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Decisions
Hirschfeld and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2011-028
2011-028

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989One News – reported on legal aid lawyer Charl Hirschfeld’s resignation – stated that his “resignation comes within days of the Law Society launching an investigation into his legal aid work”, he “topped the legal aid rich list”, the LSA had “completed an investigation into payments to Mr Hirschfeld” and “in the last year Charl Hirschfeld netted $3. 2 million in legal aid money” – allegedly in breach of accuracy and fairness standards FindingsStandard 5 (accuracy) – Mr Hirschfeld’s arguments primarily issues of semantics – statements not inaccurate or misleading – not upheld Standard 6 (fairness) – broadcaster treated Mr Hirschfeld fairly – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] An item on One News, broadcast on TV One at 6pm on Wednesday 26 January 2011, reported on legal aid lawyer Charl Hirschfeld’s resignation....

Decisions
Stewart and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-031 (18 June 2018)
2018-031

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A 1 News item discussed corruption charges being laid against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Brief footage from US President Donald Trump’s meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in May 2017 was shown at the end of the item. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the use of this footage created an unduly negative impression of President Trump and implied he was involved in the corruption, which was unfair. The Authority found the use of the footage in no way implicated President Trump in the alleged corruption. The footage was brief and President Trump was not referred to verbally. Not Upheld: Fairness  Introduction[1] A 1 News item discussed corruption charges being laid against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu....

Decisions
Marr & Robinson and NZME Radio Ltd - 2018-080 (16 January 2019)
2018-080

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority has not upheld two complaints that comments by Leighton Smith about climate change issues were unbalanced, inaccurate and unfair. Mr Smith provided his views in response to a news item, saying that climate change was not predominantly man made and was instead due to ‘normal variability’. The Authority noted that the balance and accuracy standards apply only to news, current affairs and factual programmes, and the requirements of the accuracy standard do not apply to statements of analysis, comment or opinion. In this case, the Authority considered it was clear that Mr Smith’s statements amounted to statements of opinion in a talkback context....

Decisions
McCullough and NZME Radio Ltd - 2020-008 (9 June 2020)
2020-008

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a discussion on a talkback segment on Newstalk ZB breached broadcasting standards. The Authority found that the complainant, who had called in to the programme, was not treated unfairly as she was given an opportunity to voice her opinion and was treated respectfully. The Authority also found that the broadcast’s criticism of United States President Donald Trump did not exceed what could fairly be expected to be levelled against a highly controversial United States President. The Authority noted that the balance and accuracy standards apply only to news, current affairs and factual programmes, and the accuracy standard does not apply to statements clearly distinguishable as analysis, comment or opinion. The discrimination and denigration standard also did not apply as it does not apply to individuals or organisations. Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Balance, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Keen and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-002 (6 July 2022)
2022-002

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Fair Go which covered a customer’s experience in purchasing a second-hand vehicle from Universal Imports. The customer did not obtain a pre-purchase report and when the vehicle broke down she attempted to reject the purchase under the Consumer Guarantees Act. A Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal ruling found in her favour. After the ruling, she ‘copped abuse, personal insults and name calling’ connected with the Universal Imports issues. The complainant alleged the programme was unfair to Universal Imports and its owner, and was inaccurate in how it presented the situation. The Authority found the business and its owner were given a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment for the programme, and the programme was materially accurate. The complainant’s concerns about the use of aspects of his YouTube videos are not capable of being addressed under the standards....

Decisions
Whanau Social Services Inc and Te Reo Irirangi O Ngati Kahungunu Inc - 1995-082
1995-082

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 82/95 Dated the 17th day of August 1995 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by WHANAU SOCIAL SERVICES INC of Flaxmere Broadcaster TE REO IRIRANGI O NGATI KAHUNGUNU INC (Radio Kahungunu) J Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod...

