Powerless against TV anchor's slur: NZ minister

Posted By: Nitsi
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Wellington, Oct 8: Day after Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was ridiculed by New Zealand TV anchor, Foreign Minister Murray McCully on Friday, Oct 8 said he was helpless to act against an anchor as media channels work independently without government.

Responding to formal complaint lodged with Wellington's envoy in New Delhi, McCully said Paul Henry's remarks were a regrettable abuse of freedom of speech.

McCully made sure that he would talk to Indian government and assure that in New Zealand law the broadcaster operated independently of government.

"Any action against Mr Henry is entirely a matter for the company, or for the Broadcasting Standards Authority," the foreign minister said in a statement.

However, he backed an apology to High Commissioner Rupert Holborow on Thursday, Oct 7 after being summoned to India's foreign ministry, adding: "The actions of Mr Henry in this case can only be described as gratuitous and insulting."

Holborow's apology also stated that Henry's comments were "culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar" and did not represent the view of the New Zealand people.

Henry made his remarks about Dikshit on Friday, Oct 1 on the TVNZ included the footage in its website's highlights section.

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