BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

End-of-Life Choice Society NZ and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-094 (1 October 2020)

Members
  • Judge Bill Hastings (Chair)
  • Leigh Pearson
  • Paula Rose QSO
  • Susie Staley MNZM
Dated
Complainant
  • End-of-Life Choice Society NZ
Number
2020-094
Programme
The Project
Broadcaster
MediaWorks TV Ltd
Channel/Station
Three

Summary

[This summary does not form part of the decision.]

The End-of-Life Choice Society NZ (EOLCS) complained about an item on The Project which included an interview with the author of the book, The Final Choice, in the lead-up to the binding End of Life Choice referendum. EOLCS was concerned that the interview portrayed the book as ‘an independent assessment of the issue’, which was biased and inaccurate. The Authority noted its role is limited to applying the relevant broadcasting standards and guidelines and determining whether any harm was caused which outweighed the right to freedom of expression; it is not the Authority’s role to determine whether the author is ‘independent’, or her personal view on the topic. The Authority did not uphold the balance complaint, as it considered the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to present significant viewpoints within the programme, and noted that the issue was widely covered throughout the legislative process for the End of Life Choice Act and likely to continue to be covered in the lead-up to the referendum. For similar reasons, and taking the broadcast item as a whole, the Authority did not consider viewers were likely to have been misled in the manner alleged in the complaint. The overarching message of the item, and the author’s interview, was encouraging New Zealanders to become more informed about the issue of end-of-life choice before deciding which way to vote in the upcoming referendum. Therefore upholding the complaint would unreasonably restrict freedom of expression.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance


The broadcast

[1]  On 30 June 2020, an item on The Project discussed the End of Life Choice Act in the context of the upcoming End of Life Choice referendum (the referendum). The item was introduced by host Kanoa Lloyd as follows:

…hopefully the next three minutes are going to help you work it out, because it could be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

[2]  The item began with two pre-recorded interviews on the issue of euthanasia, one with a cancer survivor and another with a victim of a car accident. The interview focussed on the interviewees’ experiences and their perspectives in relation to assisted dying. The interviewees’ perspectives on the subject differed, with one supporting the End of Life Choice Act and the other opposing it. The comments made by each of the interviewees, alongside voiceovers by host Jesse Mulligan, included the following:

Interviewee 1 (in support of End of Life Choice Act)

Interviewee 1: …when I got cancer I started thinking about it again, it would’ve been nice to know it was there, it would’ve been a big relief to know it was there. I am not afraid of dying, I am afraid of how I am going to die.

Mulligan:         …if euthanasia had been legal and [interviewee 1]’s condition had worsened she said she would have done it. But things took a surprising turn.

Interviewee 1: Four months into the treatment my specialists said to me, your two smaller tumours have gone…

Mulligan:         Today her cancer’s gone… despite experiencing that miracle, [interviewee 1] will still vote ‘yes’ in September.

Interviewee 1: The misunderstanding is when people apply to want to end their life through euthanasia, they want to die. They don’t. We don’t want to die. We want to live. We don’t want to die. We don’t want to suffer while dying, though.

Interviewee 2 (opposed to End of Life Choice Act)

Interviewee 2: …I just realised that a lot of the problems and a lot of the reasons why I had suicidal ideation were not because of my disability, it was basically because I could not cope with the grief…

Mulligan:         …the Act says that disability alone won’t qualify someone for euthanasia. But the line between disability and illness isn’t always clear.

Interviewee 2: ...if I were to refuse a lot of the medical treatment, that I obviously need because I am a high-level tetraplegic, then yes, I would die within 6 months.

Mulligan:         …and that blurry line is why [interviewee 2] will vote ‘no’ in the referendum.

Interviewee 2: I mentor a lot of younger people who have been through trauma but also who have spinal cord injuries and… It’s fairly normal to feel suicidal and to feel an awful lot of grief. My concern is that there isn’t the support available at the moment, when a doctor tells you that, you know, this is a legitimate option for you and it will help you, then yeah, you do listen to that because you, you know doctors are there to help us.

[3]  Mr Mulligan also provided a commentary explaining the upcoming referendum:

There are several countries that have their version of euthanasia each with its own rules like age limits, conditions or who is responsible for the final act – the doctor or the patient.

