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Decisions
Preston and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-011 (11 August 2021)
2021-011

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

The Authority has upheld a complaint about the classification and scheduling of an episode of SAS Australia which was classified ‘M’ and screened at 7.30pm. The episode featured aggression, potentially distressing psychological elements and frequent coarse language (more than 35 instances or variations of ‘fuck’). The Authority found this content warranted a higher classification of ‘16’ rather than ‘M’, a stronger warning for frequent language and a later time of broadcast outside of children’s normally accepted viewing times (after 8.30pm). It therefore upheld the complaint under the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards, as viewers were not given sufficient reliable information to make an informed viewing choice or exercise discretion.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests

Not Upheld: Violence

No order

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
Roberts and SKY Network Television Ltd - 2020-155 (13 May 2021)
2020-155

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

The Authority has upheld a complaint that the frequent use of ‘fuck’ (and variations) during A Life on the Road breached the good taste and decency standard. The episode featured Brian Johnson of AC/DC talking to Lars Ulrich of Metallica about touring in the early 90s, along with footage from the tours and interviews with Metallica crew and fans. It was broadcast at 12pm with a ‘PGL’ rating (Parental Guidance; language may offend). The Authority found this did not provide sufficient reliable information to signpost the level and frequency of language in the programme and did not give the audience an adequate opportunity to exercise choice and control – meaning they were more likely to be surprised and offended by the content. The Authority found an ‘M’ rating and more detailed onscreen warning, for example for ‘frequent coarse language’, would have been more appropriate for the content and more consistent with the requirements of the Code.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

No Order

Decisions
Singh and Radio Virsa - 2019-081 (27 May 2020)
2019-081

The Authority upheld a complaint that a segment of Punjabi talkback programme, Dasam Granth Da Sach breached the good taste and decency, violence and law and order standards. During the segment, the host made threatening comments, directed at members of a Sikh sect in response to recent violent incidents in India. The Authority found the comments undermined widely shared community standards, considering their seriousness, specificity and other contextual factors. The Authority also found the comments actively incited violence and promoted disrespect for the law within the specific community of listeners. The Authority recognised the value of the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression but found the potential for harm justified a restriction of this right.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Law and Order

Orders: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement

Decisions
Campbell and Radio New Zealand Ltd -2019-077 (18 February 2020)
2019-077

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

The Authority upheld a complaint that the use of the word ‘fuck’ in an episode of the programme Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. While the Authority recognised the value and nature of the programme, it was not preceded by any offensive language warning which the Authority considered necessary as the language used was outside audience expectations for the programme, and the programme was aired at 7:30pm, at a time when children may be listening.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests

No Order

Decisions
Evans and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-092 (24 April 2019)
2018-092

The Authority has upheld a complaint about a broadcast of The DailyMail TV, finding that footage broadcast during the programme was inappropriate for the PGR classification and time of broadcast, and required an audience advisory for disturbing content. The programme was broadcast at 3.30pm on a weekday, and featured partially censored footage of an American stabbing victim in the moments before she died. While the woman’s injuries were blurred, her distressed facial expression and blood splatters on the floor were visible. A second story featured censored footage of two 19-year-old women who claimed they had been drugged, filmed inside a bar naked and allegedly performing sex acts. The Authority found that this content went beyond what could be expected from a PGR-classified programme broadcast during children’s normally accepted viewing times and that the programme should have been classified AO – Adults Only. Further, the sexual material and disturbing nature of these stories required an audience advisory.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests

Order: Section 16(4) – $1,000 costs to the Crown

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
Six Complainants and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-010 (22 May 2018)
2018-010

Three episodes of a British dating game show, Naked Attraction, were broadcast on TVNZ 2 at 9.30pm on Friday 10, 17 and 24 November 2017. During each episode, a clothed individual selected a date from six naked individuals, who were gradually revealed in stages from the feet up, with no blurring or pixelation of nudity. Six complainants referred their complaints about these episodes of Naked Attraction to the Authority, complaining that the programme contained a high level of full frontal nudity and sexual discussion, which was offensive and contrary to standards of good taste and decency. The complainants also submitted that the programme denigrated, or was discriminatory towards, both participants and viewers, and was broadcast at a time on a weekend night when children were likely to be watching. The Authority did not agree with the complainants that this programme ought not to have been broadcast at all. It observed that, while the programme may not have been to everybody’s taste, it contained many body-positive messages and those involved in the programme spoke positively of their experiences. However, the Authority upheld the good taste and decency complaints on one aspect, finding the pre-broadcast warning did not adequately signpost the extent of nudity and sexual references in the programme for viewers.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency. Not Upheld: Children’s Interests; Discrimination and Denigration

