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Indian Government Complaint Against Paul Henry

( Foreign Minister Murray McCully has confirmed that the Indian Government has formally complained about offensive remarks from Television New Zealand Breakfast host Paul Henry.

The Minister said he would indicate to the Indian Government that the comments were the actions of one person, made in a country in which freedom of speech is an important foundation principle.

“However it is always regrettable when a prominent individual abuses the freedom of expression, which is one of our basic rights, to cause offence to others. That is especially the case when the person offended against is a prominent public figure in another country,” Mr McCully said.

“The New Zealand High Commissioner has apologised for the offence caused. That is appropriate. The actions of Mr Henry in this case can only be described as gratuitous and insulting.

“I will make it clear to the Indian Government that TVNZ operates on a basis that accords it statutory independence from the New Zealand Government.

“Any action against Mr Henry is entirely a matter for the company, or for the Broadcasting Standards Authority should a complaint reach that body,” Mr McCully said.

Media Release 8 October 2010 from Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs.



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