In September this is what you’re voting on – the design of our proposed version of euthanasia. The Act says to be eligible you must meet six criteria including: be over 18; expected to die within six months; and have unbearable suffering. The details are in the fine print…

[4]  The last segment of the item comprised an interview with author and journalist, Caralise Trayes, about the release of her book, The Final Choice End of Life Suffering: Is Assisted Dying the Answer?.1 The interview began as follows:

Lloyd:              So a lot to think about. Joining us is author, Caralise Trayes. She’s written a book called The Final Choice which is out this week, it’s all about this, and Caralise, in all your reporting on this, what do you think if people were voting on this tomorrow? Which way do you think they will go?

Trayes:            A lot of research has been done and it shows, it has come back with 20% are for, 20% are against, give or take, and there’s a big 60% in the middle. But what both sides of this argument agree on is that that 60% are very ill-informed or misinformed. So I think a lot of us are going at this with a gut instinct or reaction, a little bit of fear in there of death and dying, as well as just a lack of knowledge of what we are being asked.

[5]  Ms Trayes also made the following statement when asked what she hopes will happen now:

Trayes:            Ideally I want to see people make informed decisions. So engaging with the topic, listening to expert advice, we need to know what does normal dying look like, uh, how do we deal with loved ones going through that, how do we deal with the grief and the trauma that we experience and then as well, look, we’ve got to start to confront some of this end-of-life suffering. Uh, we have palliative care in our nation but it’s only, a portion of that is funded by government and there’s not that many specialists out there. There’s some big issues that we need to address.

Mulligan:          The truth is we probably won’t get another go at this right? So if people have been wanting change in the law in this area, shouldn’t they just vote yes even if it’s not perfect?

Trayes:            Yeah that’s a really tough situation to be in, but I think we have to remember in the midst of that that good law making weighs up that autonomy and the choice with on the other side the protection of vulnerable people and when we are making a decision about a law that will protect life and death, we have to make sure we get the right one. It’s not worth the risk.

[6]  The item concluded with the following comments by Mr Mulligan and Ms Lloyd:

Mulligan:          Yeah so New Zealanders, if you want to do your homework; that is the book [holding up Ms Trayes’ book]. It’s out tomorrow from Caralise and I wonder, you know I made this point in the interview, how many people have grown up hearing stories of famous names like Lecretia Seales seeing people in the news who want to do this in New Zealand and haven’t been able to. When you consider it has been 16 years since there was a Bill like this in Parliament, how many people are going to go into that referendum in September and think, ‘well, it might be another 16 years before we have a go at this, even if it is not perfect, I am going to tick yes’.

Lloyd:              But like Caralise says, this is literally a matter of life and death. I know which way I’m voting after talking to my mum, she’s a nurse, she works with people who are at the end of their life. I am voting no, because I think that there are ways to fix suffering, fix death, fix all the difficulties that go with death, and that doesn’t just mean having access to drugs and flicking a switch… I think there are people who are really good at this stuff and really good at looking after our loved ones as they come to the end of their life.

[7]  The item was broadcast on The Project on 30 June 2020 on Three. In considering the complaint, we have viewed a recording of the broadcast complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

The complaint

[8]  The End-of-Life Choice Society NZ (EOLCS) complained that the broadcast breached the balance and accuracy standards of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice, for the following reasons:

  • The subject matter is an issue of public importance, is controversial and discussed in a current affairs programme.
  • Jesse Mulligan promoted Caralise Trayes’ book with the statement, ‘New Zealanders, if you want to do your homework…this is the book’. However, the book is ‘not in fact an independent assessment of the issue… the book is biased against medical assistance in dying’.
  • Ms Trayes was not questioned about her faith commitment or (alleged) religious affiliations which support the opposition viewpoint.
  • There was no attempt made to question Ms Trayes’ claims.
  • In addition, one of the presenters indicated that she will vote ‘no’.
  • The broadcaster rejected EOLCS’s offer to provide a speaker for a further balancing interview.
  • ‘There was no attempt in the programme to question the accuracy of the writer’s claim that the book presented the “truth” about the End of Life Choice Act.’
  • Ms Trayes’ claim that research shows 20% were for and 20% were against, with a big 60% in the middle, is wrong. ‘Responsible opinion polls over many years have shown around 60-70% of voters favour a law change to allow the terminally ill to end their suffering with medical assistance.’ For example, research carried out by an Otago University PhD candidate shows that an average of 68.3% (surveyed for the study) supported a law change to allow medical assistance in dying, 14.9% were opposed, and 15.7% were undecided or neutral.2

