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Decisions
Morton and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-150 (20 April 2021)
2020-150

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a question during a social welfare debate on Morning Report suggesting an ACT Party policy ‘smacks of eugenics’. In the context it was not outside audience expectations for Morning Report and political debate. It would not have caused widespread offence. The complaint did not raise any issues under the balance standard. The question was comment and analysis, to which the accuracy standard does not apply. Ms McKee and the ACT Party were treated fairly in the context of the debate. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Family First New Zealand and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-046 (2 August 2021)
2021-046

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about four items on Morning Report covering an open letter to Government calling for ‘a major overhaul of the drug laws’. The Authority found the items did not breach the balance standard, as, while they discussed a controversial issue of public importance to which the balance standard applied, a reasonable range of perspectives were included, particularly given they were reporting on the publication of the open letter. In the context of items covering a challenge to the status quo, and when debate around drug reform is an ongoing issue in New Zealand, it was unlikely that listeners would have been left uninformed or unaware there were other perspectives on this issue. Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
Allison and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-049 (23 August 2022)
2022-049

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Q + A with Jack Tame that discussed a recent climate change report and recent high temperatures in the Antarctic region. The item included interviews with experts, one of whom described the high temperatures in Antarctica as an ‘extreme event that we've seen in the background of climate change’ and that we should expect more such events ‘as the world is warming’. The complainant alleged the broadcast misled viewers as extreme weather events are not becoming more frequent, the higher temperatures in Antarctica were inaccurate, humans do not cause climate change and no detrimental changes have been observed. The Authority found the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy, including relying on authoritative experts, and the broadcast was unlikely to mislead viewers....

Decisions
Ireland and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2023-003 (12 April 2023)
2023-003

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a report about bomb attacks at bus stops in Jerusalem breached the balance standard. The complainant alleged that the story lacked balance as the item did not include the Palestinian perspective on the ongoing tensions in Israel and Palestine. The Authority found that the standard was not breached, as this was a straightforward news item rather than a ‘discussion’ as the standard requires, and in any case, audiences can be expected to be aware of the major perspectives of this issue. Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
Right to Life Inc and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-043 (30 August 2023)
2023-043

An item on 1 News reported on Posie Parker entering Aotearoa New Zealand for speaking events, and explored the opposition she would face from transgender rights supporters. The Authority did not uphold a complaint the item was biased and unbalanced. While the broadcast did discuss a controversial issue of public importance for the purpose of the balance standard, the item clearly signalled it was approaching the issue from the perspective of transgender communities intending to attend the counter‑protest, sufficiently signalled the major perspectives on the issue, and the audience could reasonably be expected to be aware of alternative perspectives in any case. Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
Hart and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2024-002 (8 April 2024)
2024-002

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a statement on RNZ National that the new Government ‘plans to repeal Smokefree legislation to fund tax cuts’ breached the accuracy and balance standards. The Authority found the accuracy standard was not breached noting other content within the broadcast and interviews with National Party members before the programme meant audience members were unlikely to be misled. The balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance...

Decisions
Tongan Health Society and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2019-054 (2 December 2019)
2019-054

 The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a 1 News segment that discussed allegations and criticisms about the operations of the Tongan Health Society. The segment featured interviews with former employees and Board members who criticised the management of the Society, its CEO Dr Glenn Doherty, and called for an independent review of the Society. The Authority found that the requirements of the fairness and balance standards were met as TVNZ had taken reasonable steps to seek, and then adequately presented, the Society’s point of view on the issues raised in the programme. The Authority found the disclosure of the CEO’s request for a bonus and extracts from correspondence between the CEO and Board relating to this amounted to a breach of privacy, but determined that the defence of public interest applied on this occasion. Not Upheld: Balance Fairness, Accuracy, Privacy...

Decisions
O’Brien and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-059 (3 October 2023)
2023-059

The Authority has not upheld a complaint an item on 1 News, reporting on the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in the region of Kherson, Ukraine, incorrectly attributed responsibility for the incident, and shelling of the region after the incident, to Russia. The Authority noted the broadcast did not state, either expressly or implicitly, who was responsible for the dam’s destruction. Further, while the Authority acknowledged the broadcast may have implied Russia was responsible for some shelling in the Kherson region, this suggestion was not inaccurate, and the broadcast did not state Russia shelled the region after the dam’s destruction. It accordingly found no breach of the accuracy standard. The remaining standards did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Yates and Otago Access Radio - 2022-023 (18 May 2022)
2022-023

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about two broadcasts on The OARsome Morning Show and The Afro-Caribbean Show respectively on OAR FM Dunedin, where the hosts shared their experiences of receiving the COVID-19 booster vaccine, and encouraged the audience to get vaccinated. The complainant alleged the broadcasts breached the accuracy and balance standards as they did not mention the risk of adverse reactions. The Authority found that the broadcasts did not imply any side effects would be minimal/non-existent and were not misleading by omitting mention of potential adverse reactions. The balance standard did not apply as the broadcasts did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance...

