A segment on The AM Show where a reporter made comments about an MP stealing dead babies' identities was inaccurate and unfair, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has ruled.

The BSA received three complaints about the segment on the TV3 show which aired last year where Duncan Garner and then Newshub political editor Patrick Gower were discussing the three strikes law.

Gower referred to one of the MPs involved introducing the law, former Act MP David Garrett, as "stealing babies' identities himself before he came into Parliament".

Garner later corrected Gower saying "it was one baby and that's why he left - dead baby, actually - one dead baby and that's why he left Parliament. It wasn't dead babies. He's a lawyer and he might ring us and we might get into trouble so there we go, just clearing that up before he rings us."


The BSA received three complaints from David Garrett, Rachael Membery and David Round who said the comment breached the accuracy and fairness standards.

The complainants said the comment implied Garrett had been stealing babies' identities just prior to entering Parliament which was incorrect as it happened more than 30 years ago in 1984.

While MediaWorks acknowledged Gower's statement was incorrect, it said it had taken the appropriate action and corrected it within the segment.

But the BSA found Garner's correction to be "dismissive and perfunctory and insufficient to correct the error".

Membery also raised concerns about it breaching the discrimination, denigration and balance standards which were not upheld.

In its ruling, the BSA said MediaWorks' statement was unfair because it was incorrect and Garner's apology should have been "more moderate and less dismissive".

The BSA did not make an order and felt the publication of the decision was satisfactory.