Once again a well-known person has been given name suppression.
In the latest case, a high-profile New Zealand sportsman has appeared in court after being arrested for assault.
Police said the sportsman was granted name suppression. Is this fair?
This forum debate has now closed. Here is a selection of your views on the topic.
If/when he is eventually found guilty, then you media types can publish his name as much as you like. Until then, he should be considered innocent, and protected as such - right now his identity is none of anybody elses business.
Personally I believe that everyone should have automatic identity suppression until proven guilty. Too many innocent people have their lives damaged because of false accusations and bad media coverage.
People continue to make the argument that sportspeople who commit crimes (as may or may not have happened in this situation) receive preferential treatment within the justice system. This of course is ridiculous. If anything they tend to get a raw deal because of their fame. The best example of this was Marc Ellis court appearance not so long ago where he received a sentence far exceeding what an average Joe like myself would have got in the same situation.
The suggestion made by an individual on this page that "If it had been Mr Average on the street his name would have been plastered all over the newspaper, TV. and radio" is also ridiculous. We are hardly going to get 3 News leading with the story of someone not know has been accused of assault. I agree wholeheartedly with the previous comments made by Steve relating to sportsmen and women supposedly being role models. While it would be nice if having athletic ability directly led to high standards of morality, the reality is they are all as flawed as you or I. We should stop putting them up on that pedestal.
People saying "if it was Joe Bloggs, his name would be everywhere' are forgetting that the media has no interest in Joe Bloggs. "Everywhere" would consist of a line, or a paragraph at most, buried somewhere on page 7. This person, because of his occupation, would be vilified and treated as guilty no matter what the verdict - see the recent police rape cases! Name suppression unless there is a guilty verdict, I say.
As Alice would say - couriouser and curiouser. Why is it that in NZ suppression seems to be of such great benefit to those who enjoy a little bad behaviour?
If I had assaulted someone, would I get name suppression? No I wouldnt. So what makes a rugby player or TV presenter or other well known Kiwi more worthy of name suppression than the rest of the public?! They arent on a pedestal above everyone else but I think they forget that sometimes!
This has gone on now for over fifty years, why treat players like tin gods?
If the average man/woman gets name suppression then yes, but if not, then get rid of the name suppression... Need I say more?
Like a lot of fellow Nzers I have a huge problem with the whole trial by media. The "innocent until proven guilty" premise is fundamental to how our justice system works. No one benefits from publicising a suspects identity before a case has reached its conclusion. Trial by media is a hack way of conducting major cases. It only panders to the lowest common denominator of "character assassination journalism". I would be really disappointed to see NZ go down the American or Britsh route of the tabloid "trial by media" type circus. All people, whether famous, rich or poor have the right to a fair and unbias trial.
Whether this person is a high profile athlete or not is a moot point. He is protected by the laws as they pertain to "name suppression" (not fame)as are many other people for various other reasons. Also, many people have argued that high profile athletes should be role models, and as role models they should act accordingly. However once again, that is not the point either; the fact is, whether one is famous or not, individuals should abide by the laws of their respected country. High profile athletes and any other famous people are not role models for the rest of the country, they do not deserve that moralistic pressure forced upon them. These people are simply individuals who have achieved in high profile professions.
It is a 2 way situation, your average Joe doesnt have his / her name put in the paper when they commit an offence and they are also entitled to name suppression. It does depend on how serious the crime is though. I think if any extra punishment is to be handed out it is with the team and or company who sponsers the person. Bringing the sports code of conduct as a representative in disrepute is quite serious and should be punishable by the managers of who they are representing. For example if a NRL player is fined off field the team dishes out its own form of discipline as well. To humiliate someone in public for an offence (that is not life threatening or drug / alcohol dealing) because they have a job that requires them to be in the spotlight seems a little unfair. If that player is involved in any community based activities for promotion of the team or product that sponsors them, then this should be with held as punishment. Allowing them to would be promoting a lie to the community and that is the last thing we need to be supporting.
Every person who appears before the Court, no matter what the charge or whoever they are should have name suppression until they are found guilty. That may stop the second rate news reporting that we have in this Country, our news service here do us no favours. But it is every persons right to have name suppression. I have read some of the responses to this question and can only think that a lot of your respondents also call in to Talk Show hosts. Enough said..
Name suppression should be for all, until they are proved guilty. To all the people who think otherwise. Anyone, could accuse you, of assault,abuse, theft, etc.. Would you want your name plastered out there? For the parasitic news media to enjoy their "glory" while you, and your family go through "hell" when you are possibly innocent. Get a life you parasites of gossip! Wait until it has been proved. This applies for everyone,not just well known people. Sad, sad people.