No Order

Decisions
13 Complainants and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2017-101 (4 April 2018)
2017-101

The first two episodes of a British dating game show, Naked Attraction, were broadcast on TVNZ 2 at 9.45pm on Friday 27 October 2017, and 9.30pm on Friday 3 November 2017. The essence of the programme is that a clothed individual selects a date from six naked individuals, who are gradually revealed in stages from the feet up, with no blurring or pixelation of nudity. Thirteen complainants referred their complaints about these episodes of Naked Attraction to the Authority, complaining that the programme contained a high level of full frontal nudity and sexual discussion, which was offensive and contrary to standards of good taste and decency. The complainants also submitted the programme was broadcast at a time on a weekend night when children were likely to be watching. The Authority did not agree with the complainants that this programme ought not to have been broadcast at all. It observed that, while the programme may not have been to everybody’s taste, it contained many body-positive messages and those involved in the programme spoke positively of their experiences. However, the Authority upheld the good taste and decency complaints on one aspect, finding the pre-broadcast warning did not adequately signpost the extent of nudity and sexual references in the programme for viewers, meaning viewers did not have all the information they needed to decide whether to watch or continue watching.  

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency. Not Upheld: Children’s Interests. No Order.

Decisions
Lewis and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-069 (16 November 2017)
2017-069

An item on Newshub reported on the shooting of two Israeli police officers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. The segment featured footage of officers being chased and shot at, followed by footage of a man being surrounded and shot at, a blurred shot of a dead body on the ground and a body bag on a stretcher. The Authority upheld a complaint that the item breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority recognised the public interest in the item and that it reported on important and newsworthy events. However, the Authority considered the item should have been preceded by a warning for the potentially disturbing violent content, to enable viewers to make an informed viewing decision, and allow an opportunity to exercise discretion.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence

Not Upheld: Law and Order

No Order

Decisions
Singh and Radio Virsa - 2017-001 (27 October 2017)
2017-001

In June, October and November 2016, Sikh radio station Radio Virsa broadcast four programmes in Punjabi on 107FM. The programmes included host and talkback commentary about a wide range of issues. The Authority received a complaint that these broadcasts contained threatening and coarse language and themes, and offensive statements were made in relation to a number of named individuals in the Sikh community, including the complainant. The Authority found that aspects of these broadcasts were in breach of broadcasting standards. The Authority was particularly concerned that offensive comments were made about named individuals in the local community, which resulted in the individuals’ unfair treatment and, in one instance, a breach of privacy. The Authority also found aspects of the broadcasts, which contained comments about women, were unacceptable in New Zealand society and in breach of the good taste and decency standard. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the remaining broadcasting standards.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Privacy, Fairness

Not Upheld: Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Violence, Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration, Alcohol, Balance, Accuracy

Orders: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement

Decisions
Sanders and Apna Networks Ltd - 2017-017 (9 August 2017)
2017-017

Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai (Say… You’re in Love), a Bollywood romantic thriller film, was broadcast on free-to-air television channel APNA TV between 3pm and 6pm. The film featured action scenes containing violence. The Authority upheld a complaint that the film breached a number of broadcasting standards. The film was broadcast unclassified and with an incorrect programme description, which meant audiences were unable to make an informed viewing choice and were unable to regulate their own, and their children’s, viewing behaviour. The film’s inclusion of violent imagery such as beatings, shoot-outs, murder and dead bodies, and the visual depiction of these acts occurring onscreen, warranted an AO classification and later time of broadcast on free-to-air television. The film’s content would have been outside audience expectations of the programme, and child viewers, who were likely to be watching at the time of broadcast, were unable to be protected from material that had the potential to adversely affect them. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the law and order standard.

Upheld: Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Good Taste and Decency, Violence; Not Upheld: Law and Order

Orders: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement; section 16(4) costs to the Crown $1,500

Decisions
Cochran and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2017-032 (24 July 2017)
2017-032

An item on Checkpoint reported on the final stages of a court case in Auckland, known as the ‘Dome Valley’ kidnapping, in which a young woman was kidnapped, beaten, sexually violated and left to die by a group of her former friends. The reporter outlined the events of the kidnapping and the item featured segments of the victim giving evidence (with her voice disguised) via audio-visual link from another room in the closed court. The reporter and the victim outlined her assault and injuries in some detail. No audience advisory was broadcast. The Authority found that, while this item had high value in terms of the right to freedom of expression, and was in the public interest, a brief audience advisory should have been broadcast to enable listeners to decide if they wished to listen to the detailed, violent content included in the item. While the Authority supported the broadcast of an item that gave voice to the victim, the segment contained descriptions and details that were disturbing in nature and potentially upsetting for listeners, particularly those who had suffered similarly and any children who may have been listening. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the law and order standard. 