The broadcaster’s response

[9]  MediaWorks did not find any breach of the nominated standards, for the following reasons:

Balance

  • It agreed that the issue of assisted dying is a controversial issue of public importance that was discussed in this item.
  • The interviews featured in the item presented the audience with views from both sides.
  • At no point was the book referred to as an independent assessment or ‘the truth’. The author did not discuss or disclose her position on the upcoming referendum.
  • ‘Ms Trayes’ main point was that in her view, people voting in this referendum should be well-informed.’
  • ‘None of the material she presented was particularly partisan’.

Accuracy

  • Ms Lloyd began the interview by asking Ms Trayes, ‘what do you think?’ ‘Having been asked for her view, Ms Trayes responded with statistics she believed to be true and offered her opinion that ‘a lot of us are going at this with a gut instinct or reaction.’
  • The statistics presented by Ms Trayes did not significantly mislead the audience.
  • Ms Lloyd’s views were clearly presented as her personal opinion.

[10]  MediaWorks also noted that it had not responded to EOLCS’s request for an interview because ‘The Project is still deciding whether or not it will feature any further discussions about the End of Life Choice Act and its referendum on the programme’.

The relevant standards

[11]  The balance standard (Standard 8) states that when controversial issues of public importance are discussed in news, current affairs and factual programmes, broadcasters should make reasonable efforts, or give reasonable opportunities, to present significant points of view either in the same programme or in other programmes within the period of current interest. The purpose of the balance standard is to ensure that competing viewpoints about significant issues are presented to enable the audience to arrive at an informed and reasoned opinion (which is important to the operation of an open and democratic society).3

[12]  The accuracy standard (Standard 9) states that broadcasters should make reasonable efforts to ensure that news, current affairs and factual programming is accurate in relation to all material points of fact, and does not mislead. The purpose of this standard is to protect the public from being significantly misinformed.4 The audience may be misinformed either by incorrect statements of fact within the programme, or by being misled by the programme as whole. Programmes may be misleading by omission.5

Our analysis

Fast-track complaints procedure

[13]  As this complaint concerns referendum-related content and a matter of topical importance in view of the upcoming End of Life Choice Act referendum, we have determined the complaint under our Election 2020 fast-track procedure.6 While we have endeavoured to deal with it as swiftly as possible, it has taken us some time as a result of seeking further information and comments from the parties, and wanting to ensure we have given careful consideration to the issues raised. We thank the parties involved in this matter for their timely responses to our requests for submissions.

Freedom of expression

[14]  The starting point for our determination is to recognise the importance of the right to freedom of expression, which includes the right of broadcasters to impart ideas and information and the public’s right to receive that information. In particular, this case involves the promotion of free and frank public discourse on topical matters of significant public interest. This is an important right in a democratic society and is particularly important in the lead-up to a general election or referendum, when parties, candidates and interested groups are seeking to express views and share information, while audiences are seeking information to enable them to make informed voting decisions.

[15]  In deciding whether any limitation on the right to freedom of expression is justified, we first consider the value and public interest in the broadcast. We then weigh that value against the level of actual or potential harm that might be caused by the broadcast, with reference to the objectives of the standards described above. In this case we are mindful that voters rely on mainstream media outlets to provide reliable information and therefore they have the potential to influence voters’ views on the subject matter discussed. However, given the importance of political speech and of enabling political and public discourse in the lead-up to a general election or referendum, we will generally only intervene to limit the exercise of that speech when we consider that the harm is great.

Balance

[16]  A number of criteria must be satisfied before the requirement to present significant alternative viewpoints is triggered. The standard applies only to ‘news, current affairs and factual programmes’ which discuss a controversial issue of public importance. The subject matter must be an issue ‘of public importance’, it must be ‘controversial’, and it must be ‘discussed’.7

[17]  The Authority has typically defined an issue of public importance as something that would have a ‘significant potential impact on, or be of concern to, members of the New Zealand public’.8 A controversial issue is one which has topical currency and excites conflicting opinion or about which there has been ongoing public debate.9

[18]  The Project is a news and current affairs programme. We also consider the subject matter of assisted dying, euthanasia and the End of Life Choice referendum is a controversial issue of public importance for the purposes of this standard,10 and that this issue was ‘discussed’ in The Project item. We therefore find the criteria above were met and the balance standard applied to this broadcast.

