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Sean Plunket resigns from Broadcasting Standards Authority

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, October 14th, 2017 - 44 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, broadcasting, Media, twitter - Tags: , ,


Plunket’s appointment to the BSA.

The tweets that led to the resignation.

The Spinoff looks at whether Plunket is a suitable member of the BSA given his history and behaviour.

Broadcaster and sometime TOP communications director Sean Plunket is back in the news thanks to a searingly bad Tweet on the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which he later claimed was a ‘social experiment’. But it’s far from his first offence. The Spinoff’s editor Duncan Greive details his history with Plunket and asks if he’s the right person to be a member of the Broadcasting Standards Authority.



44 comments on “Sean Plunket resigns from Broadcasting Standards Authority ”

  1. McFlock 1


  2. rhinocrates 2

    Clear conflict of interest from the beginning. Cronyism of course.

  3. cleangreen 3

    I see a clear connection between Sean Plunket’s departure from the media watchdog and Winston’s policy to reform the Pubic Broadcasting System.

    This means Winston can effectively claim his first scalp here.

    This signal’s that Winston’s plan has already been agreed in his upcomming partnership with a new government, and Plunket has been given his marching orders.

    And if I was a gambling man, I would place a bet that he has already decided on going into a coalition with a labour lead Government and that the ‘Broadcasting policy’ in NZF policies was already accepted as his first policy agreement,

    • weka 3.1

      What’s the policy?

      I’m guessing the timing is coincidence. The resignation is more likely to be a result of how twitter responded, how that got covered in the MSM, and it being the final straw (think all the TOP tweets SP did, then the election day one) for the BSA who were looking at ongoing multiple complaints to the BSA about one of their own members. That’s untenable. I’m also guessing that SP suddenly found he didn’t have that many mates in positions of power.

      • cleangreen 3.1.1

        here is NZF Broadcasting policy.


        • Create a new crown entity named the “Public Media Commission of New Zealand” as an umbrella organisation for TVOne/TVOne+1, Radio New Zealand and related online content.
        • Ensure that all appointments to the Public Media Commission of New Zealand Board are made on experience and expertise, with appropriate representation from both industry and consumers.
        • De-commercialise TVOne and TVOne+1 and separate it from TVNZ’s remaining commercial channels (which would remain an SOE).
        • Require that salaries paid above public service bands be cleared with, and signed off by the responsible Ministers.
        • Support community-based television and radio broadcasting by requiring NZ on Air to prioritise regional/community radio and television media among its other priorities.
        • Establish a five-year external review cycle for NZ on Air with the purpose of improving processes and funding mechanisms to develop the amount and quality of New Zealand content.
        • Work with Netsafe and InternetNZ to address the area of public concern around broadcasting standards especially in relation to violence, obscenities, and pornography (including a rating system for video games).
        • Amend the Broadcasting Act to recognise sport as part of the New Zealand identity and to broadcast Games of National Significance live and on free-to-air television.
        • Improve Radio New Zealand’s international services to the Pacific region.

  4. Vaughn 4

    Dickhead. Surely the shortest time ever spent feeding in a taxpayer-funded trough. Good riddance.

  5. Keith 5

    Based on his dull radio show a few years back on Live and now his firmly unPC opinions you would have to say that man is pure National MP material!

  6. tuppence shrewsbury 6

    Good, mans a clown.

    having the fox guard the hen house is ludicrous.

  7. The BSA is of little use or good in my view and the fact Sean Plunket even got appointed to it in the first place to says it all really!

  8. Cinny 9

    THAT SHOULD ALWAYS HAPPEN….. and just did 🙂 Life is good

  9. Once was Tim 10

    Couldn’t have happened to a better pratt.
    I think of him as being the NZ equivalent of a Paul Murray and other SKY News Okkerland media ‘stars’ – constantly bashing the ABC – even though he once worked for Radio NZ.
    He was a bloody great pus of a pimple on a lilly white bum then and hasn’t changed much since then.
    There are a few others of his ilk as well – that git from ChCh with the red rimmed glasses, and another (possibly the same) that’s recently come in here parading as NZBC.

    The good thing is that whatever outcome of the election, the gNat’s plans for RNZ have stalled – otherwise that last bastion of PSB they label as Radio Labour would effectively be dismantled

    • Morrissey 10.1

      Before he took over from Brian Edwards on National Radio’s Saturday morning program, one John Campbell used to sneer at Television One as “state television” and Radio New Zealand as “state radio.”

      • Once was Tim 10.1.1

        And I suspect he learned that from one Bill Ralston who constantly referred to TVNZ as “State TV” on the Ralston Group. HE was then quite happy to shove his snout in the trough

  10. Morrissey 11

    Plunket’s long been an idiot, but back in 2005 he was the sensible one as the hapless Linda Clark dealt out the double entendres…

    Open mike 07/09/2015

  11. Ad 12

    I’ll do it.

