What we do Tā Mātou Mahi

What we do

Broadcasters inform and entertain us, but along with that they 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 Kris Faafoi. 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. We also have a small staff who support the Authority members and run our office services.

Our three key activities work together to support and enhance the maintenance of standards in broadcasting. They are:

1.   Complaints determination


The BSA provides the public with a free, independent complaints service about programmes on television, radio, and on-line and on-demand content that has previously been broadcast and content that is live-streamed by a broadcaster. 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 the publication of 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.



BSA Logo 2013

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.