Paul Henry: The rights and wrongs of name suppression

Last night on TV3 Paul Henry spoke to lawyer and ex-Act MP Stephen Franks on name suppression in relation to a prominent New Zealander exposed (except for his name) by Rodney Hide in a series of Herald on Sunday columns.

Name suppression controversy for prominent New Zealander

A prominent New Zealander who pleaded guilty in 2011 to committing an indecent act has been given permanent name suppression.

His name cannot be released but due to a chain of events started by a column in a weekend newspaper, this Kiwi man is being compared to Rolf Harris.

So should he have got suppression in the first place? And is suppression all meaningless in the age of the internet?

Lawyer and former ACT MP Stephen Franks joins Paul from Wellington to discuss whether this man should have been given name suppression when it was not given to protect the victim.

“It’s pretty weird that the judge has decided that it would cause extreme hardship for them to face the normal shame that offenders are supposed to face,” says Mr Franks. “The law has had various wording for extreme hardship, but it turns on whether there is a suicide rick or a loss of livelihood.”

Paul Henry’s introduction:

There is a prominent New Zealander out there who pleaded guilty in 2011 to committing an indecent act.  You won’t find his name in the mainstream media. He’s been given permanent name suppression.

We can’t tell you his name, obviously, but many people know it thanks to a chain of events started by a column in a weekend newspaper which compared this Kiwi man to Rolf Harris.

Tonight a simple Google search will identify him for you.

So, should he have got suppression in the first place, and is it all meaningless in the age of the Internet?

Video at: Name suppression controversy for prominent New Zealander