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Decisions
Martin and Mediaworks Television Ltd - 2020-002 (29 June 2020)
2020-002

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Mark Richardson’s response to a gift from a guest on The AM Show breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. Noting contextual factors, including audience expectations of the programme and of Mr Richardson, the Authority did not consider that Mr Richardson’s comments were likely to cause widespread undue offence or distress, undermine widely shared community standards or adversely affect children. The Authority also did not uphold a complaint that a discussion about beer brands breached the alcohol standard. While the Authority found that the positive comments regarding Peroni could be regarded as promotion of the Peroni brand, the Authority considered that any promotion of alcohol was socially responsible in the context. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Alcohol...

Decisions
Knight and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-020 (4 August 2020)
2020-020

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that two guest panellists’ comments on The AM Show about English rugby players following the Rugby World Cup final breached the discrimination and denigration standard. Discussing some players’ refusal to wear their silver medals after losing the final, the panellists made comments including that the English players were ‘pouty little babies, pathetic, stupid, dumb, bad sportsmanship’, ‘petulant English kids’, ‘prats’, ‘it’s their upbringing’, ‘those English players who wanted to toss their medals on the ground’. The complaint was that these comments were nasty and offensive, and ‘racist’ by suggesting ‘it’s [the players’] upbringing’. The Authority noted the large majority of the comments were clearly directed at the individual players concerned, rather than commenting on a group of people....

Decisions
Parker and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-069 (16 December 2019)
2019-069

In an episode of The AM Show, host, Duncan Garner, interviewed economist Cameron Bagrie on the topic of dropping interest rates. During the interview, Mr Bagrie commented regarding the risk of people no longer putting money in the bank, saying, ‘the banks need the money in the bank, because they gotta … get a dollar in the door before they can put the money out the door in the form of a loan. ’ The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item breached the accuracy standard. The Authority found that Mr Bagrie’s statement was clearly distinguishable as analysis, comment or opinion so the accuracy standard does not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Right to Life New Zealand and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-054 (2 August 2021)
2021-054

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about coverage on The AM Show of proposed changes to safe zones around abortion clinics. The statements alleged to be inaccurate were comment, opinion or analysis, to which the accuracy standard does not apply. The balance standard did not apply as the separate news bulletins did not amount to a discussion; and in any event, differing perspectives from Abortion Rights Aotearoa and Voice for Life NZ were included. The fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Summerfield and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-097 (27 October 2021)
2021-097

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that comments made by Dr Michael Baker and Hon Chris Hipkins during interviews on The AM Show were inaccurate and misleading. When asked (in separate interviews) whether there had been any severe adverse reactions to the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination recorded in New Zealand, Dr Baker stated he was not aware of any, while Mr Hipkins stated there had been ‘a handful of people’ and ‘a few’ that had experienced side effects in general. At the time of the broadcasts, there were 180 serious adverse reactions that had been reported, 0. 02% of the total doses administered. The Authority found that Dr Baker’s statements were comment, analysis or opinion to which the accuracy standard does not apply....

Decisions
Holland and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-048 (9 August 2017)
2017-048

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The AM Show contained a number of items about Labour Party candidate Willie Jackson’s position on the recently released Labour Party candidate List (the List), and featured interviews with Labour Party leader Andrew Little and Willie Jackson. It was reported several times that Mr Jackson was disappointed with his position of 21 on the List, as Mr Little had ‘promised’ Mr Jackson a top-10 position. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this was inaccurate and unfair. The segments amounted to robust political expression, which is of particular importance in the lead-up to a general election, and carried high value in terms of the right to freedom of expression. Viewers were likely to have understood the comments as political speculation, rather than definitive statements of fact, which is common in the context of political reporting....

Decisions
Lowes and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-064 (16 December 2019)
2019-064

During a segment on The AM Show that discussed immigration to New Zealand host Mark Richardson said: ‘we’re clearly not getting enough English immigrants to become traffic officers’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Mr Richardson’s comment was discriminatory to nationalities that are ‘not English’ in breach of the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority found the complainant did not identify a ‘section of the community’ for the purposes of the standard. The Authority also found that, considering audience expectations of The AM Show and Mr Richardson, the light-hearted nature of the comment and other contextual factors, the comment did not reach the threshold required to be considered discriminatory or denigratory. Not Upheld: Discrimination and denigration...

Decisions
Reekie and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-045 (10 August 2018)
2018-045

Te Raumawhitu Kupenga declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in determination of this complaint. Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An episode of The AM Show featured an interview with Hon. Kelvin Davis regarding the Government’s scheduled series of nationwide Hui with Māori. The programme also discussed legal action taken by prisoners against the Department of Corrections over strip searches, and a short clip of comments by host Duncan Garner on this issue was included in a promo for The AM Show broadcast that evening. A complaint was made that Mr Garner’s comments in relation to the first topic amounted to racist ‘slurs’ against Māori and were dismissive of the Crown’s efforts to fulfil its Treaty obligations, and that the discussion of the second topic trivialised prisoners’ ‘serious abusive treatment’. The Authority did not uphold either aspect of the complaint....

