BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present
All Decisions
Kehoe and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2021-084 (22 September 2021)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging a segment on Police Ten 7 breached the discrimination and denigration standard. A man called a woman who had called the police a ‘nosey motherf***ing white c***’. The Authority found in the context of the long-running series, and the particular programme, this comment did not reach the threshold for a finding that it encouraged discrimination or denigration in breach of the standard.

Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

Thwaites and Radio New Zealand Limited - 2021-078 (22 September 2021)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the discrimination and denigration and fairness standards about an item on Morning Report. The Authority did not consider referencing the iwi affiliation of the subjects featured in the piece discriminated against or denigrated other New Zealanders stuck in India due to COVID-19 who are not tangata whenua. It also found the complaint did not identify a particular individual or organisation that was alleged to have been treated unfairly in the broadcast, so the fairness standard did not apply.

Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration and Fairness

O’Halloran and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2021-063 (15 September 2021)

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint about the joking and flirtatious interactions between two males on a Breakfast programme segment. The Authority considered the complaint related to matters of personal preference and was not an appropriate use of its time and resources.

Declined to Determine: Good Taste and Decency (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989)

Beaumont Bell and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-050 (15 September 2021)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about the introduction for a piece broadcast on RNZ Concert: ‘Being a coloured man wasn’t an advantage to 19th century English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. But he did, fortunately, have some influential supporters… so his music did get heard.’ The complaint was that the description of the composer as ‘coloured’ perpetuated racism. The Authority acknowledged the complainant’s concerns and the changing nature of language over time. In this case, it found the description of the composer, in the context of the broadcast, did not encourage discrimination or denigration and was unlikely to cause offence at a level justifying restriction of the right to freedom of expression.  

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration

Cochran and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-066 (15 September 2021)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a promo for Checkpoint, broadcast after the 8am news on 11 May 2021, which included soundbites, showcasing the previous day’s news, concerning a supermarket stabbing in Dunedin. The complaint alleged the promo sensationalised news that was no longer current, suggesting another stabbing had occurred, and unnecessarily repeated scenes of violence when affected families were still suffering and children were likely to be listening. In its context, the Authority found the promo content was not likely to cause widespread undue offence or distress and did not breach the children’s interests standard. The programme information, violence and balance standards either did not apply or were not breached.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Violence, Balance

Edgewell Personal Care and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2021-077 (15 September 2021)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Fair Go breached the accuracy and fairness standards. The item investigated a mother’s concerns following her son getting severe sunburn despite applying Banana Boat SPF50 sunscreen, and more broadly how sunscreens are tested under New Zealand regulations, and whether the public should be able to rely on claims on sunscreen labels. The Authority found the mother’s comments were clearly her opinion, to which the accuracy standard did not apply, and the programme was not otherwise inaccurate or misleading. The programme did not allege Banana Boat sunscreen does not work, nor that it does not comply with regulatory requirements. The complainant, as the company responsible for Banana Boat, was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment in response to issues raised in the story and its response was fairly presented.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

Johnston and NZME Radio Ltd - 2021-076 (15 September 2021)

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that action taken by NZME was insufficient, after it upheld a complaint about language used in an interview on The Nutters Club. The interviewee told his story of overcoming drug addiction and offending, and now working to help others do the same. After saying, ‘Excuse all my language I use, too, it will get a little bit worse, it’s just how it is when you remember’, the interviewee used the words ‘fuck’, ‘shit’, and ‘arse’ (and variations of these) repeatedly. The Authority determined it would not have found a breach of the standards in the first instance, in the context of the broadcast. In particular: the interview carried high value in terms of the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and the narration of an important story about hope, transformation, and community-building, it was broadcast late at night, and the interviewee signposted he would use coarse language, giving listeners an opportunity to decide whether to continue listening. The Authority noted the action taken in response to the language and complaint was significant, which reflected the broadcaster’s sensitivity to the needs and interests of its listeners.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency (Action Taken), Programme Information (Action Taken)

Olsen and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-055 (15 September 2021)

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about an episode of New Zealand Today. The complaint was that an interviewee was treated unfairly, and the segment discriminated against and denigrated the elderly. Noting that comments concerning the interviewee were based on his individual actions and views (rather than his status as ‘elderly’) and that the discrimination and denigration standard is not intended to prevent the broadcast of genuine expressions of comment, legitimate humour or satire, the Authority found no breach of that standard. In the context, the Authority also found the interviewee was not treated unfairly.

Not Upheld: Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration

Soh and NZME Radio Ltd - 2021-075 (15 September 2021)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a statement on Coast FM news, ‘A herd of international students is about to stampede into New Zealand’, breached the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority found ‘international students’ did not amount to a section of the community under the standard. In any event, the statement would not have reached the threshold required for finding a breach. There were issues with the retention of the broadcast by NZME, and the Authority noted this was a serious procedural concern.

Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

Stark and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-080 (15 September 2021)

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint about the use of the phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ by an English football fan expressing excitement during a news item covering England’s win against Denmark in the UEFA European Football Championship semi-finals. The Authority has found on numerous occasions the use of ‘Jesus Christ’ or similar terms as an exclamation does not amount to a breach of standards.

Declined to Determine: Good Taste and Decency (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989)

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