere punctuated their three-hour show with assurances they didn't condone the so-called "Roast Busters behaviour", and that they believed sex with underage girls was rape.

They covered a wide variety of angles and, although the complainants found comments offensive, their regular audience was unlikely to feel the same way.

Of particular concern were Tamihere's questions about when she had first had sex. The committee found: "Discussion about the Roast Busters will at times be a discussion about underage sex, and it was clearly not a premeditated question designed to unsettle the interviewee."

Complainants not satisfied with the MediaWorks report have 20 days to contact the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Tamihere said he planned to concentrate on his Waipareira Trust work but was unlikely to tune in to his old show with Jackson's new co-host, former Seven Sharp host Alison Mau.

Asked how Jackson would get on with Mau, Tamihere laughed and said: "I wouldn't have a clue. You've just got to wish them all the best."

- Herald on Sunday

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 18 Sep 2014 04:31:37 Processing Time: 581ms