McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-115 (28 January 2021)
- Judge Bill Hastings (Chair)
- Leigh Pearson
- Paula Rose QSO
- Susie Staley MNZM
- Donald McDonald
ProgrammeNewshub Live and The AM Show
BroadcasterDiscovery NZ Ltd
[This summary does not form part of the decision.]
The Authority declined to determine three complaints as they did not raise clear concerns capable of being addressed by the complaints process.
Decline to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – in all the circumstances): Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Alcohol, Accuracy
 Between July and October 2020 we received six separate complaint referrals from Donald McDonald concerning five episodes of Newshub Live at 6pm and a promo for The AM Show. We considered each complaint separately and determined three of the complaints under the nominated broadcasting standards.1
 For the remaining three complaints, Mr McDonald identified the following programmes and standards using MediaWorks’ online complaint form:
- Newshub Live at 6pm (10 July 2020) – Alcohol, Balance, Accuracy
- Promo for The AM Show (shown during Newshub Live at 6pm, 15 July 2020) – Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Alcohol, Balance
- Newshub Live at 6pm (16 August 2020) – Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Violence
 The broadcaster provided a formal response to each of these, saying it was unable to identify any content or elements in the broadcasts that breached broadcasting standards.
Outcome: Declined to determine
 Under section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, we can decline to determine a complaint if we consider that in all the circumstances of the complaint, it should not be determined.
 Although Mr McDonald identified programme details and nominated broadcasting standards in the online complaints submitted to MediaWorks, we are unable to decipher what exactly he was complaining about, or why, in each of the remaining three complaints. They are all similarly vague and difficult to understand, and do not clearly explain why particular broadcast content raised issues of broadcasting standards.
 As Mr McDonald has not raised clear concerns capable of being addressed by the complaints process, it is appropriate to decline to determine these three complaints under section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.
For the above reasons the Authority declines to determine the complaints.
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority
Judge Bill Hastings
28 January 2021
The correspondence listed below was received and considered by the Authority when it addressed these complaints:
Newshub Live at 6pm (10 July 2020)
1 Donald McDonald’s complaint to MediaWorks – 22 July 2020
2 MediaWorks’ response – 19 August 2020
3 Mr McDonald’s referral to the Authority – 19 August 2020
4 MediaWorks’ confirmation of no further comments – 10 September 2020
Promo for The AM Show (15 July 2020)
5 Mr McDonald’s complaint to MediaWorks – 22 July 2020
6 MediaWorks’ response – 19 August 2020
7 Mr McDonald’s referral to the Authority – 19 August 2020
8 MediaWorks’ confirmation of no further comments – 10 September 2020
Newshub Live at 6pm (16 August 2020)
9 Mr McDonald’s complaint to MediaWorks – 16 August 2020
10 MediaWorks’ response – 11 September 2020
11 Mr McDonald’s referral to the Authority – 11 September 2020
12 MediaWorks’ confirmation of no further comments – 29 September 2020
1 See Authority’s Decisions No. 2020-084, 2020-102 and 2020-131