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No censure for radio host over port rant

Talkback host Willie Jackson will not be censured by the broadcasting watchdog over a complaint that he incited violence in on-air comments made during the Ports of Auckland strike.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has ruled Jackson did not breach standards when he urged wharfies to ramp up their protest against the port company during his Willie and JT Show on RadioLive on March 12.

Jackson made remarks such as: "I hope they get aggressive down there at the wharf", "don't stand by and wave your flags. Go and bust your pickets over some of these scabs", and, "I'm into militant action".

Auckland businessman and National Party figure Aaron Bhatnagar complained to the authority that Jackson's comments incited physical violence and the destruction of personal property.

Jackson retracted his comments later in the programme and again the following day saying he was not advocating violence and RadioLive issued a media statement saying he was not calling for violent action.

The authority said Jackson's "protest speech" was being provocative, but found listeners would not have been encouraged to act against the law.

"It was the sort of ranting that our society is willing to allow and not take seriously, particularly on talkback radio," it said in the decision released on Tuesday.

It said while some of the words Jackson used encouraged physical violence and damage to property, which ordinarily would breach the law and order standard, it was counterbalanced by his later retraction and clarification and had been challenged by co-host John Tamihere.