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Decisions
Chand and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2019-078 (18 February 2020)
2019-078

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about an item on Fair Go investigating On the Go Eastgate (OTG Eastgate), a business providing vehicle Warrants of Fitness (WoFs). A customer had complained to Fair Go that OTG Eastgate did not inform her about a $10 weekend surcharge prior to carrying out and charging her for her WoF. Fair Go sent an actor with a hidden camera to investigate this and other claims about OTG Eastgate’s services. Danny Chand, the owner of OTG Eastgate, complained that the broadcast breached the fairness, accuracy and programme information standards. The Authority found that Mr Chand and his business were treated fairly as he was given sufficient opportunities to respond to the claims made in the broadcast, and it was reasonable and justified in the public interest for the broadcaster to use a hidden camera to investigate the claims....

Decisions
RK and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-025 (24 August 2018)
2018-025

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on 1 News reported on an alleged ‘mistake’ by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), which the reporter, Andrea Vance, said ‘cost the taxpayer a quarter of a million dollars’. The item referred to MFAT’s action in waiving the diplomatic immunity of an MFAT employee – the complainant – to allow child custody and matrimonial proceedings to be heard in an overseas court. According to Ms Vance, MFAT’s actions were disputed by the complainant’s ex-partner, resulting in MFAT issuing an apology and payment of ‘legal bills’ to both the complainant and the complainant’s ex-partner. The Authority upheld aspects of a complaint from the MFAT employee that the item was inaccurate, unbalanced and unfair....

Decisions
Singh & Singh Bassi and Access Community Radio inc - 2019-045 (16 December 2019)
2019-045

The Authority has upheld complaints from two complainants about a segment of Punjabi talkback programme Panthak Vichar, broadcast on Access Community Radio Inc (Planet FM). During the programme, the hosts made a number of allegations against the complainants, regarding their fundraising activities and whether they were trustworthy, and played a recorded phone conversation with Jaspreet Singh on-air. The Authority found that the comments reflected negatively on the complainants, and that Jaspreet Singh would not have known that the phone call would be played on-air. The Authority upheld the complaint under the fairness standard but did not uphold the remaining aspects of the complaint. Upheld: Fairness. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Privacy, Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Foster and RDU 98.5FM Limited - 2021-035 (11 August 2021)
2021-035

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint that a hip hop song contained racial slurs (including the n-word). The Authority noted the broadcaster apologised to the complainant for the offence caused and removed the song from its playlist. The Authority considered this action was sufficient and, in all the circumstances, it was not necessary to determine the complaint. Declined to Determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Violence, Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration, Privacy...

Decisions
Parlane and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-075 (4 February 2020)
2019-075

The Authority declined to determine a complaint regarding a news item covering the expansion of a sexual violence court pilot. The complainant submitted that the victim advocate interviewed in the item should not have been interviewed and should not have been referred to as a rape survivor. The Authority concluded that, in all the circumstances of the complaint, it should not be determined by the Authority. The Authority found the concerns raised in the complaint are matters of editorial discretion and personal preference rather than broadcasting standards, and are therefore not capable of being determined by the broadcasting standards complaints procedure. Declined to determine: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Violence, Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Privacy, Fairness...

Decisions
Wilson and Discovery NZ - 2021-026 (21 July 2021)
2021-026

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a news item about sex workers and escorts opening up about their work on social media breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and programme information standards. The Authority noted the public interest in the broadcast and considered the content was within audience expectations for the news. In this context, the Authority found the item was unlikely to cause widespread offence or undermine community standards. The Authority also found the introduction to the item was sufficient to inform viewers of the nature of the coverage, enabling them to adequately protect themselves and their children from the content by choosing not to watch. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Programme Information...

