Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Te Komihana Rūwhenua o Waitaha Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission – Te Komihana Rūwhenua o Waitaha

Those who lost relatives and friends in the 22 February earthquake can be assured that there will be a very thorough inquiry into the failure of buildings that resulted in loss of life.
Chair, Justice Mark Cooper


Media Advisory

20 June  2012


 Media Arrangements for CTV Hearing


As part of its investigation into the collapse of the CTV building, the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission will hold a hearing beginning Monday 25 June 2012. The hearing will be held at St Teresa’s Church Hall on the corner of Puriri Street and Riccarton Road in Riccarton, Christchurch.

The Commission recognises the important role the media plays in keeping the public informed and will provide facilities to facilitate the media's work. We look forward to the co-operation of all journalists, camera operators and other media representatives, to ensure the smooth running of the hearing.

Media Registration

  • Each reporter who will be covering the hearing is required to register with the Commission. Please do this by sending an email to The email should state:
    • Name of Media Organisation
    • Country
    • Type (print, radio, TV, web)
    • Staff who will attend/and or want to receive documents
    • Email address(es)
    • Phone number(s)

 Media Orientation Briefing

  • A background media briefing will be held from 10 – 11am on Thursday 21 June 2012 in the annex of the St Teresas hall. The purpose of the briefing will be to provide background about the Royal Commission, specific information about the CTV hearing and to show you the hearing facilities (including those provided for the media).

 Hearing Timetable

  • The hearing structure is available on the Commission’s CTV hearing web page
  • Each week information about the witnesses for the coming week will be added to this page. This information will include the names of the witnesses, their relationship to the building and the order of appearance.
  • The order of witness appearance is subject to change. The website will be updated daily or as required.

Hearing Hours

  • The hearing will be held Monday to Thursday. On Mondays the hearing start at 10am. The exception is Monday 25 June when proceedings will begin at 9.30am. Tuesday to Friday the hearing starts at 9.30am.
  • The hearing adjourns at about 5pm each day. Please note some days may be half days and on occasion a hearing topic may be completed before the end of the week.  Some days the hearing may finish later than 5pm.

 Media Centre

  • Due to limited space inside the hearings room, a portacom has been set up for media use. It is located directly behind the hall.
  • Each day the portacom opens 15 minutes before proceedings begin and is closed 15 minutes after proceedings finish.
  • Access to the media centre will be available on request on Friday 22 June to set up equipment and cabling.
  • Security guards patrol the hearing venue after hours but anything left in the media centre is at your own risk.
  • Accredited media will be supplied with access to a free standard wireless internet broadband connection. Media should also provide their own internet connections to ensure certainty of coverage.
  • There are some power plugs in the portacom. Please bring spare batteries for your laptops just in case. Please provide your own extension cords and connectors for the sound and TV feeds.
  • Please note the Commission will not provide technical support for access to the internet or feeds.

Media Parking

  • All media please park on the street. (watch for school children and construction activity in the nearby school grounds)
  • If parking is required for TV live cross vehicles, please advise Robin Major the night before so she can arrange road cones to reserve parking.


Media Access to the Hearings Rooms

  • Priority is given to witnesses, members of the public and bereaved families.
  • Media are not allowed access to the hearings room unless there are plenty of seats available.
  • No filming or recording is allowed within the hearings room. Note taking is permitted.
  • When present in the hearings room (or annex) red ‘media lanyards’ must be worn at all times (except pool media). The lanyards are available in the portacom.

Live Streaming and Video Archives

  • To enable media to follow the hearings and file stories on an ongoing basis without having to be physically present, the hearings will be live streamed over the internet.  Your viewing experience will depend on internet traffic levels.
  • Videos files of the livestream will be uploaded loaded progressively through each hearing day. Publishing timeframes will depend on internet traffic. Generally videos of morning proceedings are uploaded in the afternoon. Videos of afternoon proceedings are uploaded in the evening.
  • A search engine enables searching of the videos by date, person, building and subject.
  • Bona fide media websites are welcome to link to the hearings website. Please contact Robin Major if you wish to iframe the website content as the Commission retains ownership of this material and there are iframing conditions which must be met.

