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Decisions
Hoare and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-136 (9 March 2021)
2020-136

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm, in which Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall fund was described as ‘essentially his private slush fund’. The complaint was that this description was inaccurate and suggested illegal practices. In the context, given the public’s general understanding of ‘slush fund’, and the discretionary nature of the Duchy of Cornwall fund, the Authority found the use of the term was not inaccurate or misleading. The Authority also found this term did not undermine widely held community standards, and the balance standard did not apply.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Good Taste and Decency, Balance

Decisions
Fransen and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-122 (9 March 2021)
2020-122

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the repetitive use of ‘fuck’ in an episode of 7 Days broadcast at 8.30pm, breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. In this context, the language used would not have caused audiences undue offence or harm and it was not beyond what viewers would reasonably expect from the programme. The programme was adequately signposted to enable audiences to protect children.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency and Children’s Interests

Decisions
Dick and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-139 (9 March 2021)
2020-139

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a segment on Breakfast in which co-host John Campbell used the word ‘dick’ three times in reference to Donald Trump Jr. The complaint was that this pejorative use of the term ‘dick’ denigrated those, including vulnerable children, with the surname ‘Dick’, and subjected them to ridicule. The Authority acknowledged people with that surname may be more sensitive to its use in general, in broadcasting. However, it found Mr Campbell was referring specifically to Donald Trump Jr and most viewers would have interpreted it as meaning ‘a stupid or contemptible person’ – a widely understood and generally acceptable use of the term. On this basis, the Authority found the broadcast was unlikely to cause widespread offence to the general audience, or harm to children. The Authority was not persuaded people with the surname ‘Dick’ constitute a recognised section of the community to which the discrimination and denigration standard applies but, in any event, found the broadcast did not encourage discrimination or denigration of those people.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
Downes, Penning, Maltby, Massie & Tang and NZME Radio Ltd - 2020-123 (24 February 2021)
2020-123

In a segment on the Mike Hosking Breakfast programme, the host interviewed the Prime Minister about the Government’s decision to extend the Level 3 lockdown restrictions on Auckland in August 2020. The Authority did not uphold the complaints. It recognised the value of robust political discourse in the media and the role of media in holding to account those in positions of power. Overall, it found no harm at a level justifying regulatory intervention. While some may have found Mr Hosking’s approach and comments distasteful, they did not go beyond what could be expected of an interview of this nature.

Not Upheld: Fairness, Good Taste and Decency, Balance, Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration, Children’s Interests

Decisions
Joseph and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-129 (9 February 2021)
2020-129

The Authority has not upheld a good taste and decency complaint that the treatment of a clip showing a ‘devastating’ explosion in Lebanon was inappropriate in a segment rounding up ‘all the crazy, messed-up oddities’ of the week. The context and the importance of freedom of expression meant there was no harm justifying regulatory intervention in the circumstances.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency; Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
Stein and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-096 (9 February 2021)
2020-096

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a reference to ‘the heebies’ in a Newshub item canvassing reactions to Judith Collins’ appointment as leader of the National Party. The reporter asked then National MP Paula Bennett on camera, ‘Will this give Jacinda Ardern the heebies, do you reckon?’ The complainant argued the term could be interpreted as offensive slang for Jew. The Authority considered most viewers would have understood the term as common slang used to express a feeling of nervousness or anxiety, rather than embedding derogatory connotations about Jewish people as a section of the community. Given the ambiguity around the term’s origins, it found its use in the context was unlikely to encourage discrimination or denigration, or threaten community standards of taste and decency.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-115 (28 January 2021)
2020-115

The Authority declined to determine three complaints as they did not raise clear concerns capable of being addressed by the complaints process.

Decline to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – in all the circumstances): Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Alcohol, Accuracy

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-102 (28 January 2021)
2020-102

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a Newshub item interviewing two ‘dare-devils’ who engage in ‘roof-topping’, an activity which the New Zealand Police issued a ‘stern’ warning about. The Authority found the item did not actively promote or glamorise illegal behaviour as it was made clear the activity was illegal and ill-advised. The remaining standards either did not apply or were not breached in the context.

