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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
Green and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-147
2014-147

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on 3 News covered the state of the Labour Party leadership after the 2014 general election. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item contained multiple errors of fact and the political editor misrepresented David Cunliffe’s stated position. While errors were made in the broadcast (which were acknowledged by the broadcaster), they were technical in nature and not material to the focus of the item, which was the confusion surrounding the Labour Party leadership. The explanations given in the broadcast would not have misled viewers as to the general Labour Party process for leadership elections, and any misunderstanding around Mr Cunliffe’s position was due to his own contradictory statements. Not Upheld: Accuracy   Introduction [1] An item on 3 News covered the state of the Labour Party leadership after the 2014 general election....

Decisions
Jack and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-084 (15 December 2017)
2017-084

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During a segment on The Project, the hosts discussed a new artificial intelligence technology capable of detecting a person’s sexual orientation through analysis of their facial features. In response, presenter Jesse Mulligan commented, ‘That’s an amazing story, a computer can tell if you’re gay or not. I hope the computer can keep a secret. ’ The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this comment ‘perpetuated the prejudiced view that homosexuality [was] something to be kept secret and… shameful’. The Authority found that, while Mr Mulligan’s comment could be seen as ‘clumsy’ or tactless, it was clearly intended to be humorous and it did not actively encourage the different treatment, or devalue the reputation of, gay people as a section of the community....

Decisions
Right to Life New Zealand and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-033 (23 July 2018)
2018-033

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on The Project discussed the End of Life Choice Bill (the Bill) before the Select Committee of Parliament. The item featured interviews with advocates for and against the legalisation of euthanasia in Aotearoa. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item was unbalanced or that the use of certain terms such as ‘euthanasia’ was inaccurate. The Authority recognised the legalisation of euthanasia is an important and ongoing issue of public importance in New Zealand. The Authority found that overall the item was sufficiently balanced and was unlikely to mislead or misinform viewers, so any restriction on the broadcaster’s freedom of expression would be unjustified. Not Upheld: Balance, AccuracyThe broadcast[1] An item on The Project discussed the End of Life Choice Bill (the Bill) before the Select Committee of Parliament....

Decisions
Anson and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2018-087 (28 January 2019)
2018-087

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority did not uphold a complaint that statements made by Jesse Mulligan during a segment of The Project breached the accuracy standard. Mr Mulligan criticised National MP Judith Collins for retweeting a story in relation to changes to France’s child sex laws, stating the story was ‘made up’ and claiming Ms Collins was ‘learning that in 2018 you don't need to show people the truth’. The Authority found Mr Mulligan’s statements were statements of opinion and analysis and therefore the accuracy standard did not apply. In reaching the decision the Authority considered the context in which the comments were made, including the focus of the segment as a whole and audience expectations of The Project. Not Upheld: Accuracy The broadcast[1] A segment of The Project discussed National MP Judith Collins’ tweet of a story published by yournewswire....

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
Baxter and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-013 (12 May 2016)
2016-013

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Newshub reported on a Christchurch earthquake memorial service, which marked the five-year anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item breached the privacy of grieving families attending the memorial service. Families in attendance at the memorial generally cannot be considered under the privacy standard, which is concerned with identifiable individuals. In any case, the coverage was duly sensitive and respectful, was not overly intrusive and did not focus on any particular individuals at length. Not Upheld: PrivacyIntroduction[1] Newshub reported on a Christchurch earthquake memorial service, which marked the five-year anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake. The item included footage of attendees at the memorial service. [2] Iain Baxter complained that the item breached the privacy of grieving families who attended the memorial service....

Decisions
Boyce and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-087 (15 December 2017)
2017-087

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on The Project featured an interview with a ‘political consultant and former National [Party] staffer’. The interviewee provided her perspective on why the National Party received more votes than the Labour Party in the 2017 General Election and the disparity between the election result and poll results prior to the election. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the broadcaster’s choice of political commentator was biased and the programme was misleading by suggesting she was an ‘independent political commentator’. The introduction to the segment did not imply that the interviewee was an independent political commentator, but clearly referred to her as a former National Party staffer. As such it created an audience expectation that the interview would be approaching the topic of National’s initial electoral success from a particular perspective....

