What we do Tā Mātou Mahi

What we do

Broadcasters inform and entertain us, but they also have an obligation to follow certain standards. The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) oversees this regime on behalf of New Zealanders.

We were set up under the Broadcasting Act 1989 and come under the umbrella of Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Our Minister is the Hon Melissa Lee. We are an independent Crown entity, so the Government does not direct us in our work.

We are governed by the Authority board made up of four members, and have a small staff who support the Authority members and run our office services.

Our three key activities help us achieve our vision of freedom of expression without harm. They are:

1.   Complaints determination

The BSA provides the public with a free, independent complaints service about programmes on TV and radio, along with online and on-demand content that has previously been broadcast. We don’t deal with complaints about advertising (unless it’s a promo about a programme), on-demand content not previously broadcast, written publications and some matters which are in the broadcaster's discretion.

Our decisions can be appealed in the High Court.

See make a complaint.

2.   Oversight and development of broadcasting standards

We work with broadcasters and the public to set clear broadcasting standards, review our Codebook, issue practice notes and undertake research.

3.   Education and Engagement

We provide clear, user-friendly information and guidance about the broadcasting standards system, our decisions and our research. We engage with broadcasters, the public and our stakeholders on a wide range of issues relating to broadcasting standards, the complaints process, freedom of expression and avoidance of harm. You can find this information on our website, including all our decisions and research.

We send out a regular newsletter, the BSA Pānui, which you can subscribe to here. We recommend all broadcasters subscribe.

Our Values

Our Values/Ko Mātou guide us in the work we do.


The BSA logo is based on the poutama tukutuku design. In Māori tradition it symbolises an ascent made by the folk hero Tawhiki to receive three kete (baskets) of knowledge from the gods. The construction of the poutama represents the steps to progress in education and to improve.