Mediaworks has paid a Hastings woman "a confidential sum" of damages for a broadcast it aired about her five years ago which the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) ruled was unfair and inaccurate.

Horse and dog breeder Margaret Harkema featured in five episodes of TV3's prime-time current affairs show Campbell Live in late 2011.

Harkema was at the time a director of the Valley Animal Research Centre, which carried out experiments on beagles.

The BSA said Campbell Live "hyped up" aspects of an investigation into Harkema. It ordered Mediaworks to pay $12,000 towards her legal costs and $2000 for breaching her privacy.


Harkema then threatened the broadcaster with further legal action, her lawyer Steven Price said. After Harkema threatened to sue, she and Mediaworks negotiated a settlement, including a confidential sum of money and three public apologies.

The first apology aired before the last night's episode of Story - the show that replaced Campbell Live. It feature a message displayed onscreen and a voiceover.

"TV3 accepts that Campbell Live's allegations were wrong, and unreservedly apologises to Ms Harkema for the damage caused to her reputation and the severe distress caused to her and her family," last night's voiceover said.

It also referenced the BSA's ruling, which stated the reports were inaccurate, unfair, based on "a pre-determined, narrow view of Ms Harkema and her practices", were edited to portray her as dishonest and left out vital information relevant to the broadcast.

Two more apologies would air, one tonight and another on Friday, Price said. The apology would also be published on Mediaworks' website.

Ms Harkema said she felt vindicated and was relieved by the result.

"Those programmes left me debilitated financially and mentally. To this day I am shocked that a so-called reputable news organisation and its journalists could behave in such a reckless and irresponsible way."

A Mediaworks spokesman refused to comment further last night.