23 Jul 2014

Editor accepts publishing cartoon caused offence

7:34 pm on 23 July 2014

The editor of a newspaper which published a cartoon before the Human Rights Review Tribunal has accepted it caused offence, but defends its publication.

Labour MP Louisa Wall

Labour MP Louisa Wall. Photo: Supplied

Manurewa MP Louisa Wall laid a formal complaint to the tribunal against Fairfax regarding the Al Nisbet cartoons which were published in two newspapers in May last year.

One of the cartoons in Christchurch's The Press shows some characters with Polynesian features, which conveys a family taking advantage of the food in schools programme and spending money on alcohol, cigarettes and gambling.

Editor Joanna Norris told the hearing on Wednesday that she accepts that the cartoon caused offence, but believes it didn't bring Maori and Pasifika people into contempt.

In cross-examination, Ms Wall's lawyer Prue Kapua asked why Ms Norris didn't reference the Human Rights Act before allowing the cartoon to be published.

Ms Norris replied that she considered whether the cartoons would have a discriminatory affect or breach the Act and concluded that that wasn't the case.