5.2 Waitangi Tribunal

As in other courts, the Waitangi Tribunal generally allows the media to record and broadcast proceedings. However, the following specific rules apply when covering Tribunal proceedings.

The presiding officer of the Tribunal must give prior approval before any media attend and record the hearing.

A request for media to attend and record proceedings should be submitted to the presiding officer, through the Waitangi Tribunal registrar, at least three working days before the recording is to be made. The request for media to attend and record proceedings must specify the purpose and extent of the proposed recording. The form is available on the Ministry of Justice website (see Media Information).

Witnesses must give their permission to be filmed or recorded and may object to having their image or their testimony, or both, recorded. If necessary, the presiding officer will make a decision on the outcome of the objection.

All media coverage must comply with all relevant tribunal directions, including any directions that limit the use of, and access to, particular evidence or submissions.

The recording must not interfere with the conduct of proceedings, the confidentiality of discussions among Tribunal members and staff, or the confidentiality of lawyers’ discussions with each other and with clients and witnesses.

The recording must be used in a way that gives an accurate, impartial and balanced coverage of proceedings, parties and other people involved.

While those involved in proceedings may make statements to the media in the course of the proceedings, the Tribunal urges caution and restraint where that is done, so as not to inflame what often are, or can become, sensitive situations surrounding Tribunal inquiries.

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