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Decisions
Judge and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2021-074 (22 September 2021)
2021-074

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a promo which contained a joke that New Zealand’s duck hunting season had been off to a bad start because ‘someone accidentally shot Trevor Mallard’. Viewers would have understood the comment as a joke, and it was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or encourage illegal activity, nor did it contain unduly disturbing violent content.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Law and Order

Decisions
Cochran and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-066 (15 September 2021)
2021-066

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a promo for Checkpoint, broadcast after the 8am news on 11 May 2021, which included soundbites, showcasing the previous day’s news, concerning a supermarket stabbing in Dunedin. The complaint alleged the promo sensationalised news that was no longer current, suggesting another stabbing had occurred, and unnecessarily repeated scenes of violence when affected families were still suffering and children were likely to be listening. In its context, the Authority found the promo content was not likely to cause widespread undue offence or distress and did not breach the children’s interests standard. The programme information, violence and balance standards either did not apply or were not breached.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Violence, Balance

Decisions
Millar and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-064 (24 August 2021)
2021-064

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a comment referring to a sex act during an episode of New Zealand Today, which the host and interviewee both laughed at. The programme was classified 16-LSC, preceded by a full-screen warning and screened at 9pm. Given audience expectations for the programme, the classification, the warning and the scheduling, the Authority found the comment would not cause widespread undue offence and audiences were able to make their own viewing choices. The remaining standards either did not apply or were not breached.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Discrimination and Denigration

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
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
Singh and Radio Virsa - 2020-124 (13 May 2021)
2020-124

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a segment of Punjabi talkback programme Dasam Granth Da Sach. During the programme the host made comments about a well-known female Sikh preacher, including that she should marry a Taksali (traditionally trained Sikh) rather than a Jāgaruka (enlightened Sikh), because she supports the ideology of the former, and because husbands ‘in our society’ resort to beating when offended by their wives. The host also used words that can carry sexual connotations but, in the specific context of the broadcast, were unlikely to do so. The Authority acknowledged the potentially offensive nature of the comments to some people, but found overall the potential harm arising was not at a level justifying regulatory intervention or restriction of the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression on this occasion.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Discrimination and Denigration, Violence, Privacy, Fairness

Decisions
Te Whata and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2020-141 (31 March 2021)
2020-141

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about comments by Sean Plunket on his talkback programme regarding Christians and Christianity. While Mr Plunket made highly critical comments and expressed scepticism, this was not beyond audience expectations for a robust, opinionated programme and was unlikely to cause widespread offence. Equally, the comments were unlikely to encourage the discrimination or denigration of Christians. The Authority found callers in to the programme were treated fairly by Mr Plunket, given they had willingly phoned in to provide views on a discussion in which Mr Plunket was criticising the Christian faith, and were given the opportunity to express their own views. The remaining standards did not apply.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness, Violence, Accuracy, Balance

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-115 (28 January 2021)
2020-115

The Authority declined to determine three complaints as they did not raise clear concerns capable of being addressed by the complaints process.

Decline to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – in all the circumstances): Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Alcohol, Accuracy

Decisions
Decke and Discovery NZ Limited - 2020-076 (21 December 2020)
2020-076

In an episode of The AM Show, Opposition Leader Hon Judith Collins suggested a fellow interviewee should stop talking or she would give him a bruised nose (like she had at the time). The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the broadcast breached the violence standard. The Authority found Ms Collins’ comment justified by context and unlikely to incite or encourage violence against men.

Not Upheld: Violence

Decisions
Judge and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-108 (21 December 2020)
2020-108

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an episode of New Zealand Hunter Adventures featuring two groups of duck shooters in New Zealand. The episode included footage of people, including young people, using firearms, shooting ducks, celebrating successful shots, holding and plucking dead ducks, and showcasing hunting gear and equipment. Taking into account the relevant contextual factors including the programme’s classification, target audience and audience expectations, the broadcast did not breach the good taste and decency, children’s interests or violence standard.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence

Decisions
Dawson and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-098 (9 December 2020)
2020-098

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item during the sports segment of the news showing an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight and one of the competitor’s injuries after the fight. The item was brief, and in the context of an unclassified sports news segment, within audience expectations. Viewers would have had sufficient information to exercise choice and control.

