The Rock radio station has been slammed for the win-a-divorce competition planned for Valentine's Day.
The Rock radio station has been slammed for the win-a-divorce competition planned for Valentine's Day. ©

Divorce stunt for Valentine's Day

A VALENTINE'S Day radio stunt where a woman will be told her husband is divorcing her live on air will go ahead in the face of opposition, an unrepentant station boss says.

New Zealand's Auckland-based The Rock has been slammed for the win-a-divorce competition it is set to run in the Drive slot hosted by Jono Pryor and Robert Taylor on February 14.

It will feature an unidentified man, known as Sam, telling his wife he is splitting up with her live on air.

In exchange, the station will pay for the divorce.

A blurb on The Rock's website said the competition was designed for men whose wife turned out to be "Satan in a dress".

"We want to help those oppressed citizens and liberate them from the shackles of a dud marriage so they can live free to drink beer, watch sport and ogle gorgeous ladies on the internet without having to clear their internet history."

Family First director Bob McCoskrie labeled the stunt "tacky, degrading and harmful" and called for it to be cancelled by station owners Mediaworks.

He said the unsuspecting wife could suffer long term emotional harm.

"Divorces are difficult enough, but to cheapen it to a radio stunt is tacky. The radio station is simply feeding off the misery of others. They are willing to pay for the divorce - will they also pay for the counseling which may be required as a result of this stunt?

"The Rock is cheapening a serious issue and in the process are willing to inflict emotional harm on an unsuspecting spouse for the sake of ratings. How low will they go?"

The Rock station manager Brad King dismissed complaints the stunt would trivialise divorce and hurt the woman involved.

"Anyone who's considering getting a divorce is obviously unhappy in their relationship. I'd imagine most divorces are hurtful in some way."

"There's always a small group of people who love to complain. Robert and Jono are simply offering to pay for something that happens everyday, and in their unique style they've chosen Valentines Day to make it happen."

Mr King said he was "curious" as to how the conversation would play out - though the station would not force either person to be on air if they did not want to be.

He expected the show to be divisive, with some people considering it unethical.

The competition follows the controversial "Win a Wife" competition the station launched last year, where a contestant won a 12-day trip to Ukraine to pick out a bride.

It was blasted by the Ukrainian Ambassador to Australia, who wrote to the BSA accusing The Rock of reducing marriage to a "cattle auction".

Former Green MP Sue Bradford labeled the competition "disgusting", while Labour MP Carol Beaumont said she was appalled and called for it to be pulled.

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