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Wednesday, 20 March 2019 07:07 pm

Big media outlets accidentally breach web court suppression

Aug 27th, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

BOTH New Zealand’s big newspaper publishing groups have already – but probably accidentally – breached this week’s unique web suppression ruling by a Manukau district court.

The NZ Herald (APN) and the Dominion Post (FairfaxNZ) may technically have broken the August 25 order last night and today because full replicas of their papers are automatically published via special offshore websites.

The online replicas are posted by Newspaper Direct, a Canadian company founded in 1999 and headquartered in Vancouver, which provides instant access to more than 600 publications globally.

The Herald later today removed the replica of its newspaper court report, which named two men subject to web-only suppression. Its online service today carried the following message to those clicking on the Digital Replica of Paper link:

“This link normally takes you to a digital replica of the newspaper provided by an external company. However, we are unable to bring you this service at this stage due to a court order related to the publication of details from an Auckland court case. We are seeking further legal advise (sic) and are unable to advise at this stage when the service can resume.”

Herald online editor Jeremy Rees said the oversight was accidental as the papers are automatically uploaded each day.

No immediate comment was available from FairfaxNZ, Stuff or the Dominion Post late today.

The court order suppressed publication on any sort of on-line media of the identities of two men accused of murdering 14-year-old John Hapeta. Newspapers, television and radio were excluded from the order by Judge David Harvey.

The order, called experimental by some commentators, is an attempt to avoid the increasing problem of jurors researching the accused during a case, therefore possibly influencing their deliberations.

It has drawn comment from offshore media blog-sites, suggesting it is unprecedented in Western judicial systems.

So far no official complaints have been made.

Media law specialist Steven Price says the order may prove difficult to police in some cases.

“There may be some online posting of suppressed information where it’s difficult or impossible to enforce the law, though if someone in NZ is involved in such a posting, then they might be charged for the breach.”

Offshore websites are not governed by New Zealand courts, and although requests for the removal of content can be made by anyone, it is a matter of discretion whether to comply.

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is a multi-media journalist and Whitireia graduate specialising in video, audio, web 2.0, technology, photography, editing and Photoshop. After graduating from Whitireia, and a brief stint in teaching for the school, he moved on to working for
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  1. Wow, what a scoop and what a keen eye Luke.
    Fairfax or APN better snap you up quick before you bust them again!

  2. […] Harvey’s internet suppression case: LATEST Jump to Comments Well as a result of a bit of looking around and investigating and some frantic work today, I managed to get to this. […]

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