OMSA rejects 4 out of 5 complaints from Penny Bright

Penny Bright got upset about my posts about her water meter and instead of contacting me directly went and complained to OMSA. She used every category to complain but OMSA rejected 4 out of 5 of her complaints.

Content: “Can Penny Bright Explain This?”

Publisher: Whale Oil Beef Hooked

Complainant: P. Bright

Click here to view full Decision

The complaint was by and about Penny Bright, a 2016 Auckland City Mayoral candidate and the use of a Watercare water meter at her property in Auckland.

The content was headed “Can Penny Bright Explain This?” and was written by Cameron Slater.  It made statements about Ms Bright and recent Court action about outstanding rates.  It included photographs of Ms Bright’s property and water meter with statements and questions about whether Ms Bright had done something to bypass the property’s water meter.  

The majority of the Complaints Committee agreed that the content was opinion, albeit expressed using statements about facts that were controversial and disputed.  As the majority agreed the content was opinion, Standard 1- Accuracy did not apply.  The Committee also ruled the complaint was not upheld under Standards 2, 5 and 6.

However, the complaint was upheld under Standard 3 – Fairness.  The content had focused on Ms Bright and made assumptions based on photographs and information from sources without giving Ms Bright an opportunity to comment prior to publication.  The Committee took into account Ms Bright’s candidacy for the 2016 Auckland City Mayoral campaign and her public stance relating to water restrictions but did not consider this was sufficient to justify publication without a right of reply in the public interest.

In summary, the complaint was upheld under Standard 3 Fairness, and not upheld under Standards 1, 2, 5 and 6.

Penny Bright has always had a right of reply, she just refuses to avail herself of that right of reply. She prefers grandstanding and complaining.

I can live with being judged as not being fair. All her other complaints were rejected out of hand. I find it amusing that I have to be fair towards Penny Bright when she has made at least two banners basically accusing me of being corrupt and suggesting I have no right to privacy.

Now if Penny can answer the questions we asked?

One last thing…pay your rates Penny.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.