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Decisions
Derleth and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-109 (20 December 2021)
2021-109

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging an item on Newshub Live at 6pm lacked balance. The item reported on reactions to the sentencing of a person involved in the ‘coward punch’ death of a prominent Auckland kickboxer. A person’s sentencing is not a controversial issue of public importance, so the balance standard does not apply. In any case, it was clear the item was coming from a particular perspective. Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
New Zealand Republic Inc and Discovery New Zealand Ltd - 2022-030 (6 July 2022)
2022-030

An item on Newshub Live at 6pm reported on the results of a poll with the question ‘When Queen Elizabeth II is no longer queen, should New Zealand break away from the Commonwealth and become a republic?’ From this poll, the item reported ‘almost half of us’ want to remain in the monarchy after the Queen dies. The complainant alleged that the question was misleading as it implied that for New Zealand to transition to a republic, it must also leave the Commonwealth, which is not the case. The complainant argued that the item’s reporting on the poll results as representing support for the monarchy, was therefore inaccurate....

Decisions
Vorwerk and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-158 (31 March 2021)
2020-158

The Authority declined to determine a complaint about the use of te reo Māori on Newshub Live at 6pm. Te reo Māori is an official New Zealand language. Its use is a matter of editorial discretion appropriately determined by broadcasters. The Authority declined to determine the complaint because the use of te reo Māori does not raise any issue of broadcasting standards. Declined to Determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Balance...

Decisions
O’Brien and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-006 (22 June 2021)
2021-006

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm, covering the reactions of world leaders to the Capitol Hill riots in Washington DC, that referred to Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani as ‘Iran’s dictator’. The Authority found the description was not a material fact in the context of the item, and in any case the caption describing Mr Rouhani as ‘President of Iran’ reduced any risk of viewers being misled. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
West and Discovery New Zealand Ltd - 2022-038 (21 June 2022)
2022-038

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding an item on Newshub Live at 6pm about the current war in Ukraine. The complaint was in relation to the map used in the segment, which showed Ukraine, Russia and other nearby countries, and depicted Crimea as a part of Russia. The Authority acknowledged that the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing war in Ukraine is a highly sensitive topic and found the map did contain inaccuracies. However, the Authority found the segment was materially accurate, as the map would not have significantly affected the audience’s understanding of the programme as a whole. In the circumstances the Authority determined that regulatory intervention was not required. The programme information, law and order, and fairness standards did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Programme Information, Law and Order, Fairness...

Decisions
Winyard & Goodwin and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-155 (18 May 2022)
2021-155

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Live at 6pm, which broke the story of Dr Jonie Girouard issuing medical certificates to patients to attempt to use as vaccine exemptions, breached the privacy and law and order standards. The item featured hidden camera footage filmed by an undercover journalist posing as a patient at Dr Girouard’s practice. The Authority found the footage shown did not breach the privacy of other patients at the practice who were filmed without their consent, as they were not identifiable. It found that the footage did breach the privacy of Dr Girouard, on the basis she was identifiable in the broadcast, and the covert footage amounted to a highly offensive intrusion on her reasonable expectation of seclusion....

Decisions
Anderson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-122 (1 December 2021)
2021-122

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm report breached the accuracy and fairness standards by stating there was no evidence ivermectin works in treating or preventing COVID-19. The Authority found the accuracy standard was not breached as the statements were materially accurate and not misleading. The complainant did not identify a person or organisation said to be treated unfairly in the broadcast so the fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-119 (17 November 2021)
2021-119

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a Newshub Live at 6pm item on the Paralympics depicting a hug between sisters Lisa Adams and Dame Valerie Adams. The complaint was that the broadcast breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests, and law and order standards as the Paralympics occurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst various physical distancing restrictions were in force. The Authority found the item did not breach the standards specified as it did not encourage non-compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, nor was it likely to cause widespread undue offence, or harm to children watching. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Law and Order...

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
The New Zealand Forest Owners Association Inc and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-022 (26 April 2022)
2022-022

The Authority has not upheld a complaint from the New Zealand Forest Owners Association alleging an item about the sale of a sheep and beef station, Huiarua, to an overseas buyer breached the accuracy and balance standards. The Authority found no breach of the balance standard as the majority of the item was about the sale of a specific piece of land, and the period of interest is ongoing. The broadcaster also noted it would endeavour to include forestry perspectives in future items covering the issue. In context, it was not misleading for the item to not discuss the ‘special forestry pathway’ under the Overseas Investment Act, and the distinction between production forestry and carbon farming was not material to the item. While there were aspects of the issues discussed which were not included in the item, it would not have misled viewers to an extent justifying regulatory intervention....

