Broadcasting Codes of Practice Broadcasting Codes of Practice
The Codebook contains broadcasting standards, guidelines and commentary for radio, pay TV and free-to-air TV
The election programmes code, and related guidance for making a complaint
Information and guidance about broadcasting standards and how they apply
Frequently asked questions
The BSA can only respond to formal complaints about broadcast content once it has been aired. We are unable to take any action prior to a programme being broadcast (unless it falls within the BSA’s limited power to stop further programmes within a series in certain circumstances).
If you have concerns about a programme before it has been aired, these are best directed to the relevant broadcaster.
Broadcasting standards complaints are about the content or classification of a programme or the time that it was shown. The BSA cannot consider complaints that do not fit within broadcasting standards. Complaints about other issues relating to a programme can be made directly to the broadcaster.
Subject to two exceptions, the BSA does not oversee content for on-demand services like Netflix and Lightbox. Some on-demand providers such as Netflix and Lightbox, are currently signatories to the NZ Media Council VOD Code which relates to classification of content on platforms that have signed up to that code.
Pursuant to an MOU, the BSA does oversee content standards and complaints for NEON.
The BSA may also consider complaints about broadcast content that is subsequently made available online by the broadcaster, provided the complainant can point to the broadcast programme and complains within 20 working days of the broadcast. The BSA can also consider complaints about content that is live streamed by a broadcaster.
The BSA is unable to provide specific advice about whether certain content might breach broadcasting standards, as this might risk pre-determining the Authority’s views if a complaint about this content were to come before it.
All of the BSA’s decisions are available on our website here and are a useful resource. The decisions contain guidance from the Authority about the standards and it may be that the Authority has considered a similar issue before.
We are also able to provide general guidance about broadcasting standards and the factors the Authority might consider when looking at broadcasting standards complaints. If you have a question, please feel free to contact us.