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

The difficulty of speaking up

David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog about The power of speaking up:

This is the great thing about being brave enough to reveal what someone like Harris did to you. Suddenly everyone else who has had it happen to them, doesn’t feel quite so alone. It’s great that they now have someone they can share their stories with – of course would be greater if this had never happened. If a dozen have contacted Maggie Barry, how many scores more may be out there?

Former TVNZ makeup artist Lee Howden told RadioLIVE she was also sexually assaulted as she did his make-up for an on-air interview. She said she fled the room after he put his hand into her underwear.

While she never reported the incident, she was inspired to come forward after hearing Ms Barry’s account and was prepared to make an official police complaint.

Good.

Not so good in the following comments though, there’s ample proof of why it has been and still is difficult for many to speak up about sexual abuse.

I’ll add examples later, but many comments are making excuses for Rolf Harris and criticising people claiming to be victims of abuse.

http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/07/the_power_of_speaking_up.html