New details have emerged about how an angler allegedly failed a lie detector test after reeling in a massive marlin.
All four men aboard the fishing boat are adamant they caught the fish and should be handed the $48,000 prize, but the event promoter is so far standing firm.
David Baty from OddsOn Promotions said former police detective Dean Young, who says he hauled in the 136.6kg catch, failed the polygraph test "terribly".
Mr Baty told NZME Mr Young flunked two questions about where and when the marlin was caught.
OddsOn was contracted by the Hawkes Bay Sports Fishing Club to promote its Mega Fish competition over Waitangi weekend, with Mr Young's catch taking first place.
But nearly two months later, Mr Young is yet to see his prize, an Isuzu ute worth $48,000.
He stands by his account and was going to sell the vehicle and split the winnings with the three other men on the boat, all of whom told NZME they were there and saw the lengthy battle with the marlin.
Mr Young's brother Lance and father Tony were adamant about the catch."I back my crew 200 per cent, not 100 per cent," Lance Young said, adding he was disgusted the prize hadn't been handed over yet.
"We caught that fish fair and square."
The four men, all experienced fishermen, had signed affidavits saying so.
Mr Baty told NZME Mr Young failed two questions about where and when the marlin was caught.
He said the winning claim hadn't been declined, rather he requested more information from the club and his company was simply implementing a clause signed by the club.
"We have asked for the plotter used on the boat during the contest. Go Pro footage supplied shows Dean [Young] in a chair winding a reel, there is no footage of the marlin near the boat or being landed.
"The four people on the boat have all agreed to split the prize money four ways, they all have a vested interest in the outcome of the claim. The only person completely independent is the polygraph examiner, he is paid whether a person passes or fails and exam," Mr Baty said.
"No amount of pressure from your paper will change the fact we are investigating the [fishing club's] claim."
Mr Baty said he had paid out winning claims from the club in the past. He pointed to examples where polygraph testing was used in fishing competitions overseas, although club president Alex Smith said in his decades of angling he wasn't aware of it.
He added that the club vouched for the integrity of Mr Young and the others on his boat.
"We need to look at what options we're going to take next. We'll be seeking legal advice."
Mr Baty has twice featured on consumer affairs TV show Fair Go.
Once was over a paper dart competition organised by the Papakura District Business Association in 1999. Auckland man Gavin Findlay was denied a $27,000 new car after throwing a dart 15m into a small 12in square box, sitting on top of a car.
The throw was performed in front of a large crowd in a closed-off main street but Sports and Events Marketing, run by Mr Baty, said the effort was wind-assisted.
After months of wrangling Mr Findlay was given the car in a goodwill deal during filming of the Fair Go programme.
"The story on the paper dart had Niwa evidence that the winds gusted to over 25 knots that day - flags in the background of photos taken that day were fully extended," Mr Baty told NZME.
"Mr Findlay negates to state that the original event was to be held inside a car dealer showroom, the car dealer got the local community club to run the event outdoors."
When the event underwriter refused to pay, his company contributed a third of the cost of the prize and Toyota and Papakura Toyota two-thirds, he said.
Mr Baty again featured on Fair Go a decade ago after water cooler customers raised questions about the legitimacy of a promotion to win a return trip to Paris that ultimately had no winner.
"In terms of the water cooler promotion, there [are] ongoing issues around prize indemnity promotions and how to communicate the probability," he said.
"In 22 years we have [staged] thousands of promotions and paid out hundreds of claims. When we investigate a claim the first action is for the winner to cry foul and run to the media.
"Every major insurance company in New Zealand has appeared on Fair Go far more times than our company."
Commerce Commission records show the watchdog received one complaint about OddsOn Promotions in 2011. It was investigated and no further action was taken.Mr Baty said over the years, he'd undertaken plenty of charity fundraising on top of his normal business.
How do polygraph tests work?
They can say if someone is telling the truth or not in 95-96 per cent of cases
Breathing is monitored across the upper stomach and chest
A cardio cuff keeps track of blood pressure and heart rate
A monitor on two fingers keeps an eye on the sweat glands
"Yes, no" questions only?Results monitored on a computer programme?"Allegation" questions spread among neutral ones
Test looks for reaction to these allegations
Source: Barry Newman, polygraph examiner, Lie Detector New Zealand.