The Media Council says Te Awamutu News was justified in asking questions about the new ownership of the Regent Theatre in Te Awamutu.
The council said it considered a complaint about a story published in late December on the basis of privacy and the principles of accuracy, fairness and balance.
It said the story contained a “significant and serious error” but this was acknowledged by the editor and corrected on the website. The error related to an incorrect name being listed in the composition of the trust looking after the Regent.
The Media Council noted The News had carried out significant research to obtain information after being declined an interview.
“The matter of such a substantial and valued asset being gifted to the community is certainly newsworthy. The questions raised in the article about the details of this gift and asset, and any debts associated with it, are fair and in the public interest,” the council ruled.