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
RD and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-085
2014-085

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] A Campbell Live item reported on a convicted fraudster, X, and contained interviews with her ‘victims’, including a disabled man who had advanced money to X on the basis her daughter would become his wife. A photo was shown of his supposed wife-to-be (the complainant). The Authority did not uphold her complaint that showing her photograph breached her privacy. While it was unfortunate, very few people would have identified the complainant, there was no suggestion she was involved in the scam, and viewers were more likely to think the photo was not legitimate, so the disclosure was not highly offensive. Not Upheld: Privacy Introduction [1] An item on Campbell Live reported on a convicted fraudster, X, who allegedly took advantage of vulnerable people....

Decisions
New Zealand Taxpayers' Union inc and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-116 (22 September 2020)
2020-116

An election advertisement for the Labour Party included the statement, ‘we’ll…make apprenticeships free to prepare for tomorrow’s jobs. . . ’ The complainant argued that this statement was inaccurate because the apprenticeships are not free but paid for by the taxpayers. The Authority did not uphold the complaint finding that a reasonable viewer was unlikely to be misled by the programme. Not Upheld: Election Programmes Subject to Other Standards (Accuracy)...

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
Drinnan and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-100 (14 September 2020)
2020-100

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Nation about the New Conservative Party breached broadcasting standards. The Authority found that the New Conservative Party was not a recognised section of the community for the purposes of the discrimination and denigration standard, and that the accuracy standard did not apply as the complaint concerned matters of analysis and opinion rather than statements of fact. The Authority also found that the New Conservative Party and Party members were not treated unfairly, noting that the scrutiny of political parties is a vital component of freedom of expression, and is of particular importance in the lead-up to a general election. Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Shierlaw and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-039 (14 September 2020)
2020-039

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub Live broadcast reporting on the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s treatment for COVID-19 was inaccurate when it referred to President Donald Trump as ‘the world’s leading expert on fake news’. The Authority considered the statement was distinguishable as a statement of opinion and accordingly the accuracy standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy  ...

Decisions
Sta. Lucia and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-048 (30 September 2019)
2019-048

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an episode of Love Island UK, aired at 5pm and classified G, breached the children’s interests standard. The Authority noted that the episode of Love Island UK was heavily edited to meet the G classification required for the 5pm timeslot and was not the same as the extended version of the programme available online on ThreeNow. The Authority found that in the context in which it was aired the broadcast did not cause harm at the level that justified intervention by the Authority. While the episode of Love Island UK contained some mature themes, and may not reflect values that all parents and caregivers would endorse for children in their care, it did not contain content that would alarm or distress children to the extent justifying intervention....

Decisions
O'Brien and Mediaworks - 2020-062 (28 September 2020)
2020-062

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that visually displaying the word ‘dickhead’ onscreen during a Newshub item breached the good taste and decency standard. The Authority considered that in the context of the item, which canvassed public opinion towards Simon Bridges, the visual depiction of the word ‘dickhead’ would not have caused widespread undue offence, or distress, and would not have undermined widely shared community values. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

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
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
McGovern and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-050 (14 September 2020)
2020-050

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that comments made by Paul Henry during Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry undermined the Director-General of Health’s directions regarding compliance with COVID-19 Alert-Level conditions. Mr Henry noted there were no new cases of COVID-19 on the day of broadcast and commented, ‘I don’t want Dr Ashley Bloomfield to threaten me and you with the “if New Zealanders aren’t good at Level 3, they won’t get to Level 2” warning. I realise people think he walks on water, but I don’t. …Obedience in the population is the job of the police and, god help us, the reluctant [Police] Commissioner’. Noting the importance of the right to freedom of expression and that Mr Henry was clearly giving his views on a topic of high public interest, the Authority found no actual or potential harm that justified regulatory intervention....

Decisions
South Taranaki District Council and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-149
2014-149

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Campbell Live covered a story about an eader (a pit for raw milk waste) in the town of Eltham in Taranaki that was allegedly making local residents ill. The South Taranaki District Council complained that the item was inaccurate and unfair. The Authority found that this was an important story which carried high public interest and that much of it was accurate and well-reported. Nevertheless, a number of statements conveying the gravity of the problem with the eader did not have a sufficient basis and were overblown, which was misleading and unfair. Accordingly the Authority upheld some aspects of the complaint. Upheld: Accuracy, FairnessNo OrderIntroduction[1] Campbell Live covered a story about an eader (a pit for raw milk waste) in the town of Eltham in Taranaki that was allegedly making local residents ill....

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