Name suppression until verdict is fair. But each case has to be considered on its merits. If it was a brutal assault or murder which clearly has a case to answer, then name suppression should only be given so that close family are made aware. In the USA it is standard practice to name everyone who has been charge irrespective of their ultimate guilt or innocence. But then their very public court shame of famous personlaities speaks for itself.
If an average member of the public does not get long term name suppression, then top sportsman shouldnt get it either. It is a case of one law for some, and another law for others.
Most people in my (sports) circle know who it is anyway. May as well have it out in the open, especially if suspicion falls on other (former) players.
No way should he get special treatment - he should be responsible for his actions.
This guy has not been convicted of anything as yet. If he was not a well-known person then the media would not have bothered to report the case at all. IF he has committed an assault, then he will hopefully receive a fair punishment on conviction. The reality is that even without name suppression, Joe or Jane Bloggs can assault their spouse, be charged and convicted in virtual anonymity, but anyone in the public eye is going to have their name plastered all over the paper - as will their spouse, the victim! They are people after all, not demi-gods. Many of your respondents appear to have already convicted this person on the grounds of a newspaper article, lets hope they don't get called for jury duty.
The issue of name suppression is easily resolved. It is either granted equally to everyone regardless of their public profile, or there is no name suppression. Only possible exception, being identity
protection for victims of sexual assault or similar.
I too agree with Simon James below. The media is able to "sensationalise" these incidents, if it was an "ordinary bloke" I doubt we would have heard about it. But because he has a profile, it is immediately "newsworthy". Whether he's guilty or not is up to the courts to decide, and if he is guilty then great, we should all know then and shame him.
Of course the well known sportsman should get his name published, along with the complainants name so that if the sportsman is found guilty then the complainant will get the sympathy but if she is found to be lying then everyone will know.
He should not get name suppression simply because he is a top sportman. "Top sportspeople" seem to be over represented in name suppression cases; it is almost like they are on a higher plane than us mere mortals. They already have over inflated egos and this just feeds their egos as well as subjecting other "top sportspeople" to speculation.
Of course the public should know. These men and women are role models for our kids. If they do something wrong they should be named and shamed. It comes along with the punishment that every other person would receive if they did the same thing, why should these people be any different? Just because they are famous or they are rich does not mean they dont live the life of a normal person they should be punished like one too.
Just like anyone else he has the right to privacy.Maybe it was him to blame,maybe it was not. If he wasnt well known, no one would care much what happened. Only if he was the unprovoked aggressor should he be named and shamed,which still needs to be proved.
The whole name suppression issue is a Pandoras box if we start naming everyone on a criminal charge. Some people legitimately need name suppression due to family or health issue or being wrongly accused.
Sports people shouldnt get special treatment they should get the same treatment as anyone else. How would the general sporting public feel about supporting and cheering on a wife basher? To those who are wanting name suppression removed from all people on trial would they want if the accused is found not guilty that the name suppression of the accuser is lifted as well? Such as in the last police rape case were unfounded unproven accusations were made under the cover of name suppression.
Actually, it is a media hype when they use phrases like "top sportsman", "famous doctor", etc. which increases our curiousity to know who the person is. In reality, everybody should be given name suppression for any alleged crime until proven guilty.
Unless releasing his name would identify a victim in this alleged crime then his name should be released. If he has not done the crime then he should have nothing to worry about. I dont care if he's Mike the All Black or Mike the plumber, nobody should receive special treatment just because of their "status", if they are so worried about their impact on their career then they should have thought of that first before getting into a situation like this. If it is all innocent then he will have nothing to worry about and his name will be cleared. Nobody should have more rights than anyone else, that is discrimation against the general populous of plumbers and supermarket workers, and all those who do not get name suppression in future like this guy has should file a law suit.
Yes, name suppression should be mandatory until a person is found guilty otherwise publicity is as damaging as a sentence.... and if innocent, no one should be subjected to that.
Innocent until proven guilty. The sportsman and anyone who is to go on trial should be treated alike. Name suppression until the verdict is given. If the sportsmans name were to be given to the public and the media, he would become public enemy No.1 even if he is innocent. Of course, should he be guilty then his name suppression should be lifted and then he deserves to be a public enemy.
No one, and especially a famous person, who is accused or convicted of any crime should be used for the entertainment of the general population by the news media. The harm caused to accused or convicted people and their families often far exceeds what any court of law would have intended. Punishment or ideally behaviour correction should be carried out by suitably qualified organisations not by the local television or newspaper company. Those concerned with seeing justice done can visit their local law court. Anyone at any time could attract the attention of the police and could very easily find themselves accused and even end up being convicted of almost anything. It is like accidentally stepping on to the top of an escalator if you dont quickly make a lot of effort to get off you will soon find yourself at the bottom without having to do anything at all! Those who have not experienced such encounters and believe it could not happen to them are indeed living in a fairy tale world.