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence

Not Upheld: Law and Order

No Order

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
Johns and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-049 (20 September 2016)
2016-049

An episode of the British cartoon, Grizzly Tales, which was classified G (General), featured a young girl called Victoria Spew who threw tantrums until she vomited to get her way. At the end of the episode, Victoria was sucked into the vacuum cleaner her mother had bought to clean up after her. The cartoon showed Victoria’s teeth being pulled from her gums, and organs and body parts falling into the bag. The episode ended with Victoria’s body parts trapped in the vacuum cleaner. The Authority upheld a complaint that this episode of Grizzly Tales was unsuitable for young children. The programme was classified G and so was required to be suitable for all children under the age of 14. While this episode may have appealed to older children, the Authority did not consider it was appropriate for preschool children, who were likely to be watching unsupervised early in the morning. The Authority did not make an order.

Upheld: Children’s Interests, Violence, Good Taste and Decency

No Order 

Decisions
Weich and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2016-023 (22 August 2016)
2016-023

The Rock Morning Rumble included a stunt featuring the Prime Minister, in which he was invited to enter a cage installed in the studio and ‘pick up the soap’. Upon the Prime Minister doing so, the host quoted a recognised rape scene from the film Deliverance, saying, ‘You’ve got a pretty little mouth Prime Minister’. The Authority upheld a complaint that the stunt amounted to a deliberate reference to prison rape that had the effect of trivialising sexual violence and specifically prison rape. While the segment was allegedly intended to be humorous, which is an important aspect of the exercise of free speech, the stunt overstepped the boundaries of legitimate humour and was offensive. The Authority found that listeners and members of the public would likely have found the segment offensive and unacceptable, and that involving the Prime Minister had the potential to attract a wider audience. For the same reasons the Authority found the segment was not socially responsible. The Authority did not, however, uphold the complaint under the law and order standard.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming

Not Upheld: Law and Order

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

Decisions
Ihaia & IM and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2015-074 (10 March 2016)
2015-074

Two hosts on George FM Breakfast asked listeners to send in the names and profiles of female users of Instagram described as ‘do-nothing bitches’. The names of two women, A and B, were submitted. The hosts went on to comment extensively on A’s profile, making inappropriate and disparaging comments about her, and also contacted A and interviewed her on air. The Authority upheld a complaint that the action taken by MediaWorks having found breaches of the fairness and good taste and decency standards was insufficient, and also found that the broadcast breached the privacy of both women.

Upheld: Fairness (Action taken), Good Taste and Decency (Action taken), Privacy

Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration, Law and Order, Responsible Programming, Controversial Issues, Accuracy  

Orders: Section 13(1)(d) $4,000 compensation to A for breach of privacy; section 13(1)(d) $2,000 compensation to B for breach of privacy; section 16(4) $2,000 costs to the Crown

Decisions
McKenzie and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-055 (18 December 2015)
2015-055

A promo for Face Off, a reality competition show in which the contestants are special effects make-up artists, screened during the animated movie Chicken Run. The Authority upheld a complaint that the promo breached standards of good taste and decency. The promo’s images of gory and wounded prosthetic body parts went beyond audience expectations of a G-rated family movie and were likely to distress child viewers. The Authority however did not agree that the images showed ‘violence’ or violent acts as envisaged by the violence standard.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Not Upheld: Violence

Order: Section 16(4) $500 costs to the Crown

Decisions
Cochran and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-054
2015-054

3 News reported on a gun attack on a Tunisian beach resort, and showed amateur video footage of the event. The footage contained images of people shouting and running around in confusion, and gunshots and bomb blasts could be heard. The footage also showed the gunman lying in the street after he had been shot dead by police. The Authority upheld a complaint that this footage was disturbing and should have been preceded by a warning. While recognizing the high public interest in the story and the footage, viewers were not given a reasonable opportunity to exercise discretion because they were not adequately warned of its nature. The Authority did not make any order.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence

No Order

Decisions
McCaw and SKY Network Television Ltd - 2015-011
2015-011

The music video for Nicki Minaj’s song ‘Only’ was broadcast on MTV at 6.50pm, in a segment classified MC. The Authority upheld the complaint that the numerous expletives and sexual references in the video were distasteful and unsuitable for uncensored broadcast at a time when younger viewers were watching. The video was incorrectly classified MC when it should have been 16LC and the explicit adult content exceeded audience expectations of the MC classification. The incorrect classification also meant that filtering technology would not have been as effective in preventing children from viewing the video as it should have been.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children

Order: Section 16(4) – $1,500 costs to the Crown

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