The broadcasters of Campbell Live have been ordered to pay a woman who carried out experiments on beagles.
The Broadcasting Standards Authority said Campbell Live "hyped up" aspects of an investigation into Margaret Harkema, a former director of the Valley Animal Research Centre.
Ms Harkema featured in five separate episodes of the TV3 current affairs programme in late 2011.
The Authority said it was "inevitable" Ms Harkema would have attracted criticism for her involvement with an animal testing facility.
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"She did have a position of responsibility in the company that undertook the commercial business of animal testing."
Yet the Authority said overall, Campbell Live allegations against her were overblown and breached standards of fairness and accuracy.
"It drew inferences that were not able to be drawn and generally hyped up the items to a point beyond where they ought to have been."
Meanwhile, the vivisectionist complained of a privacy breach related to a hidden camera sting showing her delivering beagles to a prospective buyer.
The Authority said there was insufficient public interest in the particular footage captured to justify using covert filming.
Campbell Live broadcaster Mediaworks was told to pay $12,000 towards Ms Harkema's legal costs and $2000 compensation for the privacy breach.
"There was a high level of public interest in the investigation, which the broadcaster was legitimately entitled to cover," said Karen Scott-Howman, the Authority's chief executive. "But in this case the broadcaster went too far in some areas."