Pool Media

  • There is only space for two cameras in the hearing room – one TV camera and one still camera.
  • TVNZ and TV3 are working co-operatively to provide a shared TV and audio feed to accredited media. Please contact  or +64 (0) 274 738 699 to discuss your technical requirements and the connectors you will need to bring. Please note the Commission will not provide technical support or equipment for accessing the pool media feed.
  • Accredited media can source stills photography from The Press. For more information please contact or + 64 (0) 3 9432-805.
  • Unless by prior arrangement, media are not permitted to film or photograph the public seating area.
  • Pool media do not need to wear media lanyards.


  • Evidence is published in the website Document Library after it has been presented.
  • Written hearing transcripts are published within three working days after each hearing day.


  • The Commission may impose some restrictions on coverage. The media will be advised about any suppressed material by Robin Major.

 Conditions of Coverage

The Commission’s Conditions of Coverage are based on standard conditions for media coverage in Court. Acceptance of these conditions is required as a condition of coverage of the hearings.


Media Interviews 

  • Please do not approach the Commissioners or Counsel Assisting the Commission for interviews as it would not be appropriate for them to comment while the hearings are in progress.
  • If you would like a comment from the Commission, please contact Robin Major. She will arrange for the Commission’s media spokesperson to provide a response.
  • Please do not approach witnesses for interviews before they have delivered their evidence. The exception is technical report writers who are called as witnesses. There is no restriction on approaching them for interviews but they are not able to give 'previews' of their evidence.
  • Please respect the privacy of bereaved families and witnesses if they do not wish to be interviewed.


Reporting Restrictions

  •  At any time prior to giving evidence a witness may apply for orders restricting media coverage of his or her evidence.
  • In considering the application, the Commission may have regard to:
    • whether media coverage is likely to affect adversely the quality of the evidence to be given by the witness; 
    • whether the presence of a television camera or a photographer or radio crew is likely to lead to the witness not appearing to give evidence; 
    • whether being filmed or photographed or recorded may cause undue stress or anxiety to the witness; 
    • whether being filmed or photographed or recorded may lead to intimidation or harassment of the witness; 
    • whether the witness’s privacy interests outweigh the public interest in broadcasting that witness’s evidence, given the likely significance of the evidence; 
    • any other relevant matters.
  • The Commission may order that any person covering the hearing: 
    • must not film the witness anywhere between the time of the ruling and the end of the hearing; 
    • must not photograph the witness while he or she is in the hearing room or giving evidence; 
    • must not photograph the witness anywhere between the time of the ruling and the end of the hearing; 
    • must not record the witness while he or she is giving evidence;
    • must not record the witness anywhere between the time of the ruling and the end of the hearing; 
    • may film the witness but must ensure that the witness, if broadcasted giving evidence, is not recognisable; 
    • must comply with any other conditions imposed by the Commission.
  • Where the Commission makes a ruling, the television camera must be either removed from the hearing room while the witness is giving evidence or turned away from the witness so that it is apparent to the witness that he or she is not being filmed.

 Revocation of Authority to Cover a Hearing

  • The Commission may at any time revoke authority to cover a hearing if:
    • the accredited media representative or someone acting on behalf of the accredited media representative breaches these guidelines or any condition of the grant of authority to cover the hearing; or 
    • the Commission determines that the rights of any participant in the Inquiry may or will be prejudiced if coverage continues; or coverage of the hearings is disrupting the Inquiry.

We appreciate your interest in covering the hearings and look forward to working with you constructively. We will endeavour to resolve any concerns or issues prior to the hearings commencing.

If you have any questions about the above arrangements please contact:

Robin Major
Senior Communications Advisor
+ 64 (0) 3 741 3004
+64 (0)21 621 656