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Brown and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-074 (22 September 2017)
2017-074

A National Party campaign advertisement (an election programme for the purposes of the Election Programmes Code) parodied Labour’s campaign motto, ‘Let’s do this’ with an advertisement with the tagline, ‘Let’s tax this’. The advertisement suggested that a Labour government would impose a number of new taxes (a capital gains tax, land tax, regional fuel tax, income tax, water tax and a ‘fart tax’). A voiceover at the conclusion of the advertisement said: ‘There’s still only one way to stop Labour’s taxes. Party vote National’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the election programme was inaccurate and misleading by implying a number of ‘bad’ taxes would be introduced or raised by Labour, which was not the case. The Authority considered it would be clear to viewers that the election programme was a campaign advertisement for the National Party, which clearly advocated the National Party’s own views. As such, the advertisement reflected the National Party’s opinion and analysis of Labour’s policies and viewers would not have been misled. The Authority also emphasised the importance of political speech and concluded that, in the robust political environment leading up to the election, the high threshold for finding a breach of broadcasting standards was not met.

Not Upheld: Distinguishing Factual Information from Opinion or Advocacy  

Decisions
Cullen and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2017-072 (20 September 2017)
2017-072

A National Party campaign advertisement (an election programme for the purposes of the Election Programmes Code) parodied Labour’s campaign motto, ‘Let’s do this’ with an advertisement with the tagline, ‘Let’s tax this’. The advertisement suggested that a Labour government would impose a number of new taxes (a capital gains tax, land tax, regional fuel tax, income tax, water tax and a ‘fart tax’). A voiceover at the conclusion of the advertisement said: ‘There’s only one way to stop Labour’s taxes. Party vote National’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the election programme was inaccurate and misleading by implying a number of taxes would be introduced or raised by Labour, which was not the case. The Authority considered it would be clear to viewers that the election programme was a campaign advertisement for the National Party, which clearly advocated the National Party’s own views. As such, the advertisement reflected the National Party’s opinion and analysis of Labour’s policies, rather than factual information (as envisaged by the standard) and viewers would not have been misled. The Authority also emphasised the importance of political speech and concluded that, in the robust political environment leading up to the election, the high threshold for finding a breach of broadcasting standards was not met.

Not Upheld: Distinguishing Factual Information from Opinion or Advocacy  

Decisions
Curtis and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2017-065 (4 September 2017)
2017-065

A campaign clip for the National Party (an election programme for the purposes of the Election Programmes Code) was broadcast on TVNZ 1 on 28 August 2017. The clip featured a group dressed in blue running through New Zealand landscapes, who passed another group of four wearing red, green and black shirts with their legs tied together and struggling. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the election programme breached the Election Programmes Code of Broadcasting Practice and was misleading on the grounds it implied that National was only a single party in Government. The election programme did not imitate any existing programme, format or identifiable personality as envisaged by the misleading programmes standard in the Election Programmes Code. In any event, the election programme was clearly promoting a party vote for the National Party and viewers understand that election programmes by their nature are authorial advocacy and designed to promote the party’s vision, should it be elected. In these circumstances, the Authority did not consider viewers would have been misled. The Authority also emphasised the importance and value of political expression, particularly in the lead up to a general election.

Not Upheld: Misleading Programmes