BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Parvomai and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-111 (13 October 2021)

  • Susie Staley MNZM (Chair)
  • Leigh Pearson
  • Paula Rose QSO
  • Iskra Parvomai
Our Changing World
Radio New Zealand Ltd
Radio New Zealand


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

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint, under the accuracy standard, about an episode of Our Changing World. The Authority considered the complaint, about the use of the word ‘English’ instead of ‘British’ trivial.

Declined to Determine: Accuracy (section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – trivial)

The broadcasts

[1] An episode of Our Changing World on 25 August 2021 described the results of the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey, and reported that the survey was based on ‘an English model’.

The complaint

[2]  Iskra Parvomai complained the broadcasts breached the accuracy standard:

  • The bird count referred to was based on a ‘British’ model, not an ‘English’ model.
  • ‘England is not Britain or UK, they are not interchangeable.’

The broadcaster’s response

[3]  RNZ did not uphold the complaint for the following reasons:

  • ‘The Accuracy standard (9b) is only concerned with material inaccuracy.’
  • ‘[the] Broadcasting Standards Authority considered complaints of this sort trivial.’1

Outcome: Declined to determine

[4]  Section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 authorises the Authority to decline to determine complaints if it considers they are frivolous, vexatious, or trivial. A ‘trivial’ complaint is defined as one which is of little or no importance and is at such a level not to justify it being treated as a serious complaint.2 

[5]  We consider this complaint to be trivial. Our Changing World is a programme covering New Zealand stories about science, nature and the environment.3 In the context of such a programme, and the discussion of the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey’s results, whether the survey was based on an ‘English’ or ‘British’ model was immaterial.4

[6]  The time and resources of the Authority, which are sustained by broadcasters and the public, should not be wasted on having to deal with such matters.

For the above reasons the Authority declines to determine the complaint.
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority


Susie Staley
Acting Chair
13 October 2021    




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

1  Iskra Parvomai’s formal complaint – 25 August 2021

2  RNZ’s decision on the complaint – 16 September 2021

3  Iskra Parvomai’s referral to the Authority – 16 September 2021

1 See Parvomai and Radio New Zealand Ltd, Decision 2021-009 at [6]
2 Guidance: BSA Power to Decline to Determine a Complaint, Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook, page 66
3 Radio New Zealand Ltd “Our Changing World” <>
4 See Lowes and MediaWorks Radio Ltd, Decision No. 2020-004; Lowes and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2018-063; Lowes and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2006-104