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Decisions
Mochnacki and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-008 (16 February 2022)
2022-008

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint alleging Midday Report breached the balance, accuracy, fairness, discrimination and denigration, and law and order standards. The Authority found in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined as it amounted to the complainant’s personal preferences regarding matters of editorial discretion. Declined to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Balance, Accuracy, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration, Law and Order...

Decisions
Gates and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-014 (29 June 2021)
2021-014

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Midday Report item regarding a boost in Kiwisaver funds breached the accuracy and fairness standards. The complainant argued the item was misleading, for not disclosing that the organisation which produced the relevant survey findings does not survey all Kiwisaver providers, and was unfair to Kiwisaver providers who were not surveyed. The Authority found the item would not have misled listeners and that the fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
New Zealand Defence Force and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-024 (15 July 2021)
2021-024

The Authority has not upheld a complaint from the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) about an interview with Nicky Hager discussing the results of an Australian enquiry into its Defence Force and the implications for the NZDF. The Authority noted the high public interest in the broadcast and found that as it was clearly coming from Mr Hager’s perspective and other news bulletins signalled other views, the balance standard was not breached. The broadcast was not unfair to the NZDF. It is a government agency that can reasonably expect public scrutiny. In addition, comment from the Defence Minister was sought and included in later news bulletins. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Crunkhorn and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2017-098 (16 February 2018)
2017-098

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on RNZ’s Midday Report bulletin reported on increases in the price of butter and dairy products, and the impact of this on small food businesses in particular. The item included the statement: ‘The demand for butter has soared worldwide since scientists debunked research linking animal fats with heart disease. ’ The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this statement breached the balance and accuracy standards. The Authority found that, as the statement was peripheral to the focus of the item, the broadcaster was not required in the interests of balance to present alternate viewpoints on the statement, and the statement was unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the item as a whole....

Decisions
Boyce and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-143 (16 February 2022)
2021-143

The Authority has not upheld complaints about a press conference by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and comments by Professor Michael Baker regarding restrictions for persons who do not have a COVID-19 vaccination. It found the discrimination and denigration standard did not apply to either broadcast and the balance and law and order complaints were not upheld in respect of the second complaint. The interview with Professor Baker was clearly signalled as approaching the issue from his perspective and there has been widespread discussion in other media about whether restrictions on people that are unvaccinated are justified. The Authority found listeners were in a position to arrive at informed and reasoned opinions regarding this issue. It also found the broadcast did not encourage any illegal or antisocial activity. Not Upheld: Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance...

Decisions
Ritchie and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2003-164
2003-164

ComplaintMidday Report – references to Bush administration – comments from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Iraq – distorted – misleading – inaccurate FindingsPrinciple 6 – misleading to equate coalition with Bush administration – uphold No Order This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] An item about terrorist activities in Iraq was broadcast on National Radio’s Midday Report broadcast on 21 August 2003. The item from an ABC reporter in Washington referred to the “Bush administration” in the United States and included a comment from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that “The coalition has made mistakes and we probably have too”....

Decisions
Garrett and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-073 (22 September 2021)
2021-073

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging an item on Midday Report lacked balance. The item reported on findings from the Chief Ombudsman regarding ‘undignified and barren’ conditions in two prisons. It was clear the item was coming from a particular perspective. The continuing media coverage of prison conditions means the period of current interest is ongoing, and audiences would not have been misinformed by the broadcast. Not Upheld: Balance...

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
Ong and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-086 (13 October 2021)
2021-086

An item on RNZ’s Midday Report covering reports of violence against protesters at Kennedy Point Marina included interviews with a protester, and the developer of the site. The Authority has not upheld a complaint the item breached the balance and fairness standards. The Authority found the item presented a reasonable range of perspectives and developer Kitt Littlejohn was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to present his point of view. Given the level of public interest in the item, Mr Littlejohn, in his position, could reasonably expect the media’s scrutiny and the programme was unlikely to leave listeners with an unduly negative impression of him. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...