Decisions
Davis and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-061 (16 December 2019)
2019-061

The Authority has upheld one aspect of a complaint that an interview with Sir Andrew Dillon, the CEO of the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) breached the accuracy standard. The Authority found that listeners were invited by the item to draw negative comparisons between the role and functions of NICE and of PHARMAC in the New Zealand context, which was misleading through the omission of relevant contextual information about the two agencies. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the balance standard, as inviting a comparison of the two agencies did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue to which the balance standard applied....

Decisions
Solanki and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-063 (18 October 2023)
2023-063

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a discussion between the hosts of AM and an interview with Prime Minister Chris Hipkins breached multiple standards for including statements from the hosts questioning the usefulness and purpose of Government inquiries into various sectors. The Authority found the balance and fairness standards were not breached as the interview with Hipkins provided an alternative viewpoint, and allowed Hipkins to comment on the Government’s reasoning for the inquiry. The accuracy standard did not apply, as the comments were analysis, commentary and opinion, and the discrimination and denigration, and offensive and disturbing content standards either were not breached or did not apply. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness, Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Zaky and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2024-004 (20 March 2024)
2024-004

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an interview with an Israeli soldier on Morning Report breached several standards. The complainant alleged statements made by the interviewee were inaccurate, discriminated against Palestinians and Middle Eastern people, and were offensive and disturbing and unbalanced. The Authority found that the statements of the interviewee were comment, analysis or opinion to which the accuracy standard does not apply and, if not, the broadcaster had made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy. The Authority also found the comments were not directed at Palestinians and Middle Eastern people and were, in any event, serious comment, analysis or opinion to which the discrimination and denigration standard does not apply; the comments did not seriously violate community standards of taste and decency; and the interview did not breach the balance standard noting it was clearly signalled as presented from a particular perspective....

Decisions
Ong and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-029 (6 July 2022)
2022-029

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging a Nine to Noon interview discussing the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People’s Commission Bill breached the balance and fairness standards. The item included interviews with current and former Children’s Commissioners, who were both generally opposed to the proposed legislation. As the item was clearly signalled as coming from a particular perspective, and the existence of other perspectives was indicated within the broadcast, the Authority found there was no need to include other perspectives within the item itself. In the circumstances it was unlikely listeners would have been left uninformed or unaware there were other perspectives on the issue. The fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Miller and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-089 (15 December 2017)
2017-089

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A segment on Newshub during the election period featured a political reporter discussing the potential factors behind the Labour Party’s drop in the Newshub election poll. During the segment the reporter stated that the National Party’s claim that Labour would increase income tax if elected was a ‘lie’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this comment was unfair and biased. The Authority emphasised that it is an important function of the media to comment critically on party policies and actions and that this type of speech has high value in terms of the right to freedom of expression, particularly during election time. Political parties should expect to be subject to robust criticism and the Authority was satisfied the political reporter’s comment did not go beyond what could be expected during the election period....

Decisions
Matekohi & Rolleston and Māori Television Service - 2021-069 (27 October 2021)
2021-069

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a Te Ao Māori News report on a   protest against Te Uru Taumatua (the Tūhoe governing authority). It found the discrimination and denigration standard did not apply as the broadcast was about individuals or an organisation rather than a recognised section of society as contemplated by the standard. It also found the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to present significant points of view in the programme, the alleged inaccuracies were either not inaccurate or not materially misleading and Te Uru Taumatua and Terehia Biddle were treated fairly in the broadcast. Not Upheld: Discrimination and denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Rae and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-133 (30 May 2023)
2022-133

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a Sunday item questioning what legacy could be left behind by a (now shut) chemical plant in Paritūtū, New Plymouth, which produced 2,4,5-T, containing the contaminant TCDD. The complaint was that the item breached the accuracy and balance standards as it exaggerated the harms of the chemical to people and the environment, and took insufficient care to fully investigate non-expert comments of interviewees ‘in spite of adequate explanatory reports in the public domain. ’ Noting the high public interest and value in the item overall, the Authority found the segment was clearly presented as focusing on local residents’ perspectives of and concerns about the plant; the interviewees’ comments were clearly contextualised, and the item included references to reputable reports as well as appropriate comment from an expert in the area....

Decisions
Vercoe and Te Aratuku Whakaata Irirangi Māori - 2022-106 (20 December 2022)
2022-106

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a broadcast of Artefact was unbalanced. The complainant alleged the programme’s description of events in the New Zealand Wars did not include the historical perspectives of settlers and the government. However, the Authority held that while the reasons for and nature of the New Zealand Wars (and associated events) are of public importance, these issues are not ‘controversial’ in the manner contemplated under the balance standard. Not Upheld: Balance...

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
Young and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2021-093 (16 February 2022)
2021-093

A news item on the centenary celebrations of the Chinese Communist Party reported that as part of President Xi Jinping’s speech he said ‘anyone opposing China will have their heads bashed against a great wall of steel’. The complainant alleged this was inaccurate and unbalanced, mainly because TVNZ had cut off the full quote, which clarifies the ‘great wall of steel’ is forged by ‘1. 4 billion Chinese people’ and therefore conveys a more metaphorical meaning. The Authority found the item did not breach the accuracy standard on the basis that the broadcast was not likely to mislead viewers as a result of omitting part of President Xi’s sentence, and it was not inaccurate for TVNZ to use the more literal translation of ‘heads bashed’ over ‘collide’ in its translation....

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....

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