BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Cooke and TVWorks Ltd - 2009-149

  • Peter Radich (Chair)
  • Tapu Misa
  • Mary Anne Shanahan
  • Leigh Pearson
  • P David J Cooke
TVWorks Ltd
TV3 # 3

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
3 News and Sports Tonight – words “tough” and “disconnect” allegedly used by presenters – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, law and order, and privacy

Standards 1 (good taste and decency), 2 (law and order) and 3 (privacy) – adequate response from broadcaster – use of the words did not threaten broadcasting standards in any way – not upheld

This headnote does not form part of the decision.


[1]   3 News was broadcast on TV3 at 6pm on Friday 25 September 2009. Sports Tonight was broadcast on TV3 at 11pm on Wednesday 30 September 2009.


[2]   P David J Cooke made a complaint to TVWorks Ltd, the broadcaster, alleging that the programmes’ presenters had used the words “tough” and “disconnect” which he argued breached standards relating to privacy, good taste and decency, and law and order.


[3]   The complainant nominated Standards 1, 2 and 3 of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice in his complaint. These provide:

Standard 1 Good Taste and Decency

Broadcasters should observe standards of good taste and decency.

Standard 2 Law and Order

Broadcasters should observe standards consistent with the maintenance of law and order.

Standard 3 Privacy

Broadcasters should maintain standards consistent with the privacy of the individual.

Broadcaster's Response to the Complainant

[4]   TVWorks considered that the complaint did not raise any issues of broadcasting standards. It said that the words “tough” and “disconnect” were not in any way remarkable and did not breach broadcasting standards. TVWorks declined to uphold the complaint.

Referral to the Authority

[5]   Dissatisfied with TVWorks’ response, Mr Cooke referred his complaint to the Authority under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.

Authority's Determination

[6]   The members of the Authority have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix. The Authority determines the complaint without a formal hearing.

[7]   In the Authority’s view, the complainant received an adequate and appropriate response from the broadcaster. It agrees with TVWorks that the use of the words “tough” and “disconnect” in the manner described by the complainant does not breach broadcasting standards. The Authority therefore declines to uphold the complaint.


For the above reasons the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority


Peter Radich
15 February 2010


The following correspondence was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:

1.           P David J Cooke’s complaint – 5 October 2009
2.          TVWorks’ response to the complaint – 19 October 2009
3.          Mr Cooke’s referral to the Authority – 30 October 2009
4.          Letter from Mr Cooke to the Authority – 16 November 2009
5.          TVWorks’ response to the Authority – 10 December 2009