Peter de Waal
Absolutely not! We are all supposedly equal before the law. To have special treatment for rich sports heroes endorses the violence they dish out to their loved ones and undermines the message that violence in the family is not acceptable. If they ca't control themselves when off the field then they should face the consequences, one of which is public shaming for their disgusting brutality.
The effects of name suppression are proportional to the profile of the person it applies to. Removing it only serves the unhealthy "Tall Poppy Syndrome" which already brings us all down as a community. All efforts to discourage "gossip" at another's expense should be encouraged. Everyone involved in cases of this nature deserve support of some kind and those needs only increase as half-baked stories about them make the rounds.
He should have name suppression,until the verdict. This will ensure a fair trial..If found guilty,,name suppression should stop.
Damn! We are running out of role models. Taito has gone, now this guy. What to do?
I think the public have a right to know who this sportsman is, seems as though there is a law for the ordinary person and these sports stars. If it had been Mr Average on the street his name would have been plastered all over the newspaper, TV. and radio. And having name suppression also brings suspicion on the innocent who just because they play the same sport as this person brings them into disrepute.
Simon James makes an excellent point, which we should definitely remember more often. If the media did not tell us that there is something we do not know, then we would not care about what the secret is. Name suppression is still necessary - without it our policy of "innocent until proven guilty" is a mockery. But perhaps it is time to put out an automatic media embargo with all name suppressions. I do not like our famous people (ie, seen as role-models) to be shown to have feet of clay any more than the next person, but they are only human and deserve the right to privacy just like you and me.
Maybe a law should be passed in parliament: name suppression for every one till proven guilty. Only then name suppression would be fair. Only the name of the victim should be suppressed!
You are meant to be innocent until proven guilty so yes they should have name suppression until proven guilty.
There are people who are posting views on this that are narrow minded. This person should be anonymous, What if the allegations against them are false?! It would not matter in the public eye - once you are named, your guilty forever. However if he is found guilty, his name will come out all in good time. People that want to know who this person is have small lifes and wish to know about other peoples when it is none of their business.
For goodness sake, read the headline!!! He has been charged, not found guilty. He may yet be found to be not guilty. If anybody else should have his name published upon being charged, then this guy should as well. All this talk about being "guilty" shows how ignorant some of these comments are.
The NZ public has an absolute right to know who this person is. If anyone is in a high profile position, then the behaviour associated with that profile should at all times be appropriate. Just because you are famous does not give you the right to automatic suppression. Let the public know.
The same standards should apply no matter who the person is or what their profession. If he is found guilty then he should be named.
No this man should not have name suppression. If he is a public figure he has a responsibility to be a good role model and if he does do something stupid like assault his partner, he needs to face up to the consequences like any other citizen.
You would have to have your head in the sand if you did not know who the guy was...I mean, really, does anyone get actual name suppression these days? It is so easy to find out who these people are.
Everyone should have name suppression until after their trial, then the names should be published along with the verdict.
There is no way a high profile person, or anyone else involved in unlawful activity should be granted name suppression. People respect and look up to people like this and should be aware of criminal acts they perform. Name suppression is all too common lately.
Yes - everybody should get name suppression until they are found guilty. The judge said he had name suppression to protect the alleged victim - not because the accused (he's not been found guilty yet!!)was an All Black. The press seem to like to put a scandalous slant on these types of stories - special privileges because they play for New Zealand. Controversial headline - more hits on the site, more sales of the papers - shame on them. Having said that - if he is found guilty - name him. Take the suspicion off others.
This guy should be a poster boy for the smacking brigade. Great stuff.Not.
If it hadn't been for the media I would not have been aware of the incident. Perhaps the media should not be reporting until the court has considered its verdict. Name suppression would therefore be irrelevant because only the guilty person, rather than charged person, of any crime would be revealed to the public.
Absolutely not! Unless everyone else does and as we know they dont.
I believe that everyone should automatically get name suppression until the matter is resolved. This person is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. If they are found guilty then let all details be published.
Why should we know about it?. If he was an average Joe Bogs, no one would care at all. Just because he plays some sort of sport, why should it be media fodder? Has not the media got anything else better to do?
He only got name suppression for his victims sake, and everybody is going to find out his name anyway. I really do not see the problem. Is there not much news today?
Name Suppression? No way, If people choose to live in the public eye, and reap the benefits of such a position, then we, as the public, should have a right to know what they are up to, or have been up to. I mean if Joe Bloggs down the road, does something stupid, does he get anonymity? Not in the same context as these high profile members of our society. We have an equal justice system, apparently, but it seems to be becoming more prevalently favoured toward those who are public figures.
