Where to complain, how to complain and how the process works
Broadcasting standards for TV and radio and guidance about how the standards apply
Contact details for New Zealand broadcasters
The BSA's key activities
Read the latest news from the BSA
Guidance on types of complaints that are least likely to be upheld
You must complain to the broadcaster first (unless your complaint is about privacy only or about election programmes, in which case you can send it straight to the BSA). To go through the BSA process, it has to be a ‘formal complaint’.
If you just want to let the broadcaster know your concerns, or it’s not an issue that can come to the BSA, it will be considered an ‘informal complaint’.
Contact details for major broadcasters are here.
If the programme you are complaining about was broadcast on or after 1 July 2022, you can complain to the BSA about the following issues under the new Broadcasting Standards Codebook:
- offensive and disturbing content
- children’s interests
- promotion of illegal or antisocial behaviour
- discrimination and denigration
You can also complain to us about election programmes, which come under a separate code.
We don’t oversee content for on-demand services, apart from certain exceptions:
- Under a special agreement, we deal with content standards and complaints for Neon.
- We can consider complaints about broadcast content that’s then put online, as long as you can point to the original broadcast and complain within 20 working days of this.
Some on-demand providers such as Netflix and Lightbox have signed up to the NZ Media Council VOD Code which sees programmes classified to help people make informed viewing choices.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deals with most advertisements for products, services or organisations on TV, radio, the internet, print and billboards.
Contact the ASA by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 234 357.
The BSA can consider complaints about ‘promos’ for upcoming programmes, but these must be sent to the broadcaster in the first instance.
We also consider complaints about election programmes (which might appear as short promotional/campaign clips for political parties or candidates, on TV or radio).
The BSA has no such powers. We become involved only when formal complaints come to us about specific programmes.
Broadcasters that make more than $500,000 in annual revenue from broadcasting in New Zealand pay a set proportion of this to the BSA. This ‘broadcasting levy’ helps fund the standards system and BSA operations.
For more information, see Broadcasting Levy.