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Decisions
Allen and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-106
2014-106

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ]In an election advertisement for the National Party, John Key stated, ‘we’ll start paying off debt’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that this was misleading because Treasury had forecast that debt would increase until 2018. Election advertisements promoting party policies, by their nature, are not ‘factual’. Viewers understand that they are highly political, often hyperbolic vehicles for advocacy, and are able to form their own views about any particular policy. Viewers would not have been misled. Not Upheld: Election Programmes Subject to Other Standards (Accuracy, Fairness, Responsible Programming), Distinguishing Factual Information from Opinion or Advocacy, Misleading ProgrammesIntroduction[1] An advertisement for the National Party was broadcast on TV3 on 28 August 2014....

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

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ]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....

Decisions
Powell and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1999-219
1999-219

Summary An ACT Party political advertisement broadcast around 7. 00pm on TV One on 18 November included a promise to voters that a vote for the party would ensure a "Fair, full and final treaty settlement". Mr Powell complained to Television New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, that the advertisement, which he said was broadcast at 6. 54pm made a claim which was incorrect, inaccurate, and designed to confuse the voting public deliberately. He maintained that ACT did not have the power to make any such promise as treaty issues were matters between the British monarch and what he called the Maori principal. TVNZ advised that its response to the complaint was limited to whether or not the advertisement accurately reflected ACT’s policy. That Mr Powell and others disagreed with that policy was not, TVNZ continued, sufficient cause for a formal complaint....

Decisions
Rameka and Māori Television Service - 2017-070 (20 September 2017)
2017-070

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A campaign clip for the Ban 1080 Party (an election programme for the purposes of the Election Programmes Code) was broadcast on 10 September 2017 on Māori Television. The clip featured a voiceover discussing the purported use and effects of sodium fluoroacetate (1080 poison) on New Zealand’s flora, fauna and waterways, accompanied by footage of animal carcasses and 1080 baits in water. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the election programme was misleading and breached the Election Programmes Code and the Free-To-Air Television Code. The Authority found that the election programme did not contain statements of fact that were misleading, inaccurate, or indistinguishable from opinion. The claims made within the context of the broadcast were statements of political advocacy and opinion, made for the purpose of encouraging voters to vote for the Ban 1080 Party....

Decisions
Lupton and Māori Television Service - 2017-071 (20 September 2017)
2017-071

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A campaign clip for the Ban 1080 Party (an election programme for the purposes of the Election Programmes Code) was broadcast on 11 September 2017 on Māori Television. The clip featured a voiceover discussing the purported use and effects of sodium fluoroacetate (1080 poison) on New Zealand’s flora, fauna and waterways, accompanied by footage of animal carcasses and 1080 baits in water. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the election programme was misleading by inferring that there are dead possums and pigs in waterways as a result of 1080, and also by implying that 1080 is deliberately dropped into waterways....

Decisions
Gill and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2023-097 (9 October 2023)
2023-097

The Authority has not upheld a complaint concerning an election programme for the National Party. The complainant considered the programme’s statement “only a party vote for National can change the government’” was misleading as ‘voting for National could change the government but it’s not the only way to change the government. ’ The Authority considered listeners would have understood the statement to be advocacy or opinion rather than fact, encouraging the public to vote for National, and that there are a number of other parties that could be voted for. Not Upheld: E2: Election Programme Advocacy – Distinguishing Factual Information from Opinion or Advocacy...

Decisions
East and NZME Radio Ltd - 2023-088 (14 September 2023)
2023-088

The Authority has not upheld a complaint concerning an election programme for the National Party. The complainant considered the programme misled the public by giving ‘the impression’ the National Party’s policies would support public services, which was in ‘direct contradiction to their proposed policies’. The Authority considered listeners would have understood the programme as a typical advertisement for the Party, encouraging the public to vote for National. By their nature, such programmes are not factual and are often hyperbolic vehicles for advocacy. Further, it is not the Authority’s role to analyse the likely implications of any Party’s policies (which are not quantified promises, guarantees, or statements of fact), and listeners are able to form their own views about any given policy with reference to the broad range of available media coverage and other publicly available information. Not Upheld: Election Programme Advocacy – Distinguishing Factual Information from Opinion or Advocacy...

Decisions
Sime and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-127 (30 September 2020)
2020-127

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an election advertisement for the Labour Party that included the statement, ‘Together we went hard and early to fight COVID. . . ’ The complaint was that this statement breached broadcasting standards because it should have said the Labour Party ‘went hard and late’, on the basis it could have taken ‘some action at the border’ earlier than it did, to protect New Zealanders. The Authority found the statement was clearly opinion and advocacy promoting the Labour Party, rather than a statement of fact, and that viewers were unlikely to be misled. There was no actual or potential harm caused, to outweigh the importance of freedom of expression and free political speech in the lead up to the general election, or to justify regulatory intervention....

Decisions
Whitbread and Sky Network Television Ltd - 2023-099 (11 October 2023)
2023-099

The Authority has not upheld a complaint concerning an election programme for the National Party. The complainant considered the programme’s reference to delivering tax relief was misleading as the Party’s policy of ‘tax cuts for the majority of families…[has] been proven to be incorrect by independent economists’. The Authority considered viewers would have understood the statement to be advocacy or opinion rather than fact, encouraging the public to vote for National, and the relevant statement reflected National Party policy; it is not a quantified promise, a guarantee, or a statement of fact. Not Upheld: E1: Election Programmes Subject to Other Standards (Accuracy), E2: Election Programme Advocacy – Distinguishing Factual Information from Opinion or Advocacy...

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

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ] 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....

Decisions
Spencer and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2002-088
2002-088

ComplaintElection programme – Labour Party advertisement – Prime Minister seen with New Zealanders in UN Peacekeeping force in East Timor – her presence implied support for East Timor – incorrect in light of New Zealand’s historical position Findings Standard 5 and Guideline 5b – item focused in part on transition to independence – not inaccurate – not misleading – no uphold This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] An election advertisement for the New Zealand Labour Party was screened on TV One at about 7. 00pm on 2 July 2002. Among the visuals the Prime Minister was shown visiting the New Zealanders who were part of the UN Peacekeeping force in East Timor. [2] Marcel Spencer complained to Television New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, that the advertisement was misleading in that it suggested New Zealand’s support for East Timor’s independence....