[19]  The next question is whether the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to present significant views on the issue, either within the programme or within the period of current interest. In our view the item adequately presented significant viewpoints both in favour of, and opposed to, the End of Life Choice Act. For example:

  • The existence of blurry lines ‘is why [interviewee 2] will vote no in the referendum.’ (Mr Mulligan)
  • ‘One of the points of comparison that we refer to often is Victoria State in Australia, their piece of legislation is 123 pages, compared to ours which is 34, so just a bit of a reflection, um, potentially we need to consider some of these things.’ (Ms Trayes)
  • ‘…good law-making weighs up the autonomy and the choice with, on the other side, the protection of vulnerable people and when we are making a decision about a law that will protect life and death we have to make sure that we get the right one it is not worth the risk.’ (Ms Trayes)
  • ‘But like Caralise says, this is literally a matter of life and death. I know which way I’m voting after talking to my mum, she’s a nurse, she works with people who are at the end of their life. I am voting no, because I think that there are ways to fix suffering fix death, fix all the difficulties that go with death and that doesn’t just mean having access to drugs and flicking a switch...’ (Ms Lloyd)
  • ‘When I got cancer I started thinking about it again, it would’ve been nice to know it [the End of Life Choice Act] was there, it would’ve been a big relief to know it was there. I am not afraid of dying, I am afraid of how I am going to die.’ (Interviewee 1)
  • ‘The misunderstanding is when people apply to want to end their life through euthanasia, they want to die. They don’t. We don’t want to die. We want to live. We don’t want to die. We don’t want to suffer while dying, though.’ (Interviewee 1)
  • ‘The truth is we probably won’t get another go at this, right, so if people have been wanting change in the law in this area, shouldn’t they just vote yes even though it is imperfect?’ (Mr Mulligan)
  • ‘…how many people have grown up hearing stories of famous names like Lecretia Seales, seeing people in the news who want to do this in New Zealand and haven’t been able to. When you consider it has been 16 years since there was a Bill like this in parliament...’ (Mr Mulligan)

[20]  The item was focussed on informing viewers regarding what the public is expected to vote on in the referendum. It included information about the content of the End of Life Choice Act 2019. We also consider the underlying message in the interview with Ms Trayes was the importance of voters engaging with the subject and making an informed decision about the issue and in the upcoming referendum. This is consistent with the objective of the balance standard (a well-informed public).11

[21]  We also consider the broadcaster has made reasonable efforts to provide balance on the topic of end-of-life choice within the period of current interest.12 While the complainant’s request for a balancing interview was not accepted, and while we would encourage MediaWorks to consider providing further balancing coverage within The Project, which we recognise targets a particular audience, MediaWorks has nevertheless pointed us to a range of coverage on this issue across its other programmes and news outlets, which includes views both for and against assisted dying.13 The issue of assisted dying, euthanasia and the End of Life Choice Act has been the subject of ongoing debate in New Zealand, particularly leading up to November 2019 when the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament and subsequently sent to a referendum. We note in this respect that the Authority has considered at least five complaints over the last three years alleging that only viewpoints in favour of assisted dying have been broadcast.14 We expect that the subject will continue to be featured in the media and debated in the lead-up to the referendum on 17 October 2020. In other words, the period of current interest is ongoing and it is reasonable to expect that New Zealand audiences have, over time, been exposed to both sides of the debate, and will continue to be in the weeks leading up to the referendum.

[22]  In these circumstances, the likelihood of harm being caused by any single broadcast on this topic, is reduced. Taking all of the above factors into account, we have not found actual or potential harm that warrants regulatory intervention in this case. We consider the broadcaster has sufficiently met its obligations under the balance standard, and we therefore do not uphold this part of the complaint.

