BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present
All Decisions
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

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

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

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

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

GS and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-090 (29 November 2023)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that it was inaccurate and unbalanced for an item on Newshub Live at 6pm to claim there are two main ways to teach literacy in New Zealand when there are several. The item concerned the National Party’s proposed policy to make ‘structured literacy’ the compulsory teaching method in New Zealand schools. The Authority found the simplified statement was materially accurate, and any technical inaccuracy in the description of literacy teaching methods would not have affected the audience’s understanding of the programme as a whole. In the context of a brief news item, focused on National Party policy, the Authority also considered the item to have included sufficient perspectives on the issue of literacy teaching methods.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance

Kung Purser and Media Bay Of Plenty Ltd - 2023-087 (29 November 2023)

The Authority has declined to determine a direct privacy complaint about the broadcast of information concerning the circumstances of a murder victim’s death. The privacy standard only apples to living individuals, and on this basis did not apply. The Authority reiterated the need for sensitivity and care to be taken in reporting of this kind.

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

Fenemor and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-080 (29 November 2023)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a 1 News item on fire dangers posed by lithium batteries was inaccurate for including footage of a vehicle which was not confirmed to have been affected by a lithium battery fire. The Authority found the alleged inaccuracy was not material and would not have significantly impacted viewers’ understanding of the broadcast as a whole.

Not Upheld: 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

Casley & Stewart and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-075 (29 November 2023)

The Authority has not upheld complaints about a Breakfast interview with Labour MP Tangi Utikere. During the interview, Utikere was asked about reports of a ‘leaker’ within the Labour caucus, and was repeatedly questioned on whether he himself was the leaker. The complainants alleged the interview amounted to bullying and denigrated Utikere. The Authority acknowledged the questioning was sustained, but was within the scope of the type of questioning expected of a politician, particularly in the lead up to an election, and the broadcast was not in breach of the fairness standard (with respect to treatment of Utikere or former Minister Kiritapu Allan). The balance and discrimination standards were either not applicable or not breached. 

Not Upheld: Fairness, Balance, Discrimination and Denigration

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