The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm reporting on the results of the Transport and Accident Investigation Commission’s investigation into a fatal mid-air collision at an unattended aerodrome. The complainant alleged the broadcast was inaccurate and unbalanced in its reporting that ‘dangers’ (such as the non-compliant procedure that had contributed to the crash) were occurring at other unattended aerodromes. The Authority found the broadcast accurately reflected the results of the investigation and the broadcast did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance for the purpose of the balance standard.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance
The Authority has declined to determine a complaint alleging AM breached the accuracy and balance standards. The programme included an interview with Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon, where the presenter read Luxon a series of words the public associated with him. The host then asked Luxon’s opinion on the ‘some of the worst’ words the public had associated with Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern. The Authority considers the broadcaster adequately addressed the complaint in the first instance, and declines to determine the complaint on the basis it was trivial and did not warrant consideration.
Declined to determine (section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – trivial): Accuracy, Balance
Warning — This decision contains references to sexual violence.
The documentary Swipe with Caution investigated the use of online dating apps, including interviews with relevant experts and dating app users, as well as detailing specific case studies. One of those case studies involved the complainant, who was convicted of sexual violation and assault after meeting with Ms X through a dating app. Ms X, through an actor, retold her story of the night. The complainant considered the broadcast was inaccurate and portrayed him unfairly. He argued Ms X’s recollections were presented as matters of proven fact but were inconsistent with the agreed facts identified in the Court’s sentencing decision. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the particular segment had high public value, as it involved a survivor telling her story, and was otherwise materially accurate. As the complainant’s concerns under fairness centred on the inaccuracies, the standard was also not breached.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness
The Authority has not upheld complaints under the accuracy, balance, and fairness standards regarding an item on 1 News reporting on the global economy. The item referred to the National Party’s tax policy and included comments from both the Leader of the Opposition Christopher Luxon MP and Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern. The complainants considered the report’s editing of comments misled the audience to ‘think that PM Jacinda Ardern thinks financial discipline is not right nor good for New Zealand’. The Authority did not consider a reasonable viewer would be left with this impression. The balance and fairness standards were not breached.
Not upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Fairness
Warning — This decision contains references to sexual violence.
The Authority has not upheld complaints an interview on Saturday Morning between Kim Hill and Dr Kathleen Stock, a gender critical philosopher, breached broadcasting standards, including the discrimination and denigration, balance and accuracy standards. The broadcast discussed Dr Stock’s perspective on gender identity and her experiences resulting from voicing her perspective, having resigned from her position following a student campaign that accused her of transphobia. The Authority acknowledged the potential harm of the interview, but ultimately found the importance of freedom of expression outweighed any harm caused. The broadcast was clearly signalled as presenting Dr Stock’s perspective, to which she was entitled, and throughout the interview Hill challenged Dr Stock’s views, leaving the audience with a more balanced impression on the issue. Considered as a whole, the broadcast was unlikely to encourage discrimination, and listeners would not have expected the presentation of further alternative perspectives in a broadcast of this nature. A majority of the Authority considered the points alleged to be inaccurate were either opinion (to which the accuracy standard does not apply) or not materially inaccurate. The minority considered two points (that trans women were men, and trans women were more likely to sexually assault people in jail) were materially inaccurate. The violence standard was not breached.
Not Upheld by Majority: Discrimination and Denigration, Accuracy, Balance, Violence
The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the action taken by NZME in response to a breach of the fairness standard during an episode of Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive was insufficient. The complaint related to an interview with a 16-year-old climate activist about the Schools Strike for Climate movement, and the group’s key demands. During the interview, the interviewee admitted she had recently travelled to Fiji, despite one of the group’s demands being a ban on ‘unnecessary air travel’. This resulted in the host hysterically laughing at, and teasing the interviewee for over a minute. The broadcaster conceded in light of the interviewee’s age and potential vulnerability, the segment breached the fairness standard. The Authority determined it too would have found a breach of the fairness standard, but in the circumstances considered the action taken by the broadcaster was sufficient to address the breach. The Authority also found the segment was not sufficiently offensive to breach the offensive and disturbing content standard; the complainant’s concerns under the children’s interests standard were better dealt with under fairness; and the discrimination and denigration standard did not apply.
Not Upheld: Fairness (Action Taken), Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Discrimination and Denigration
The Authority declined to determine a complaint an item on 1 News reporting on the New Zealand economy breached the accuracy standard. The complainant considered the focus of the item should have been on GDP growth, but was instead framed around wealth inequality, and was otherwise misleading through the omission of other details. The Authority considered these were issues of personal preference and editorial discretion, which cannot be resolved through the complaints process.
Declined to Determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined): Accuracy
The Authority has not upheld a complaint an item on 1 News concerning the deaths of over 125 people at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Indonesia breached the balance and accuracy standards. The complainant alleged it was offensive and careless to compare this tragedy to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, as in Hillsborough the ‘fans played no role in causing the disaster.’ The Authority found the balance standard did not apply as the broadcast’s mention of other disasters at football stadiums did not constitute a ‘discussion’ for the purposes of the standard. It did not uphold the complaint under the accuracy standard as it was not misleading to suggest Hillsborough was one of football’s worst tragedies.
Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy
The Authority did not uphold a complaint an item on 1 News reporting on the verdict of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in the United States breached broadcasting standards. The complainant considered the item inaccurate and unbalanced as it allegedly misrepresented events around the trial including the origins of the protest, the presiding Judge, and the public’s response to the verdict. The Authority considered the broadcast was materially accurate given its focus on the verdict from the trial. Any inaccuracies were unlikely to significantly affect viewers’ understanding of the item. The balance and discrimination and denigration standards did not apply, and the fairness standard was not breached.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness
A promo for Comedy Gala aired during the programme Newshub Live at 6pm, stating ‘Prepare your pelvic floor, as you run the risk of wetting yourself.’ The Authority did not uphold a complaint this statement breached the offensive and disturbing content, children’s interests and discrimination and denigration standards. It found the statement was a light-hearted joke directed at people generally, rather than just women as alleged by the complainant, and was suitable for a PG-rated environment. It further found the joke would not have encouraged the denigration of, or discrimination against women.
Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Discrimination and Denigration