Max Key pulls podcast episode with Dom Harvey that detailed man's suicide

Max Key, inset photo of Dom Harvey
Key was interviewing Dom Harvey when the two started discussing mental health, which lead to Harvey divulging details about his friend's suicide. Photo credit: Max Key, Instagram / File

Max Key, son of former Prime Minister Sir John Key, has pulled an episode of his podcast in which guest Dom Harvey detailed how a friend had died by suicide. 

It is against the law to broadcast or make public the method or any suspected method of suicide, or any detail that suggests how the person died by suicide, as per the Coroner's Act. It is an offence to publicise this information about a suicide without the coroner's permission, which can lead to a fine of up to $5000 for individuals or $20,000 for organisations.

The information in question was aired on a recent episode of Key's podcast 'Key'd Up', which the 28-year-old launched three months ago. In the episode, which has since been removed from streaming services​, Key spoke with former The Edge radio host and veteran broadcaster Dom Harvey.

During their conversation, the two discussed Harvey's career, their experiences in the public eye and mental health, which lead to Harvey delving into how a friend had died by suicide - including details about how he did it. 

Max Key
Photo credit: Max Key, Instagram

Speaking to Stuff, the man's widow said she had not been approached about the podcast or made aware of its contents. She said she was shocked to learn that specific details of her husband's death had been made public, and feared their young children may be exposed to it. 

"Talking about specific details of my husband's suicide went too far," she told Stuff. "It's upsetting to hear, was unnecessary and dangerous, as it can put vulnerable people at risk."

Also speaking to Stuff, Harvey claimed he was unaware that it was illegal to make the details of a suicide public. 

"I'm genuinely sorry," he told the outlet. "The death of this awesome man is something that caused me to sit up and make my own mental health a priority. I'm particularly sorry for any distress this has caused the family."

Dom Harvey
Dom Harvey has since apologised. Photo credit: File

Under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, the man's family could seek reparation for the airing of his method of suicide: the complainant could take the matter to civil court, which could order the likes of a public apology or the removal of the content, which has already been done.

Alternatively, a mediation between the parties could be arranged by Netsafe to determine a solution without the matter going to court.

Key has not publicly commented on the matter.

Previous guests on Key'd Up have included boxer Joseph Parker, ACT Party leader David Seymour, broadcaster Paul Henry, former Married At First Sight NZ star Samuel Levi, and body image advocate and influencer Jess Quinn.