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Michael Laws show apologises to Commissioner

\Media Release
For immediate release
Tuesday 5 August 2008

Michael Laws show apologises to Children’s Commissioner

Radio Live host Michael Laws has been censured for comments he made on air and Children’s Commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro said she is pleased to see her formal complaint about these comments resulted in an apology broadcast today.

“The station’s complaints committee acknowledged I had been treated in an unfair and unkind manner and that two complaints submitted by my office were justified and the broadcaster has now twice censured Michael Laws for his inaccurate and unfair comments,” Dr Kiro said.

“My staff and I were distressed by the incorrect statements made on air by Mr Laws. Not only were there inaccuracies, but the vitriol was disturbing.

“We are aware that as employees of a Crown Entity we are under public scrutiny and our work may be criticised. However, some of the comments made by Mr Laws went well beyond those parameters and into the deeply personal.”

Below is the statement of apology that was broadcast on Michael Laws’ Radio Live show this morning (around 9.00am).

During the Radio Live weekly morning show in March and April this year, Michael Laws made comments about the Children's Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro, that Radio Live accepts were inaccurate and unfair.

Mr Laws claimed that Dr Kiro only ever gets involved in white abuse cases, and criticised her for not being involved in useful initiatives on Maori child abuse, such as Reverend Hone Kaa's new charitable trust. In fact, Dr Kiro supported and funded Reverend Kaa's trust. Radio Live accepts that she is involved in a wide range of actions aimed at tackling child abuse, across all ethnicities.

Mr Laws suggested that Dr Kiro was overseas while baby Teyah Pewhairangi's mother battled to be allowed to give her a liver donation. In fact, Dr Kiro was in the country, and once she became aware of the case supported Teyah's mother in getting the rules waived so that the donation could proceed.

Mr Laws claimed that National party MPs called for Dr Kiro's resignation in Parliament over her comments on the anti-tagging bill. In fact, they didn't call for her resignation.

Mr Laws said that Dr Kiro refused to come on to his show but he had been misinformed - Dr Kiro was willing to be interviewed by Mr Laws.

Mr Laws also made personal and unfair remarks about Dr Kiro, which Radio Live accepts were unjustified and inappropriate.

Radio Live unreservedly apologises to Dr Kiro for Mr Laws' comments and for the upset and concern they caused to her and her office.


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