BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present
BSA Decisions
Neal & Mundt and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2024-022 (22 May 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a 1News item discussing the results of the first 1News Verian political poll for 2024. The item included analysis and commentary on the poll from 1News’ Deputy Political Editor, which the complainants considered was either ‘biased’, unbalanced, inaccurate or unfair to the coalition Government. The Authority found no breach of the nominated standards: the item included significant relevant perspectives; the statements complained about were comment, analysis, or opinion to which the accuracy standard did not apply; and the item did not give rise to any unfairness to the politicians or parties featured.

Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness

Neal and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2024-014 (22 May 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint concerning an item on 1News reporting on cuts to the public sector. The complainant considered the broadcast’s claim that public sector spending cuts were to help pay for the government’s tax cuts was inaccurate, unbalanced and was unfair to Minister of Finance Nicola Willis, as it fully attributed public sector funding reductions to paying for tax cuts. The Authority found no breach of the accuracy standard, noting the broadcast did not fully attribute public sector funding reductions to paying for tax cuts. It further found in a news story about the impact of the cuts, the broadcaster was not required to include reference to other reasons for better management of government funds, as well as other financial measures that would also help pay for tax cuts, as the complainant had submitted. The balance and fairness standards either did not apply or were not breached.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Fairness

Neal and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2024-023 (22 May 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint concerning an interview on Breakfast. In a discussion concerning Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s State of the Nation speech, the host stated to ACT Party Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden ‘You mentioned that, division was from the previous Government. I mean, come on, you look at the Treaty of Waitangi. You must be able to read the room in terms of how the nation is feeling towards that Bill by your party.’ The complainant considered the host’s implication that this division was caused by ACT’s Treaty Principles Bill was inaccurate, unbalanced and unfair. The Authority found that the question was comment, analysis or opinion to which the accuracy standard did not apply. The other standards either did not apply or were not breached.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Fairness

Tuck and NZME Radio Ltd - 2024-024 (22 May 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment of Fletch, Vaughan and Hayley discussing Ministry of Education guidelines for relationships and sexuality education breached the children’s interests standard. As part of the segment, the hosts indicated they wanted to talk about ‘the wild things that you were taught at sex ed.’ The complainant considered the segment, which featured discussion of genitalia and how to use condoms, was inappropriate to air in the morning when parents were taking their children to school. The Authority found the segment was within audience expectations for the programme and the radio station, ZM, and the nature of the upcoming discussion was sufficiently signposted to allow parents or caregivers to exercise discretion over their children’s listening. In the context, the hosts’ conversation and comments from callers were unlikely to adversely affect any children who happened to be listening (although they were not the target audience).

Not Upheld: Children’s Interests

Ragg and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2024-021 (22 May 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the offensive and disturbing content standard regarding a match of Super Smash Cricket which featured the te reo Māori phrase ‘kore puta’ (following the English phrase ‘not out’) onscreen when a review was called for whether the player batting was out or not out. The complainant considered the word ‘puta’ was highly offensive due to its different meaning in other languages such as Spanish and Portuguese. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding that in the context of a broadcast of a New Zealand domestic cricket match, and the previous phrase onscreen ‘decision pending’ also translated in te reo, it was clear the word ‘puta’ was being used as a te reo translation for the word ‘out’. In this context, the Authority did not need to consider what the word may mean in other languages.

Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content

Wakeman and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2024-009 (7 May 2024)

The Authority has declined to determine two complaints under multiple standards relating to segments of a 1News broadcast that concerned a pro-Palestinian protest in Auckland and developments in the Israel-Hamas conflict, and aid funding for Ukraine. The Authority found the complainant had not raised arguments relevant to the standards raised, had raised matters of personal preference, the relevant issues had been satisfactorily addressed in the broadcaster’s decisions on his complaints, and/or related to issues that have previously been dealt with and did not warrant further determination.

Declined to Determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – in all the circumstances the complaints should not be determined): Offensive and Disturbing Content, Promotion Of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness

New Zealand Jewish Council and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2024-005 (7 May 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a Morning Report interview with Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer concerning the Israel/Gaza war. The complaint alleged the interview was unbalanced because no alternative perspective was presented to counter Ngarewa-Packer’s comments that Israel’s actions in Palestine amounted to genocide and apartheid, among other things, and that those statements were also inaccurate. The Authority acknowledged people may not agree with the terms used by Ngarewa-Packer during the interview and some would find them inflammatory, but ultimately found restricting the broadcaster’s and Ngarewa-Packer’s right to freedom of expression would be unjustified. The Authority found no breach of the balance standard, taking into account audience expectations of the interview which was clearly framed as approaching the issue of the Israel/Gaza conflict from Te Pāti Māori’s perspective on New Zealand’s foreign policy response, and the host’s challenging of Ngarewa-Packer’s statements, which alerted viewers to the existence of other views. The Authority also found Ngarewa-Packer’s statements amounted to opinion to which the accuracy standard did not apply.

Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy

Neal and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2024-018 (22 April 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a 1News segment on James Shaw’s decision to resign as co-leader of the Green Party breached the accuracy, balance, and fairness standards for including a statement from former Prime Minister Chris Hipkins that emissions had decreased for three years in a row. The Authority found the statement was not a material fact likely to impact the audience’s understanding of the broadcast as a whole – which was focussed on Shaw’s resignation and legacy and not on emissions levels. The balance and fairness standards did not apply.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance and Fairness

Muir & Knight and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2024-008 (22 April 2024)

The Authority has not upheld complaints that action taken by Radio New Zealand Ltd was insufficient, after the broadcaster upheld the complaints under the accuracy standard about a statement in a news bulletin that a recent ruling by the International Court of Justice had found Israel ‘not guilty of genocide.’ While the Authority agreed with the broadcaster’s decision to uphold the complaints, it found RNZ had taken sufficient steps in response to the complaints, by broadcasting an on-air correction within a reasonable period after the bulletin at issue, as well as posting a correction to its website. Other standards alleged to have been breached by the broadcast were found either not to apply or not to have been breached.

Not Upheld: Accuracy (Action Taken), Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Fairness

Flanagan and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2024-020 (22 April 2024)

The Authority has not upheld an accuracy complaint about a statement by Newshub’s political editor, ‘the Government announced today it is going to be scrapping cultural reports [used in sentencing],’ following an item focused on the Prime Minister’s comments at Waitangi and on the Treaty Principles Bill. The complaint alleged it was misleading to say the reports had been ‘scrapped’ when the Government had actually announced it would remove legal aid funding for the reports. The Authority was not convinced the statement was inaccurate, given the practical effect of removing Legal Aid funding for cultural reports; and even if it were, the alleged inaccuracy was not material to the segment, and would not have impacted audience’s understanding of the broadcast as a whole.

Not Upheld: Accuracy

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