Oh hell yeah.W hat makes them any different from other regular civilians. They are just as guilty as any other ordinary person out there committing the same crime. Why should he get special treatment just because he is some high profile sports person? It comes with the territory.
I think that this person should have name suppression. Everyone is entitled to their own private life. I know he or she has committed a crime and the public thinks that they should know everything of any celebrities but he or she are only human and a mistake is a mistake, if the matter goes any further thats between the victim and the assaulter and not the public. My regards to the victim. No-one should be treated that way no matter what
His name should be suppressed until he is found guilty.
Absolutely no..A "top sportsman" is no different to you or me. He should/could be a respected role model, not a physical abuser.
Why should so called high profile personalities in this country get any sort of name suppression unless its for reasons to protect the victim, It doesnt matter who you are, you should be treated the same as every other criminal. You dont have a reputation to protect if you end up in a situation you bring upon yourself.
The fact he/she is a top sportsman should not have their name suppressed, This happens time and time again. They like every one else have committed a crime that has lead them to court to face charges and we are entitled to know who these people are. If they choose to go for name suppression then they also choose not to represent NZ in sports. If they are proud to represent their country then face up to their wrong doings and stop hiding behind their status of top sports person.
Does the ordinary wo/man in the street get name suppression for cases like this? If not, I do not see why a well-known person should. It is a double standard. The only fact that I think should be considered for anybody, is if there are children involved who would have to face the consequences of their parents action.
If it is serious enough to be newsworthy, then the public should know the identity of the person. It is fair to those sportsmen who are of exemplary behaviour that they do not become suspects.
Having a high profile should have nothing to do with name suppression. One has to wonder about the Judges. Whether high profile or not you should take your medicine equally if you play up.
There should be no name suppression whatsoever. What is "good for the goose" should be "good for the gander".
No, he absolutely should not have name suppression or protection. Top sportsmen are like role models in any country, and the kids look up to them. They must also see them for what they really are.
Should sports people get name suppression? Here is my formula. Automatic name suppression; especially for the hallowed All Blacks. However two strikes and they outed in order that they then earn tens of thousands by selling their side of story to the womens mags. And what stories they will be. "My Wild days Are over...says Player X" or "Stress made me urinate on the bar counter." After all, these people are Gods - as their behaviour shows. And we do not want tall poppy syndrome do we??
I do not agree with name suppression. Just because someone is considered a top sports person, a well known media person or whatever it is, why are they so privileged or "special" that they are given name suppression? After all - are we not all "equal" - just because some of us play a sport or are in a high profile job - it does not mean they have earned the right to have their crimes hidden from public scrutiny? Name and shame I say!
Yes, if this assault was out of character and a one off situation. In the 1st instance, it is a domesticated affair (there is always 2 sides to every story). I hope he and his partner seek counselling, for him. Dont get me wrong, I am against violence in the home. I bigger man would have walked away.
The right to secrecy should be applied toward the public, Only his employers should be made aware of the charges.
Hell no!! His name should appear in all the major newspapers. Its no point in having to conceal his name,as it will be out sooner or later.He should not be given name suppression for assaulting his partner.
I do not think he should be protected because of his high public profile. To many people hide behind their profiles. A high profile does not make you above the law.
Why should the fact that he is a sportsperson dissuade authorities from publishing his name? I am just Mr Joe Average and I will bet my identity would be plastered for all to see. This "superstar" should have the same rights as I have to have their name made public.
Unless it is the same guy doing it over and over again, too many of these top sports guys are getting away with horrific brutality, especially towards women, and being protected by the old boys network. There is a current climate of often lethal unprovoked violence among young males. Should those that are pushed forward as their role models be allowed to escape public wrath and consequences for their crimes? No. Hang em High.
Name suppression should be allowed until the case is resolved i.e. if not-guilty, there should be no publishing of names. If guilty however, the whole world should know.
New Zealanders really need to get over themselves when it comes to matters like this. This is sort of gossip mongering headline reinforces the country's image as a backwater set of islands were nothing of any significance goes on. Trial by media is no way to pollute cases and distort the facts. Unless you were there you have no idea what happened! If this guy was anyone else, not a soul would give a toss. The media need to be more accountable to the public by publishing intelligent and accurate information on important issues. Articles that avoid sensationalism and sales orientated headlines.
No- one should have the right to secrecy.
All people should be treated fairly, if the court decides there is a good case for name suppression the court should have the ability without pressure to exercise this, such as informing family first. Otherwise no person should get privileges due to profile in the media/sports or the like. It is unjust to treat certain people with privilege if they have broken the law just because they are in the public eye, but this must remain the discretion of the court to ensure that victims and family of the offender are protected first.