Human Rights Commission
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
"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."