Decisions
Frewen and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-115 (17 November 2021)
2021-115

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint, under the accuracy standard, about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm. The complainant alleged that analysis of a New Zealand political poll, including a translation of the poll results into seats in Parliament and the statement Labour ‘no longer governs alone’, was misleading, noting it was just a poll and Labour has a Co-operation Agreement with the Green Party. The Authority declined to determine the complaint on the basis it was trivial and did not warrant consideration. Declined to Determine: Accuracy (section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – trivial)...

Decisions
Robinson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-133 (9 February 2022)
2021-133

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Live at 6pm on 7 October 2021, reporting on criticism of National Party leader Hon Judith Collins in the Mood of the Boardroom survey, breached the balance and fairness standards by failing to refer to the survey’s criticism of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The Authority found the balance standard did not apply as the complaint did not concern a controversial issue of public importance. It further found the broadcast did not go beyond the level of robust scrutiny and political analysis that could reasonably be expected of the Leader of the Opposition, and therefore the fairness standard was not breached. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Grammer and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-070 (24 August 2021)
2021-070

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the accuracy and balance standards about an item discussing the impact of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (the HSNO Act) on medical research, particularly in the context of COVID-19 vaccines. The item contained opinions from three scientists, which were not subject to the factual accuracy requirement and were presented accurately. The item was not required to include detail about how the HSNO Act regulated outdoor use of genetic modification compared to medical or laboratory use, as this was not material to the broadcast. The item also contained differing views, so balance was achieved within the programme. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance...

Decisions
Taylor and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-024 (26 April 2022)
2022-024

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive The Authority has not upheld a complaint that action taken by Discovery NZ Ltd was insufficient, after it upheld a complaint under the good taste and decency standard about language and behaviour in a live interview on Newshub Live at 6pm. The interviewee was the father of Olympian Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, and was interviewed after her gold medal win. The interviewee used variations of the word ‘fuck’ in his response to questions. The Authority found the decision of the broadcaster to uphold the complaint, apologise and create guidance for live interview guests was adequate action taken given the nature of the breach. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency (Action Taken)...

Decisions
Wade and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-018 (11 April 2022)
2022-018

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a joke made during the studio introduction to a report on a fire at The Great Western Racecourse in Victoria, Australia. The complainant alleged the comment ‘Well, the hottest tip in horse racing in Australia yesterday was “save your car from the flames” and it wasn't the name of a horse’ was mocking and in poor taste. The Authority found as the item itself was serious, no people or animals were hurt and the joke did not directly mock fire or property damage, it did not breach the good taste and decency standard. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
Serfontein and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-039 (21 June 2022)
2022-039

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging footage during a Newshub Live at 6pm item showing a rugby league player throwing up on the side of the field during a match breached the good taste and decency standard. Taking into account the context of the broadcast, the Authority found the footage was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
Yuan and Discovery NZ Limited - 2022-044 (18 May 2022)
2022-044

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm report into the crash of China Eastern Flight MU5735 breached the accuracy, fairness, and discrimination and denigration standards. The complaint was in relation to speculation the crash might have been due to a deliberate act from the cockpit. The Authority acknowledged, while the discussion on the recently occurring tragedy may have been distressing to some viewers, the words were clearly stated as commentary, analysis and opinion, rather than fact, and therefore the accuracy standard did not apply. No discrimination or denigration was found, and the fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Maysmor and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-048 (21 July 2021)
2021-048

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about multiple images of needles and vaccinations being performed shown in two Newshub Live at 6pm items reporting on COVID-19. The Authority found the images were unlikely to cause widespread undue offence. There is a high public interest and value in news reporting about the vaccination programme. In the context of a news item, the images would not adversely affect child viewers. The balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Good taste and decency, Children’s interests, Balance...

Decisions
Love and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-157 (9 February 2022)
2021-157

An item on Newshub Live at 6pm covering COVID-19 statistics opened by stating 8% of New Zealand’s population was currently unvaccinated. The complainant alleged by omitting the term ‘eligible’, this introduction breached the accuracy standard as more than 8% (at the time) of New Zealand’s total population was unvaccinated. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the segment was materially accurate and a reasonable viewer would have understood the reference to the population, in a vaccination context, to be a reference to the eligible population. The programme information standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Programme Information...

Decisions
Chambers and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-108 (17 November 2021)
2021-108

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm, which discussed a draft film script for the proposed film They Are Us, based on events surrounding the Christchurch terror attack on 15 March 2019. The complainant considered comments made during the broadcast, such as that the script was ‘a misleading and dishonest Americanisation of what happened in this country’ were derogatory towards Americans, and breached the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority acknowledged the comments had the potential to cause offence, but found they did not meet the high threshold required to breach the standard and justify restricting the right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

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