Decisions
New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and CanWest TVWorks Ltd - 2005-112
2005-112

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Popetown – animated comedy set in a fictional Vatican City – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, unfair and denigratoryFindingsPreliminary findings – Authority applied TVNZ v VoTE approach to New Zealand Bill of Rights Act – Authority must consider whether finding a breach of standards would impose unreasonable limitation on free speech Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors favour broadcaster – public interest does not require finding a breach of standards simply because broadcasts lampooned Catholicism – not upheld Standard 6 (fairness) and guideline 6g (denigration) – high threshold in light of protection given to satire in 6(g)(iii) – threshold one of vitriol or hate speech – fact that offence caused of itself insufficient to find breach of standard – programmes not realistic as complainant alleged – not upheld Standard 6 (fairness) – satirical programmes would only be unfair in…...

Decisions
Diamond and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2003-011, 2003-012
2003-011–012

Complaint Choppers – rescue series – intrusion into grief – breach of privacy – complainant said consent to broadcast withheld FindingsPrivacy – conflict as to whether consent given – decline to determine Standard 5 – item not news, current affairs or documentary – no uphold Standard 6 – majority – footage indistinct and fleeting – similar to that which would be used in news item – informational content – no uphold – minority – complainant identifiable and clearly in shock – friend obscured – unfair This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] The series Choppers followed the activities of a helicopter rescue service. The rescue of a young woman who had fallen down a cliff was shown in the episode broadcast at 7. 30pm on TV2 on 8 August 2002. [2] Christine Diamond, the woman rescued, complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s....

Decisions
Cook and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2013-014
2013-014

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Afternoons with Jim Mora – host and panellists discussed coroner’s recommendation – panellist criticised recommendation and stated, “for god’s sake, somebody drown that coroner” – panellist’s comment allegedly in breach of standards relating to good taste and decency, law and order, accuracy, fairness, and discrimination and denigrationFindingsStandard 1 (good taste and decency), Standard 2 (law and order), Standard 5 (accuracy), Standard 6 (fairness), and Standard 7 (discrimination and denigration) – panellist’s comment was a flippant remark used to express his criticism of the coroner’s recommendation – was not intended to be taken literally or as a serious encouragement to commit unlawful acts – comment aimed at coroner in his professional capacity and so was not unfair to him – coroners not a section of the community – comment was opinion and not a factual statement to which standard 5 applied – not…...

Decisions
Leitch and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1993-175
1993-175

Download a PDF of Decision No. 1993-175:Leitch and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1993-175 PDF576. 5 KB...

Decisions
Hayward and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-040B (19 October 2016)
2016-040B

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A Seven Sharp item discussed the reasons that outgoing New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd was not seeking re-election. These included that Mr Judd had suffered abuse and become ‘deeply unpopular’ because of his campaign to increase Māori representation on the New Plymouth District Council, in particular by proposing that a Māori ward be established on the Council. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the presenter’s editorial comments following the item were unbalanced, inaccurate and unfair. In making its decision, the Authority acknowledged the influential position of the presenters, but found that alternative views were conveyed during the item and in subsequent items during the period of current interest. The presenters’ comments were their opinion and analysis of the issues discussed, rather than statements of fact, so they were not subject to the accuracy standard....

Decisions
Waqanivala and Radio Voqa Kei Viti Aotearoa - 2017-046 (28 November 2017)
2017-046

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During a Gospel Hour programme on Radio Voqa Kei Viti Aotearoa, a Fijian language station, the announcer used the term ‘iTaukei’ in her greetings to listeners, which the broadcaster submitted referred to the indigenous Fijian population in New Zealand and elsewhere overseas. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the term ‘iTaukei’ meant ‘owner’ in English (and therefore referred to New Zealand Māori), and that use of this term caused division and unrest amongst the station’s Fijian listeners. The Authority found that, while the announcer’s use of the term may be seen by some as divisive and politically-charged, it was not offensive, incorrect or discriminatory to an extent that would justify the Authority intervening and finding a breach of broadcasting standards, and as a result limiting the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression....