    Failing that, I nominate L Prentice.

    • Andre 12.1

      Can Mr Prentice please be the lead author for the judgements?

    • Anne 12.2

      I nominate L Prentice.

      We wouldn’t need a BSA then cos no-one would dare break the standards.

      Edit: except L Prentice.

      • lprent 12.2.1

        Edit: except L Prentice.

        Sometimes guilty as charged. But you have to understand. I’m 58 and getting that abruptness that comes from seeing the same daft techniques being used by fools who think that they invented them rather than reinventing a tired old hack that died a decade or two ago.

        I have been using social nets almost continuously in one form or another for 38 years – since I discovered the DEC 1170 and its network of VT100 and VT52 terminals at Waikato uni in 1980. You tend to develop an eye for the early warning signs of attitudes and techniques cause issues, and you deal with them early.

        I tend to just escalate certain situations from a standing start directly to where it will eventually end….. Painful for the person on the other side. But a proper education should be challenging.

    • lprent 12.3

      Failing that, I nominate L Prentice.

      Please no. Where would I find the time.

      I suspect that you are just trying to wind me up.

      Unlike Mr Plunkett, I have a productive job that isn’t just being a parasite using the public’s appetite for simple gossip. I don’t want to give what I spend most of my week doing (cutting code for export) to make silly arguments about how it really wasn’t the BSA members fault and that they shouldn’t actually change behaviours or cough up compensation.

      Has anyone here actually read the BSA decisions? Sure they deal with the nutters. But they also usually wave the limp wrist in their hand-smacking over legitimate complaints.

      I’ve looked at the BSA, Press Council and couple of the other self-regulatory media bodies and decided that in my opinion they are industry bodies for protecting their members from prosecutions. Most of them require that complainants give up all recourse to other means to redress their complaints, and there is limited or no judicial review. Personally, I’d just avoid them and take anything serious straight to the courts or even better to the person concerned.

      In other words they lack even the basic protections that we allow here. Here you can usually address your complaints directly. If you are banned you can do it from one of the other multitudinous blogs around. Someone will take pains to point it out. But if I or one of the moderators detect something that we feel is over the edge, then it tends to be dealt with rapidly and severely. You don’t have to wait for 6 months. Nor do you have to build a social media campaign.

      Of course you do have to convince at least one of us to agree with you that something is beyond the pale, and you often then have to convince me or Mike.

      If you are really pissed off, then the courts offer several different approaches. You will be required to defend your position because I will take time away from coding to defend the site. So far I have effectively won 2 out of 2.

      • Anne 12.3.1

        I suspect that you are just trying to wind me up.

        Oh dear, guilty as charged too.

        Seriously though and re-the BSA… I can provide a personal example of their “limp wristed” and puerile responses to genuine complaints. It’s an appropriate time as I see its one year today since the death of Helen Kelly.

        I laid a complaint to the BSA about the treatment meted out to Helen Kelly by two well known broadcasting personalities (one of whom has since passed this mortal coil) on a Q&A programme at the time of the Hobbit dispute. The level of abuse meted out to Helen Kelly on that occasion was totally unacceptable. Before submitting by submission, I asked a former broadcaster and legal beagle I knew to go over it with a fine tooth-comb. He approved and was impressed with my arguments.

        The BSA did not uphold my complaint on the grounds that… Ms Kelly is a big girl and can withstand the heat of robust debate. Not only did my complaint have nothing to do with Helen Kelly’s ability or otherwise to “withstand heat” but they totally ignored the arguments (and the evidence I included) showing the two men concerned went way too far and effectively told lies.

        Not long afterwards, a Herald writer (I think it was Fisher) published further evidence of those two gentlemen’s malfeasance but of course there were no consequences for them. Had the boot been on the other foot and two left leaning interviewers/commentators were deemed guilty of the offences, the BSA would have bridled with fulsome indignation and John Armstrong would have demanded their immediate sackings.

  12. tracey 13

    And Gareth Morgan’s “like” of the Tweet? Given he has told us he wants to do politics differently?

  13. Philj 14

    Maggie to Sean
    “You made a first class fool out of me
    But I’m as blind as a fool can be…”
    – Rod Stewart

    • Keepcalmcarryon 14.1

      I note that although Rod Stewart isn’t supposed to have actually dug any graves, it looks like Plunket nonchalantly dug one for his own career. Hopefully Barry falls in as well.

  14. mosa 15

    Did not know he was on the board but i am not surprised as the BSA pays lip service to the behaviour of the corporate media.

    Who else of merit makes up this board of standards for broadcasters ?

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