Accuracy

[23]  We understand the complainant’s main concerns under the accuracy standard to be:

  • Ms Trayes’ comment below, which EOLCS considered inaccurately reported polling on this issue:
    …a lot of research has been done and it shows, it has come back with 20% are for, 20% are against, give or take, and there’s a big 60% in the middle. But what both sides of this argument agree on is that that 60% are very ill-informed or misinformed.
  • Ms Trayes and her book were presented as an ‘independent assessment of the issue’ and as the ‘truth’ on the subject matter. This was misleading given that Ms Trayes’ ‘is associated with a fundamentalist church opposed to End of Life Choice and the book is biased against medical assistance in dying.’

Ms Trayes’ statement about poll results

[24]  The first step for us was to consider whether Ms Trayes’ statement was a material statement of fact, or whether it was opinion and analysis. This is because the accuracy standard does not apply to statements which are clearly distinguishable as analysis, comment or opinion.15

[25]  Having regard to the Codebook guidance on distinguishing fact and opinion,16 we are mindful that this is a controversial subject matter where there is no clear answer and the debates and discussions surrounding the subject matter will inevitably include a mixture of data and research, personal analysis, comments and opinion. Ms Trayes’ tone and language was authoritative and definitive in referring to research, data, or polls as verification of her analysis and comments. Therefore, we consider that a reasonable viewer would have perceived Ms Trayes’ statement about the poll results as a statement of fact, meaning the accuracy standard applied.

[26]  On that basis we turned to consider whether the statement was inaccurate or misleading, and whether the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy. On this point, MediaWorks commented:

  • ‘This wasn’t during a sit-down interview where we have the opportunity to research or verify, it was part of a live studio discussion.’
  • Prior to the broadcast, the production team viewed some statistics that indicated 53% of people polled are somewhat in the middle.17
  • ‘There is a lot of grey area here. It’s also worth noting that there is a lot of confusion on what the Act includes.’
  • ‘In the second poll [cited by the broadcaster] you can see that a majority of people are confused about multiple areas.’18

[27]  As we have said above, it is reasonable to expect that poll results will vary depending on the samples and the timing of any given poll. The complainant and the broadcaster have both provided us with varying poll results surrounding the issue,19 including one which supports Ms Trayes’ statement regarding the percentage of the public that remains undecided on the issue.

[28]  Additionally, the accuracy standard is concerned only with material inaccuracies that are likely to affect the audience’s understanding of the programme as a whole.20 For the reasons we have discussed under balance – namely, this interview was only one part of the broader item, which included a range of viewpoints on the issue; and the overarching message was to encourage viewers to become more informed about the topic of end-of-life choice – we do not consider the reference to these particular poll results would have left viewers misinformed or misled about that topic. 

The presentation of Ms Trayes’ book as ‘an independent assessment’ and the ‘truth’

[29]  Our understanding of the second aspect of the accuracy complaint, is that the programme was misleading by presenting The Final Choice as an ‘independent’ assessment of the issue, when, in the complainant’s view: the book is clearly biased in favour of the opposing viewpoint on end-of-life choice; and allegedly the author has religious affiliations which must compromise her independence on the issue (as one of the opposing viewpoints to the notion of assisted dying is a religious one).

[30]  We acknowledge the complainant’s concerns, in that there is an expectation in New Zealand that journalists will be objective and impartial on issues of public importance, or else transparent if there is some connection or conflict underpinning their coverage.

[31]  However, it is not the role of this Authority to determine whether the author interviewed on The Project is ‘independent’ with respect to the issue of end-of-life choice, or whether she personally holds a particular view on the topic.

[32]  Our role is limited to applying the relevant broadcasting standard and guidelines in the Free-to-Air Television Code, to assess whether the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy and to ensure that the programme was not misleading, and more broadly whether there was actual or potential harm caused by the broadcast at a level that warrants regulatory intervention or restricting freedom of expression.

[33]  In the context of the complainant’s particular concerns about The Project, we have considered whether the broadcaster ought to have specifically questioned Ms Trayes about her own views on the topic or any position from which she approached her research and writing of the book, for the benefit of the audience’s understanding of the interview. On this point, the broadcaster commented:

  • The Project team ‘pre-interviewed the author and asked her about her research, her approach and why she was interested in the topic. The author did not bring up her religion during this time.’
  • A Google search on the author’s background ‘did not bring up anything controversial’ about any religious position on the topic.
  • In the initial interview, the author had stated that ‘her goal was to get viewers to do their own research on the issue and the Act so as to be educated before making the decision.’ There was no plan for the author to speak about her personal opinion on the subject matter.
  • With respect to the weighting of views in the book, the broadcaster considered that the ‘book contained strong opinions from both sides, and a broad spectrum of experts’.