Decisions
Roberts and NZME Radio Ltd - 2018-082 (16 January 2019)
2018-082

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During a segment on The Leighton Smith Show, host Leighton Smith quoted a listener’s views on news sources such as CNN, the BBC and Newshub. Mr Smith went on to say that consumers of similar sources lived in ‘blissful ignorance’ because they did not listen to the views of ‘the other side’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Mr Smith’s comments were biased and dismissive towards reputable news sources. The Authority noted that, while talkback radio is not immune to broadcasting standards, the balance and accuracy standards in particular apply only to news, current affairs and factual programmes, and the accuracy standard does not apply to statements clearly distinguishable as analysis, comment or opinion....

Decisions
Ong and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-086 (13 October 2021)
2021-086

An item on RNZ’s Midday Report covering reports of violence against protesters at Kennedy Point Marina included interviews with a protester, and the developer of the site. The Authority has not upheld a complaint the item breached the balance and fairness standards. The Authority found the item presented a reasonable range of perspectives and developer Kitt Littlejohn was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to present his point of view. Given the level of public interest in the item, Mr Littlejohn, in his position, could reasonably expect the media’s scrutiny and the programme was unlikely to leave listeners with an unduly negative impression of him. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
McIntosh and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2001-109
2001-109

Complaint60 Minutes – allegation of bullying in RNZ Navy’s gunnery section – sensational – unfair – unbalancedFindingsStandard G4 – Navy spokesperson responded to detailed allegations – no uphold Standard G6 – full opportunity for Navy to respond – no uphold This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary An item on 60 Minutes, entitled "Breaking Ranks", told the story of one former naval rating who spoke of brutal assaults in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) gunnery section. Because he had broken the code of silence by accusing instructors of assault, the item reported that he had been forced to leave the Navy. Pauline McIntosh complained to Television New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, that the broadcast was based on unsubstantiated evidence and lacked balance....

Decisions
Ministry of Education and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2017-076 (18 April 2018)
2017-076

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]On 18 March 2017, RNZ reported on allegations made by the Board of Trustees at Salisbury School, a Nelson school for girls with complex learning needs, that the Ministry of Education (Ministry) had actively discouraged parents from enrolling children at the school so that it could be closed. On 31 March and 6 April 2017, RNZ broadcast a series of items about an alleged lack of funding, resources and support for Northland teachers struggling to cope with violent and disruptive children. The Authority upheld aspects of a complaint from the Ministry that RNZ’s coverage of these issues was unfair and unbalanced....

Decisions
McKinley and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-040 (18 May 2022)
2022-040

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint alleging R&R breached the good taste and decency, discrimination and denigration, accuracy and fairness standards. The programme discussed Aotearoa New Zealand’s colonial history. The Authority found in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined as it amounted to the complainant’s personal preferences regarding matters of editorial discretion. Declined to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Newfield and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-054
1996-054

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1996-054 Dated the 16th day of May 1996 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by PETER NEWFIELD of Auckland Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED J M Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod A Martin...

Decisions
Moore and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2012-107
2012-107

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Fair Go – item interviewed Christchurch women who wanted to cancel their gym contracts due to the closure or relocation of premises – reported that Configure Express Northlands had relocated but that members could not cancel their contracts without incurring financial loss – barrister gave legal advice that the contracts had been frustrated and were unenforceable – allegedly in breach of accuracy and fairness standardsFindingsStandard 6 (fairness) – item contained comments from two women which suggested their issues related solely to relocation, that the gym refused to refund them and that they would be significantly out of pocket – omitted important information about the women’s individual circumstances – impression not mitigated by opportunity given to the complainant to respond to the issues – reasonable to expect Fair Go to adhere to the same high standards the programme imposes on others – complainant…...

Decisions
Millen and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1991-045
1991-045

Download a PDF of Decision No. 1991-045:Millen and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1991-045 PDF604. 13 KB...

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