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Golden and Radio New Zealand Ltd - ID2019-046 (10 October 2019)

  • Judge Bill Hastings (Chair)
  • Paula Rose QSO
  • Wendy Palmer
  • Susie Staley MNZM
  • Allan Golden
Nine to Noon
Radio New Zealand Ltd
Radio New Zealand National


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

The Authority found it had no jurisdiction to determine a complaint about a segment on Nine to Noon because the complaint did not explicitly or implicitly identify any broadcasting standards breached by the broadcast.

Declined Jurisdiction

The item

[1]  An item covering the joint action by Christchurch residents after earthquake damage was broadcast during Nine to Noon on RNZ National on 8 May 2019.

The complaint

[2]  Allan Golden complained that this item failed to consider ‘the only major “use” in NZ of the class action procedure to date’, one ‘claimed to be on behalf of subscribers to the 2004 “Feltex Carpets IPO”’.

[3]  He considered that ‘RNZ had a clear duty to expose how [the Feltex IPO] class action of subscribers was panning out in evaluating the merits of Southern Response beneficiaries using [the class action procedure]’. Mr Golden then made a number of submissions about issues with the Feltex IPO, including suggesting the Feltex IPO was a ‘Government and opposition backed scam’ and that the Feltex IPO class action (which claimants were also able to join on a ‘no win no fee basis’) was simply used as a means to ‘shut up’ the claimants.

[4]  The broadcaster submitted that Mr Golden’s complaint contained ‘nothing of substance’ suggesting a breach of standards.

[5]  In considering this complaint, we have listened to a recording of the broadcast complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

Outcome: Declined jurisdiction

[6]  When determining whether a complaint falls within the Authority’s jurisdiction we look at whether it meets the criteria set out under section 6 of the Broadcasting Act 1989 (the Act). Amongst other requirements, the complaint must constitute an allegation that the broadcaster has failed to comply with one or more of the broadcasting standards contained in the Act or the relevant code of practice.1 Section 6 does not require that a standard be expressly referred to in the complaint. It is enough that the complaint clearly implies what standard is being relied on.

[7]  In this case, we find Mr Golden’s complaint did not meet this requirement. His original complaint to the broadcaster only expressed his opinion or personal preference on the issue covered in the item (ie that RNZ had a duty to raise additional topics in the item). It did not raise any issues under broadcasting standards, either expressly or impliedly. Accordingly, we do not have jurisdiction to consider this complaint further.

[8]  In regards to RNZ’s submission that it will seek the reimbursement of costs against Mr Golden, as the complaint falls outside the Authority’s jurisdiction, we are unable to award costs to parties. 

For the above reasons the Authority declines jurisdiction to accept the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority




Judge Bill Hastings


10 October 2019   


The correspondence listed below was received and considered by the Authority:

1      Allan Golden’s formal complaint – 09 May 2019

2      RNZ’s response to the complaint – 25 June 2019

3      Mr Golden’s referral to the Authority – 02 July 2019

4      RNZ’s confirmation of no further comment and seeking costs – 18 July 2019

5      Mr Golden’s final comments – 30 July 2019


1 See s 6(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989