Warning: This decision contains content that some readers may find distressing.
During coverage of the 15 March 2019 attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, SKY Network Television channel 085, Sky News New Zealand, included a number of edited clips taken from the alleged attacker’s 17‑minute livestream video. The Authority upheld a complaint that the broadcast was in breach of the violence and law and order standards. While the broadcast as a whole was newsworthy and had a high level of public interest, the clips themselves contained disturbing violent content, which had the potential to cause significant distress to members of the public, and particularly to the family and friends of victims and the wider Muslim community in New Zealand. In the context of the attacks, the content of these clips also risked glorifying the alleged attacker and promoting his messages. As such, the degree of potential harm that could be caused to audiences was greater than the level of public interest, and the Authority found overall that these clips, in the form broadcast, should not have been aired.
Upheld: Violence, Law and Order; Declined Jurisdiction: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness
Order: Section 16(4) – $4,000 in costs to the Crown
Te Hikoi Mahanga. Footage of car performing burnouts on a public road. Law and order. Upheld. No order.
Balls of Steel: "Pain Men". Electric belt sander applied to a man’s buttocks. Children’s interests, not upheld. Good taste and decency, law and order, upheld. No order.
The Beach 94.6FM. Host's comments about police. Law and order, good taste and decency, upheld. Privacy, balance, denigration, not upheld. Order (broadcast of statement, including apology to listeners).
91ZM Countdown: Drive Show. In comments about bus rage, presenter advised passengers to damage buses. Allegedly breached law and order and responsible programming (children's interests) standards. Upheld by broadcaster but action taken insufficient. Order (broadcast of statement including the words "reckless, irresponsible and inappropriate").
Maximum Exposure – International Fight Club. Clips of violent behaviour. Upheld (action taken insufficient: law and order, programme classification, violence); upheld (good taste and decency; children's interests). Not upheld (fairness). Order (broadcast of statement).
Radio Pacific. Talkback host said he would shoot a dog ranger about to shoot his dog. Upheld (law and order). Not relevant (social responsibility). No order.
Radio Pacific. Host advised caller to lie to the Accident Compensation Corporation in order to obtain a benefit she was not legally entitled to. Upheld (law and order): action taken insufficient. Order (broadcast of brief summary of decision).
Wellington's Pirate FM afternoon programme. Announcer referred abusively to a nephew from Auckland who was visiting his two sons and threatened to inflict violence on him with a baseball bat. He also broadcast the address where his sons were living with his former wife, whom he described as "the ex-slug". Upheld (good taste and decency, law and order, privacy). Not upheld (discrimination and denigration). Not relevant (responsible programming (re children)). Order ($1,500 compensation to complainant).
Newsnight. Item on illegal drag racing at night on the streets of Manukau City. Upheld (law and order, balance): action taken insufficient. Order (broadcast of summary of decision).
Newstalk ZB afternoon show. Caller expressed his anger that, following the break-up with his partner, he had been served with an order to attend an anger management course. Host's comment alleging lack of dedication which could be displayed by lawyers in receipt of legal aid. Upheld (law and order). Not upheld (discrimination and denigration). Order (broadcast of summary of decision).