Decisions
McGovern and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-050 (14 September 2020)
2020-050

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that comments made by Paul Henry during Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry undermined the Director-General of Health’s directions regarding compliance with COVID-19 Alert-Level conditions. Mr Henry noted there were no new cases of COVID-19 on the day of broadcast and commented, ‘I don’t want Dr Ashley Bloomfield to threaten me and you with the “if New Zealanders aren’t good at Level 3, they won’t get to Level 2” warning. I realise people think he walks on water, but I don’t. …Obedience in the population is the job of the police and, god help us, the reluctant [Police] Commissioner’. Noting the importance of the right to freedom of expression and that Mr Henry was clearly giving his views on a topic of high public interest, the Authority found no actual or potential harm that justified regulatory intervention....

Decisions
HJ and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-110 (1 December 2021)
2021-110

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Live at 6pm concerning a car accident breached several standards by featuring images of dead bodies in the car wreck. The complainant believed there were dead bodies shown in the wreck, which they found highly distressing. The Authority acknowledged the complainant’s distress, however, after carefully reviewing the broadcast, found that no bodies were featured. In considering the images of the car wreck shown, the Authority considered that the footage was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress, or undermine widely shared community standards, so the good taste and decency standard was not breached. It further found that an audience advisory was not required, and the programme information standard was not breached. The balance, accuracy, privacy, and fairness standards did not apply or were not breached....

Decisions
Hayes and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-047 (10 October 2019)
2019-047

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that quotes from the book ‘Everything is F*cked’ by Mark Manson, broadcast as part of a review of that book, breached the good taste and decency, programme information and violence standards. The Authority noted that the right to freedom of expression allows individuals to express themselves in their own words, provided this does not cause undue harm. In this case, the nature of the item was clearly signalled by the introduction, and the quotes were contextualised by the reviewer who was using them as examples to emphasise and support his criticism of the book. This enabled listeners to make an informed decision about their listening and that of children in their care....

Decisions
Foster and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-125 (16 March 2021)
2020-125

An item on RNZ’s Midday Report reported ‘Scientists warn polar bears may become extinct by the end of the century because of climate change. ’ The complainant alleged climate change was not threatening polar bears as reported in the item. The Authority found the statements in the item were clearly framed as predictions, and attributed as being the scientists’ view. Therefore, they were analysis and opinion (rather than statements of fact) and the accuracy standard did not apply. Reporting on the predicted future impact of declining sea ice on polar bear survival, as shown in studies, did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue, so the balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Programme Information...

Decisions
Foster and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-121 (16 March 2021)
2020-121

An item on 1 News (sourced from the BBC) reported on the impact of sea ice decline on polar bears, including a statement by the reporter, ‘At the current rate of warming, the researchers say all but a few polar bear populations will collapse before 2100. ’ The complainant alleged climate change was not threatening polar bears as reported in the item. The Authority found the broadcaster was entitled to rely on internationally reputable sources in the report and had made ‘reasonable efforts’ as required by the accuracy standard. Reporting on the predicted future impact of declining sea ice on polar bear survival as shown in studies did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue, so the balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Programme Information...

Decisions
Jones and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2021-158 (16 February 2022)
2021-158

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint about an item on Breakfast as it was trivial. The complainant was concerned with the description of Auckland’s COVID-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions being referred to as ‘lockdown’ when Level 4 is ‘lockdown’. The remainder of the complaint reflected the complainant’s personal grievances with the broadcaster’s emailing system. Declined to Determine (section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, trivial): Programme Information, Accuracy...

Decisions
Waqanivala and Radio Voqa Kei Viti Aotearoa - 2017-046 (28 November 2017)
2017-046

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During a Gospel Hour programme on Radio Voqa Kei Viti Aotearoa, a Fijian language station, the announcer used the term ‘iTaukei’ in her greetings to listeners, which the broadcaster submitted referred to the indigenous Fijian population in New Zealand and elsewhere overseas. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the term ‘iTaukei’ meant ‘owner’ in English (and therefore referred to New Zealand Māori), and that use of this term caused division and unrest amongst the station’s Fijian listeners. The Authority found that, while the announcer’s use of the term may be seen by some as divisive and politically-charged, it was not offensive, incorrect or discriminatory to an extent that would justify the Authority intervening and finding a breach of broadcasting standards, and as a result limiting the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression....

