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Mitsubishi decision reflects depth of public feeli


Human Rights Commission
Media Release
29 September 2003

Mitsubishi decision reflects depth of public feeling

The decision by Mitsubishi Motors to withdraw its sponsorship of the Holmes show on TVNZ is in line with the strong public feeling on the issue, Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said today.

"The decision sends a clear message to people in high profile public positions and broadcasting organisations that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

"Newstalk ZB has said that the matter is closed and that they do not intend to do anything further. But the matter is obviously not closed in the minds of the public and the station cannot just "move on" and disregard the reasons for the public outcry.

"What is needed is tangible evidence that they have taken steps to respond to the public concern, both within New Zealand and internationally, that racism on air is unacceptable. That means they need to review their standards and ensure that they have a clear policy of zero tolerance of racist and sexist comments by their employees, and that breaches of that policy will result in disciplinary action.

"Paul Holmes has apologised, but it is his radio station that is ultimately responsible for what goes to air, and their public response to date has been inadequate. The broadcasters need to take further action themselves to prevent any recurrence by any of their employees as a matter of fundamental social responsibility."

Ends


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