[34]  Based on all of the information before us, including our own searches for material as at the time of The Project broadcast on 30 June 2020, we concluded the broadcaster’s position as outlined above, and its editorial decision not to directly question the author about her own views, was reasonable. In the context, omitting to ask such a question did not result in the item overall being likely to mislead viewers on the issue discussed. As we have said, the interview with Ms Trayes was only one aspect of the broader item, which presented a range of viewpoints to enable the audience to reflect on its own views regarding end of life choice. The underpinning theme of the item was focussed on informing audiences about the possible viewpoints, and encouraging audiences to be better informed about the topic before voting in the upcoming referendum. In the wider context, the programme was one of many on a subject matter which attracted varying perspectives, and a wide range of information and viewpoints were available to the audience.

Conclusion on accuracy: Weighing freedom of expression against potential harm

[35]  In these circumstances, we consider the likelihood of actual harm being caused by the two aspects of the broadcast alleged to be inaccurate and misleading was reduced, and did not outweigh the public interest and value of the broadcast as a whole. We therefore find upholding the complaint under the accuracy standard would unreasonably restrict the right to freedom of expression. 

For the above reasons the Authority does not uphold the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Judge Bill Hastings

Chair
1 October 2020

 


Appendix

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

1  EOLCS’s correspondence with MediaWorks prior to complaint – 30 June 2020

2  EOLCS’s formal complaint to MediaWorks – 7 July 2020

3  MediaWorks’ decision on the complaint – 3 August 2020

4  EOLCS’s referral to the Authority – 14 August 2020

5  MediaWorks’ confirmation of no further comments on the referral – 17 August 2020

6  MediaWorks’ response to Authority’s request for further information regarding reasonable efforts under the accuracy standard – 31 August 2020

7  EOLCS’s comments responding to further information – 4 September 2020


1 <https://www.thefinalchoice.nz/#about>
2 ‘The euthanasia debate: synthesising the evidence on New Zealander's attitudes’ – 24 October 2018, Jessica Young, Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online
3 Commentary: Balance, Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook, page 18
4 Commentary: Accuracy, Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook, page 18
5 Commentary: Accuracy, Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook, page 18
6 <https://www.bsa.govt.nz/assets/20200821-BSA-Fast-Track-Process-for-Election-Programmes.pdf>
7 Guideline 8a
8 Commentary: Balance, Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook, page 18
9 As above
10 See for example: Bidwell and Radio New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2020-003 at [12]; Right to Life and MediaWorks TV Ltd, Decision No. 2018-033 at [8]
11 Commentary: Balance, Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook, page 18
12 As above
13 See for example: Duncan Garner: Well done Winston Peters and David Seymour on Euthanasia (Newshub, 13 November 2019), Maori back End of Life Choice Bill - poll (Newshub, 8 March 2020), Euthanasia Referendum: Mother continues daughter’s call for legalisation after she suffered painful death (Newshub, 9 August 2020), Kiwis back euthanasia, split on legalising cannabis – poll (Newshub, 20 July 2020), Euthanasia referendum explained: Everything you need to know about the End of Life Choice Bill decision (Newshub, 10 July 2020)
14 See for example: Right to Life New Zealand and Mediaworks TV Ltd, Decision No. 2018-033, Beckers and Radio New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2018-008, Bidwell and Radio New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2020-003, Marra and Mediaworks Radio Ltd, Decision No. 2019-023, and Right to Life New Zealand and Radio New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2017-020
15 Guideline 9a
16 Guidance: Accuracy – Distinguishing Fact and Analysis, Comment or Opinion, Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand, page 64
17 MediaWorks provided November 2017 and November 2019 euthanasia poll results from Curia Market Research.
18 As above
19 The complainant referred to a research paper published in October 2018, which cited public attitude studies reporting that a majority (68%) of respondents support assisted dying (see footnote 2) and see footnote 18 for polls referred to by the broadcaster.  
20 Guidance: Accuracy - Distinguishing Fact and Analysis, Comment or Opinion, Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook, page 64. See also Association for Independent Research Inc and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2013-059 at [15] and Basham and MediaWorks TV Ltd, Decision No. 2017-061