Press Council Public Member Appointments
Te Kaunihera Perehi o Aotearoa
New Zealand Press Council Public Member Appointments
Three new public member appointments have been made to the Press Council, the body that rules on complaints against the print media.
They are historian and writer Professor Tim Beaglehole, former Banking Ombudsman Liz Brown and diplomat and lobbyist Peter Fa'afiu.
Prof Beaglehole, former Victoria University Chancellor, joins the council this month, replacing educationalist Lynn Scott
He said he would bring an interest in and knowledge of New Zealand society over many years to the council.
"My training as an historian and my working career teaching history at Victoria University, together with my writing in history and biography, have made me a careful and critical reader, very conscious of what words can do.
"I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and I argue that any restrictions on this freedom must be based on carefully considered principles."
He was conscious of the importance of accuracy and getting things right, which included fairness and balance.
"I don't always go for the middle of the road," he added. "I applaud people who have views."
Liz Brown will join the council in January 2013 when retired Christchurch teacher Keith Lees' eight-year term ends.
Her working career has been largely concerned with human rights and freedoms in various forms, including citizens' rights protected by the Ombudsmen Act and the Official Information legislation, to consumer rights and more recently the rights of women through work with the United Nations.
Ms Brown notes the importance of having a process that allows the individual to seek a remedy when they have a grievance against a large and powerful organization.
"I do have a strong bias in favour of self regulation. It has worked well in the banking industry."
Peter Fa'afiu has been appointed an alternate member, who will represent the public whenever permanent members may not be available for the council's six-weekly meetings.
He is government and community relations manager for the New Zealand Post Group and was formerly political officer at the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.
He speaks his native Samoan as well as Indonesian and Malay, drawing on the latter as a free trade negotiator with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The council, established 40 years ago, has 11 members, with a majority drawn from the public.
A total of 87 applications were received for the latest vacancies.
Council chairman Barry Paterson, a former High Court judge, said it was gratifying that so many highly qualified people had put themselves forward. The selection process had been challenging.
The council has considered 32 complaints so far this year, with 10 being upheld. A further six complaints have been resolved informally.
All daily and weekly newspapers are subject to the council's rulings, along with many magazines. The council also considers online complaints in relation to their associated websites.
Editors are required to explain their actions in
case of complaints and are required to publish any adverse