Not Upheld: Children’s Interests, Violence

Decisions
Kean and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-097 (9 December 2020)
2020-097

The Authority did not uphold a complaint regarding a comment made by radio panellist Catherine Robertson about ‘murderous fantasies’, concerning punishment of an individual who escaped COVID-19 managed isolation. It was a satirical comment intended to be humorous and in line with audience expectations for the programme. The Authority noted satire and humour are important aspects of freedom of expression. It found limiting the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression on this occasion was not justified.

Not Upheld: Violence, Law and Order, Balance

Decisions
Pink and Radio New Zealand -2020-036 (24 August 2020)
2020-036

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that segments on the News and Morning Report reporting on a murder suicide breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority noted the public interest in the broadcasts and audience’s awareness of the need to exercise discretion during news programming to regulate what their children are exposed to. The Authority also found that the News bulletins covering the item did not reach the threshold necessary to require a warning and that the warning that preceded the Morning Report item was sufficient to enable audiences to make informed choices as to whether they, or children in their care, should listen to the broadcast.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, and Violence.

Decisions
Crow and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-021 (21 July 2020)
2020-021

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the movie Fifty Shades Darker was in breach of standards because it glorified a manipulative and abusive relationship. The Authority found viewers were sufficiently informed about the nature of the content to enable them to manage their own viewing. The movie did not contain any content that would go beyond audience expectations for the classification and timeband, especially given the well-publicised nature of the movie. The movie did not encourage violent or law-breaking activity. Finally, the Authority also found that people who engage in BDSM (a sexual practice that involves the use of physical control, psychological power, or pain) are not a recognised group for the purposes of the discrimination and denigration standard.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
Judge and Television New Zealand - 2020-27 (21 July 2020)
2020-027

An item on Seven Sharp featured a community hunting event for children under the age of 16. The item included footage of children using firearms, children carrying dead animals, and animal carcasses hanging by their hind legs. Taking into account the relevant contextual factors including the programme’s target audience and audience expectations, the Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority noted that the item did not depict animals dying or being killed, and the content was clearly signposted by the presenters.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence

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
Torrey & Mayell and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2019-102 (7 May 2020)
2019-102

A 1 News item reported on the confessions of a man identified as America’s most prolific serial killer, Samuel Little. The Authority did not uphold complaints that the inclusion of a statement by the man breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority determined that the content was justified by context and in the public interest. The Authority acknowledged the high value in news and current affairs reporting and noted that the introduction to the item (which included reference to a ‘chilling’ police interview) was adequate 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. However, the Authority noted that where broadcasters provide audience advisories about potentially challenging content through a programme host’s introduction, it is important that the introduction is factual and captures the nature of the content to come.

Not upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests and Violence

Decisions
McDonald and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-076 (4 February 2020)
2019-076

The Authority declined to determine a complaint about a news item featuring an eleven year old boy who won a trip to go to a Rugby World Cup 2019 game in Japan with Richie McCaw. The Authority was unable to identify any elements in the broadcast that would raise any concerns under the standards raised. The Authority declined to determine the complaint on the basis it was frivolous and trivial. 

Decline to determine: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Alcohol, Accuracy

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
Beban and NZME Radio Ltd - 2019-063 (22 January 2020)
2019-063

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

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the action taken by NZME in response to a breach of the good taste and decency standard during an episode of the programme Bhuja was insufficient. The Authority agreed that the programme breached standards, by failing to signal to viewers that a highly aggressive interview was staged, and by broadcasting offensive language. However, the Authority found the action taken by the broadcaster holding the hosts to account with regard to language used, was proportionate to the breach and any further action would unreasonably limit the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression. The Authority also found that the fairness, discrimination and denigration, violence and accuracy standards did not apply to the material broadcast.

Not upheld: Good Taste and Decency (Action Taken), Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration, Violence, Accuracy

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