Decisions
Sarah and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-079 (27 November 2018)
2018-079

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During an episode of Shortland Street, characters Lincoln and Jack took Nicole out for drinks to take her mind off her attacker. Lincoln, who was previously in a relationship with a man, was shown taking an illegal drug which he gave to Nicole. Later in the episode, Lincoln and Nicole were shown in bed together. In the episode broadcast the following evening, Jack asked Lincoln about being gay and sleeping with Nicole. Lincoln replied that he did not have to ‘put a label on it’, saying, ‘I’m just me’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the programme’s portrayal of Lincoln’s sexuality, by a straight actor, could have damaging effects on young viewers or those struggling with their sexuality....

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

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]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....

Decisions
Barclay and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-003 (20 May 2019)
2019-003

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an interviewee’s language, broadcast during an item on Morning Report on 10 December 2018, was violent and inappropriate. The item reported on the declining memberships of sports clubs in New Zealand and featured an interview with the Club Captain of a tennis club. The interviewee commented that the tennis courts were so empty ‘you could… fire a machine gun and hit no one. ’ The Authority noted that the right to freedom of expression allows individuals to express themselves in their own words, provided this does not cause undue harm. In this case, the comment made by the interviewee was brief, was not overly graphic or targeted at a particular individual or group, and was not intended to be taken literally....

Decisions
Tily and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-047 (2 August 2022)
2022-047

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that it was inappropriate to broadcast images of spiders due to viewers potentially having arachnophobia. The Authority found the images were unlikely to cause widespread undue offence, and the introduction to the item gave viewers who did not want to see spiders the opportunity to switch off. The programme information and discrimination and denigration standards did not apply. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Discrimination and Denigration....

Decisions
XD and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2018-102C-D (13 March 2019)
2018-102C-D

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A complaint regarding two broadcasts, relating to threats to public officials over the Government’s use of 1080 (including footage of an anti-1080 protest featuring the complainant), was not upheld. The Authority found the use of the footage, in segments on Newshub and The AM Show, did not result in any unfairness to the complainant. The Authority considered these broadcasts did not link the complainant, or the majority of anti-1080 protestors, to the threats, as both broadcasts stated that the threatening behaviour was from the fringes of the movement. The Authority determined that the audience was therefore unlikely to be misled or misinformed. The Authority also found a comment made by host Duncan Garner during The AM Show segment, implying Willie Apiata should be sent to harm the people who made the threats, did not breach broadcasting standards....

Decisions
Naughton and Mainland Television Limited & Daystar Television - 2021-103 (16 February 2022)
2021-103

An episode of Marcus and Joni breached the accuracy standard as it contained inaccurate and misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines and their safety. It also promoted conspiracies and advocated for ineffective remedies. The Authority found the broadcaster had not made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of the programme, particularly as the guests were not recognised experts in the subjects discussed. The balance and programme information standards did not apply. Upheld: Accuracy Not Upheld: Balance, Programme Information Orders: Daystar: Section 13(1)(a) – broadcast statement; Section 16(4) – $500 costs to the Crown; Mainland: Section 16(4) - $500 costs to the Crown...

Decisions
Gilchrist and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-130 (20 December 2021)
2021-130

Following an interview with a COVID-19 vaccine advocate on the AM Show, the host noted Medsafe gave the vaccine the ‘same approval as everyday medicines like Panadol and Nurofen’. The complaint stated this was misleading and in breach of five standards, including the accuracy standard. The Authority did not uphold the complaint as the accuracy standard is concerned with material inaccuracy. To the extent there was any inaccuracy, it was unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the programme. The Authority considered the other standards raised either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Balance, Fairness...

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