BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present
All Decisions
Greyhound Racing New Zealand and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-073 (31 January 2024)

The Authority has partially upheld a complaint in relation to the accuracy of a Newshub Live at 6pm item about a person alleged to have harmed greyhounds. It alleged details about the accused were inaccurate and images of an unrelated dog accompanying the report were misleading. The Authority found the relevant details regarding the accused were not materially inaccurate. It found the broadcaster was correct in upholding the complaint initially in relation to the images used, but action taken in response was not sufficient to remedy the likely reputational damage to the handler and industry. The Authority held publication of this decision was sufficient remedy for the breach in all the circumstances.

Upheld: Accuracy (Action Taken)

No Orders

Kirkland and Sky Television Network Ltd - 2023-095 (31 January 2024)

The Authority1 has not upheld a complaint an item on Prime News, reporting on reactions to comments made by ACT Party Leader David Seymour on the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, as well as an incident where two men went to the Ministry and filmed staff while asking about expenditure, breached the accuracy standard. The complainant considered the broadcast breached the standard as it gave the misleading impression that two men had threatened staff at the Ministry as a result of Seymour’s statements, and it was inaccurate to suggest the men ‘threatened’ staff when ‘they only filmed staff while asking about spending’. The Authority agreed the broadcast’s introduction could have given the impression the two men went to the Ministry as a direct result of Seymour’s comments (when this occurred prior). While finely balanced, ultimately it considered any inaccuracy was corrected by a clarification of the sequence of events later in the broadcast. It further found while the description the men ‘threatened’ staff may have been technically inaccurate, it was not materially misleading in the context.

Not Upheld: Accuracy

Hunter and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2023-109 (16 January 2024)

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint alleging a news bulletin on RNZ was unbalanced due to the placement of an update on the Rugby World Cup, ahead of other news. The Authority found that in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined as it amounted to the complainant’s personal preference regarding matters of editorial discretion.

Declined to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Balance

Aldridge and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-106 (16 January 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the accuracy standard about a 1News item reporting on the 7 October 2023 Hamas attack on Israel. The complaint alleged the reporter’s statement in the item, ‘No time to escape’, referring to Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza, was inaccurate because the Israeli Prime Minister had ‘warned the people of Gaza to get out fast’. Noting the wide range of information and perspectives covered in the eight-minute segment, the Authority found the comment complained about did not result in the item being materially inaccurate or misleading, or cause harm that outweighed the public interest or the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression.

Not Upheld: Accuracy

Huriwai-Seger and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-105 (16 January 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm item suggesting Labour’s Affordable Water Reform policy encompassed controls over all freshwater breached the accuracy standard. The Authority found the relevant references to freshwater were inaccurate. However, in the context of a story about Mayor Wayne Brown’s concerns for Auckland ratepayers and call to action for National, such detail regarding Labour’s policy was not material to the audience’s overall understanding of the item.

Not Upheld: Accuracy

Kelsey and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2023-098 (16 January 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Midday Rural News segment on RNZ National, regarding a proposed solar panel development on a Waipara farm, breached the accuracy and balance standards. It found the points raised by the complainant as being inaccurate or misleading were either not misleading or were not materially misleading, as they were unlikely to affect the audience’s understanding of the report as a whole. In relation to the balance standard, the Authority found the brief broadcast, which was focused on the farmer’s perspective on the installation of the proposed development on his farm, did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance as required for the standard to apply.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance

Healy and NZME Radio Ltd - 2023-089 (16 January 2024)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a segment on the Fletch, Vaughan & Hayley morning show breached the discrimination and denigration standard. In the broadcast, the hosts made several jokes and innuendos about the name of Irish airline Aer Lingus and one host, putting on an Irish accent, stated ‘on the menu today, we have potatoes’. The complainant considered the jokes to be offensive to Irish people and culture, and to amount to racism. The Authority acknowledged the jokes had the potential to offend, but did not uphold the complaint, finding the jokes did not meet the threshold for a breach under the discrimination and denigration standard as they were unlikely to encourage the different treatment of Irish people to their detriment, devalue the reputation of Irish people, or embed negative stereotypes.

Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

Benefield and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-069 (16 January 2024)

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint that a promo for ThreeNow programme I am Jazz breached multiple standards. The Authority has previously considered similar complaints concerning the inclusion of members of the rainbow community, including trans people, in programmes and saw no reason to depart from previous findings concerning this matter.

Decline to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Balance, Accuracy

Hoy and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-077 (13 December 2023)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an interview with National Party Leader Christopher Luxon on Q+A with Jack Tame. The complaint alleged Tame was disrespectful and hostile to Luxon, and asked invasive personal questions, in breach of the fairness, balance and accuracy standards. The Authority did not consider Tame’s questions or comments went beyond a level of robust scrutiny or challenge that could reasonably be expected in an interview with the Leader of the Opposition on their party’s policies, particularly in the lead-up to a general election, and therefore the fairness standard was not breached. The complaints under balance and accuracy each concerned matters not addressed by the relevant standard.

Not Upheld: Fairness, Balance, Accuracy

Alexander and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-076 (29 November 2023)

An item on Paddy Gower Has Issues investigated the predator control of feral cats, and discussed whether or not feral cats should be included in the Predator Free 2050 strategy. The broadcast included footage of feral cats being trapped and shot, and people carrying, and holding up the carcasses. The Authority did not uphold the complaint the broadcast breached multiple standards, finding relevant footage was clearly signposted by the host, who provided two warnings to viewers about the content. Viewers were therefore given a reasonable opportunity to make a different viewing choice for themselves or children in their care. The footage depicted no undue cruelty or suffering, and while some viewers may have found it unpleasant to watch, the broadcast of hunting and pest control footage is generally acceptable in New Zealand provided it does not depict undue cruelty. Under the balance standard, the Authority found the broadcast sufficiently alerted the audience to the existence of other perspectives. The Authority found the fairness and promotion of illegal or antisocial behaviour standards either were not breached, or did not apply.

Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Fairness, Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour, and Balance

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