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Decisions
McAulay and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2021-015 (11 August 2021)
2021-015

While filling in on Magic Talk’s Magic Mornings, John Banks discussed former CEO Grainne Moss’s departure from Oranga Tamariki. One talkback caller made comments which were endorsed by Mr Banks. MediaWorks found these were denigrating towards Māori and breached the good taste and decency and discrimination and denigration standards. The Authority upheld a complaint that the action taken by MediaWorks did not sufficiently remedy the harm caused by the breaches. It found the comments were foreseeable in the broadcast environment MediaWorks had created.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency (Action Taken), Discrimination and Denigration (Action Taken)

Orders: Section 13(1)(a) – broadcast statement; Section 16(4) – $3,000 costs to the Crown

Decisions
Cant and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-071 (21 December 2020)
2020-071

A 1 News presenter used the term ‘gypsy day’ when reporting on the annual relocation of sharemilkers. The Authority upheld a complaint that this breached the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority highlighted the importance of responding to societal change: terms that may have been acceptable in the past, may not necessarily be acceptable in the future. While not used to express malice or hatred, the phrase is derogatory and evokes prejudicial biases towards the Roma community. When used in this context, it is capable of embedding existing negative stereotypes.

Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

No order

Decisions
Tualamali’i & Whittaker and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2020-063 (21 December 2020)
2020-063

Two complaints about Sean Plunket’s interview of Te Whānau ā Apanui spokesperson Louis Rapihana were upheld under the discrimination and denigration standard. The interview was about the legal basis for iwi roadblocks in the eastern Bay of Plenty under COVID-19 Alert Level 4 and what the iwi intended to do if anyone refused to comply with the travel permit requirement established under Alert Level 3. The Authority1 found Mr Plunket’s approach during the interview and comments made on-air afterwards had the effect of amplifying negative stereotypes about Māori and the potential to cause widespread harm.

Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

Orders: Section 13(1)(a) – broadcast statement; Section 16(4) – $3,000 costs to the Crown

Decisions
Waxman and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-042 (16 November 2020)
2020-042

The Authority has upheld a complaint about a broadcast which referred to the owners of the road cycling team ‘Israel Start-up Nation’ as ‘Jewish billionaires’. The complainant submitted the broadcast was offensive and racist as it made an unnecessary connection between money and Jewish people. The Authority found the effect of the broadcast was to embed and reflect harmful stereotypes, albeit unintended. The harm in this instance outweighed the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression, and therefore the Authority upheld the complaint.

Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

No order

Decisions
Day & Moss and NZME Radio Ltd - 2018-090 (2 April 2019)
2018-090

Two complaints about Heather du Plessis-Allan’s use of the term ‘leeches’ to describe the Pacific Islands during Wellington Mornings with Heather du Plessis-Allan were upheld, under both the good taste and decency and discrimination and denigration standards. The Authority recognised the important role talkback radio plays in fostering open discourse and debate in society. However, the Authority found Ms du Plessis-Allan’s comments went beyond what is acceptable in a talkback environment, considering the use of language that was inflammatory, devalued the reputation of Pasifika people within New Zealand and had the potential to cause widespread offence and distress.  

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration

Not Upheld: Children’s Interests, Law and Order, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness

Orders: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement; Section16(4) – $3,000 costs to the Crown

Decisions
Barry and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-077 (15 December 2016)
2016-077

A promo for an episode of the comedy-drama series Lucifer was broadcast during Sunday. In the promo, the main character, Lucifer, was shown impersonating a priest and hearing a woman’s confession. Lucifer said to the woman, ‘Your penance: ten Bloody Marys and a good shag’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the main character’s impersonation of a priest was inappropriate, offensive and denigrated Catholics and Christians. The Authority acknowledged that the promo would have been upsetting to some viewers who hold certain beliefs, but found in the context of the broadcast the promo did not reach the threshold for finding a breach of standards. The promo reflected the content of the fictional programme promoted, and was intended to be humorous and light-hearted. It contained only low-level sexual innuendo. The promo did not contain any material which could be said to encourage the discrimination of, or denigration against, all Catholics and/or Christians.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
Simmons and 5 Others and CanWest RadioWorks Ltd - 2004-193
2004-193

Michael Laws talkback. Exclusive Brethren. Fairness, denigration and discrimination, upheld. Good taste and decency, balance, subsumed. Orders (broadcast of statement, costs $3,456.74).

Decisions
Whitla and The Radio Network Ltd - 2004-104
2004-104

Paul Holmes Breakfast. Denigration. Upheld. Order (broadcast of statement).

Decisions
Watkins and The RadioWorks Ltd - 2001-138–204
2001-138–204

The Rock. 67 complaints about offensive language. Upheld (good taste and decency, denigration and discrimination, effect on children: various). Declined to determine (various). Not upheld (various)

Decisions
Burridge and The Radio Network Ltd - 2001-086
2001-086

ZMFM. Game called "Know Your Dairy" denigrated foreigners. Action taken insufficient (denigration and discrimination: unsatisfactory complaints procedure, warning). Tape retention inadequate. Order (broadcast of statement).

Decisions
Watkins and The RadioWorks Ltd - 2001-071–084
2001-071–084

The Rock. 14 complaints about offensive language. Upheld (good taste and decency, denigration and discrimination, effect on children, action taken insufficient: various). Not upheld (law and order and various others). Declined to determine (various). Orders ($8250 total costs to Crown).

Decisions
Richards and The Radio Network Ltd - 2000-181
2000-181

Radio Sport breakfast show. Host's references to Japanese and East Timorese derogatory. Upheld (denigration and discrimination). Order ($500 costs to Crown).

Decisions
Yousef and The RadioWorks - 1999-193
1999-193

The Rock. Morning broadcast included a "joke" about an Indian superette owner and his Pakistani worker. Upheld (good taste and decency, discrimination and denigration). Order (statement, $500 costs to Crown).

Decisions
Keir and Radio Pacific Ltd - 1996-133
1996-133

Banksie on Sunday. Host's comment that an African serving a jail sentence in New Zealand "should be swinging in trees in the Congo". Upheld: majority (discrimination and denigration). No order.

Decisions
Sawyer and Radio Pacific Ltd- 1996-076
1996-076

Banksie on Sunday. Topic of abortion. Host described doctors who carried out abortions as baby murderers, and claimed that the aborted foetuses were put into the hospital waste disposal systems or in "Kleensaks". Upheld (denigration and discrimination). Not upheld (accuracy, fairness, balance, law and order). Order (broadcast of apology).