Decisions
Hagger and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-032 (14 September 2020)
2020-032

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an interview conducted with then-Minister of Health, Dr David Clark, on his breaches of the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 ‘lockdown rules’. The complainant argued that the interview amounted to harassment and bullying, and breached the fairness standard. The Authority found that the robust questioning was within the scope of what could be expected of a public figure being interviewed on a matter of significant public interest, particularly given the expectation as to how politicians will be treated by the media. Not Upheld: Fairness...

Decisions
Kirke and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-020 (29 June 2021)
2021-020

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a remark ‘there will probably be some racists tuning in’ in reference to the English greeting following ‘kia ora koutou katoa’ during a comedy skit shown on The AM Show. The complainant alleged this was ‘racist’ and the broadcaster should apologise to ‘all English-speaking people’. The Authority found ‘English-speaking people’ are not a section of society to whom the standard applies. In any event, the comment was not directed specifically at English speakers, it was satirical and it would not have met the threshold required for a breach of the standard. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Gray, Scott, Vickers and Vink and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-020 (18 July 2019)
2019-020

The Authority has not upheld four complaints about a segment on The AM Show, which featured host Duncan Garner criticising parents who do not vaccinate their children, using terms such as ‘murderers’ and ‘bloody idiots’, and stating they should be ‘stripped of their right to spread their message and their viruses’. The Authority found that, taking into account audience expectations of Mr Garner and The AM Show, alongside other contextual factors, Mr Garner’s comments did not breach broadcasting standards. With regard to the balance standard, the Authority found that, while the anti-vaccination movement was a controversial issue of public importance, Mr Garner’s comments did not amount to a ‘discussion’ for the purposes of the standard, but reflected his own personal views on the issue....

Decisions
Harvey and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-008 (7 May 2019 )
2019-008

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that comments made by Duncan Garner on The AM Show regarding Don Brash’s visit to Te Tii Marae as a part of Waitangi Day celebrations breached broadcasting standards. During the broadcast, Mr Garner made comments about Dr Brash’s potential reception at Te Tii Marae including: ‘good luck Don, nice knowing you and yeah I think you need security’, ‘hope you return in one piece’ and ‘Rest in Peace’. The Authority found Mr Garner’s comments were unlikely to undermine widely shared community standards and did not amount to unduly disturbing violent content, considering the context of the broadcast and the flippant nature of the comments. The Authority also found the balance and fairness standards were not breached. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Kavanagh and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2019-001 (2 April 2019)
2019-001

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment on The AM Show, in which a booth designed to enable doctors to perform discrete testicle examinations was likened to a ‘confession booth’, breached the good taste and decency and discrimination and denigration standards. The Authority found that, in the context of the segment, the comparison was unlikely to undermine or violate widely shared community norms. It also did not reach the level of malice or nastiness necessary to denigrate a section of the community. The public health message in the broadcast was an important one and overall the Authority found that any potential for harm did not justify a restriction on the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression....

Decisions
Reekie and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-017 (18 July 2019)
2019-017

During a segment on The AM Show, host Duncan Garner referred to an individual as a ‘woolly woofter’. A complaint that the use of this term breached broadcasting standards, as it was homophobic and offensive, was not upheld. The Authority found that, while some viewers may have found the term inappropriate or offensive, the use of the term was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or seriously violate community norms. In the context of the programme, upholding the complaint would unreasonably restrict the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Law and Order...

Decisions
Allison and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-142 (16 March 2021)
2020-124

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that use of the term ‘wanker’ was inappropriate and offensive in breach of the good taste and decency standard. Taking into account the relevant contextual factors, the use of the term was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence, or undermine widely shared community standards. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

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...

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
Harris and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-057 (24 August 2021)
2021-057

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about questions asked of a New Zealander stranded in India following the Government’s suspension of travel. The complaint alleged the questions breached the law and order standard as they suggested numerous ways the interviewee could avoid the travel ban and illegally return home. The Authority found the questions did not actively encourage illegal activity nor actively undermine law and order, and there was a high public interest in the broadcast.   Not Upheld: Law and Order...

Decisions
Reekie and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-033 (23 August 2019)
2019-033

During a segment of The AM Show, which discussed how different sections of the community had united in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks, host Duncan Garner said he’d like ‘the gangs’ to nominate a person to ‘look after’ the alleged attacker. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Mr Garner’s comment breached broadcasting standards. The Authority found, upon consideration of contextual factors, including the glib nature of the comment, that while it was discordant with the tone of the broadcast and may have caused offence to some, it did not go beyond audience expectations of Mr Garner or The AM Show. The Authority concluded that any restriction of the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression on this occasion would be unreasonable.   Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Law and Order...

Decisions
Reekie and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-018 (18 July 2019)
2019-018

A news segment on The AM Show about name suppression included a clip from an interview with former Attorney-General, Chris Finlayson QC, which had been broadcast live on air earlier in the programme. The clip from the interview played during the news item related to Mr Finlayson’s comments about bullying allegations in Parliament, rather than his views on name suppression laws. The broadcaster acknowledged this clip placement was in error. A complaint was made that this error was significantly inaccurate, as it would have misled viewers as to Mr Finlayson’s views regarding name suppression laws. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding that while the broadcaster made an error in playing the clip during that particular news segment, it was not significantly misleading in the context of the item as a whole. The Authority acknowledged the technical mistake and did not uphold the complaint. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

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