Not Upheld: Law and Order, Children’s Interests, Good Taste and Decency, Alcohol, Balance

Decisions
Judge and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-108 (21 December 2020)
2020-108

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an episode of New Zealand Hunter Adventures featuring two groups of duck shooters in New Zealand. The episode included footage of people, including young people, using firearms, shooting ducks, celebrating successful shots, holding and plucking dead ducks, and showcasing hunting gear and equipment. Taking into account the relevant contextual factors including the programme’s classification, target audience and audience expectations, the broadcast did not breach the good taste and decency, children’s interests or violence standard.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence

Decisions
Godinet & Kay and NZME Radio Limited - 2020-101 (16 December 2020)
2020-101

The Authority did not uphold complaints that an item on Kerre McIvor Mornings breached the accuracy standard. The content was likely to be interpreted as commentary and opinion, and not statements of fact to which the accuracy standard applied. In terms of the balance standard, it was clearly presented from the host’s perspective. Given the nature of the programme, listeners were unlikely to have been misled by the omission of other views. The Authority also found that, in its context, the segment was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or undermine widely shared community standards, did not actively promote serious antisocial or illegal activity and was not unfair to the Government or Prime Minister. Accordingly it did not breach the good taste and decency, law and order or fairness standards.    

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Good taste and decency, Law and order, Fairness

Decisions
Moselen and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-058 (16 December 2020)
2020-058

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an episode of comedy gameshow, Have You Been Paying Attention?, which depicted the President of the United States Donald Trump wearing a capirote (a pointed hood as worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan). The Authority found such confronting symbolism pushed the boundaries of acceptable satire. However, it did not breach the good taste and decency standard, given the importance of freedom of expression and satire as a legitimate form of expression. Mr Trump’s public profile was also a factor. The complainant had not identified any affected section of the community to which the discrimination and denigration standard applied. Nor did the accuracy standard apply as the programme was not news, current affairs or factual programming.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Accuracy

Decisions
Singh and NZME Radio Ltd - 2020-089 (16 December 2020)
2020-089

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an interview on talkback radio show, Kerre McIvor Mornings, in which host Kerre McIvor criticised a caller for his position on the Government’s COVID-19 response saying ‘For God’s sake, listen to you’, and ‘God you’re pathetic’. The Authority found Ms McIvor’s comments and approach were unlikely to undermine widely shared community standards or to have caused widespread undue offence or distress.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Decisions
Bennett and Television New Zealand - 2020-091 (9 December 2020)
2020-091

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive.

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the language used in two episodes of The Hotel Inspector, breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. In this context, the language used would not have caused audiences undue offence or harm and it was not beyond what viewers would reasonably expect from the programme. The programme was adequately signposted to enable audiences to protect children.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency and Children’s Interests

Decisions
Bruce-Phillips and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-092 (9 December 2020)
2020-092

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about the use of ‘Jesus’ as an exclamation in an episode of Shortland Street. The complaint was the use of ‘Jesus’ in this way disrespected New Zealanders who use that name only in prayer. The Authority acknowledged the complainant, and others in the community, find the language used offensive. However, as it has previously determined, the use of variations of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ as exclamations did not threaten community standards of good taste and decency.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency  

Decisions
Cohen and Mediaworks Radio Ltd - 2020-083 (9 December 2020)
2020-083

In an episode of The Sean Plunket Working Group, one of the presenters commented ‘fuck this is good radio’ before the commercial break. A complaint that this breached the good taste and decency standard was upheld by the broadcaster in the first instance. The Authority1 did not uphold a complaint that the action taken by the broadcaster was insufficient to remedy the breach, considering the word was not intended to be aired, and the broadcaster upheld the complaint in the first instance, apologising for the mistake. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the references to camps in the broadcast breached the standard as they were made in connection with quarantine management, and did not carry the ‘prison camp’ connotations suggested by the complainant.

Not upheld: Good taste and decency (including action taken)

Decisions
Maksimovic and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-087 (9 December 2020)
2020-087

An item on Breakfast discussed Novak Djokovic, his recovery from COVID-19, his comments regarding efforts to contain the virus, and the others infected at a tennis tournament he organised. The Authority did not uphold a complaint the presenter’s description of Mr Djokovic as ‘a dick’ breached the good taste and decency standard. The Authority found the use of the word would not have caused widespread undue offence or distress or undermined widely shared community values.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Decisions
Mullin and NZME Radio Ltd - 2020-106 (9 December 2020)
2020-106

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a broadcast of the song Long Gone by Six60, which included four instances of the line ‘Someday, when you give a fuck’, censored so the word ‘fuck’ was partially silenced. In the context, including the nature of the programme and intended audience, the Authority found the song was unlikely to have caused widespread undue offence or distress, or harm to children.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests

Decisions
Pascoe and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-085 (9 December 2020)
2020-085

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a segment of Newshub Nation which discussed the National Party’s top Members of Parliament (MPs) under then leader Todd Muller. In the segment, reporter Tova O’Brien asked ‘Why is it that all of these women do the mahi and then this dude gets the treat?’ The question referred to Mr Muller being rewarded as leader over his top three female MPs, Hon Nikki Kaye, Hon Amy Adams and Hon Judith Collins. The complaint was that reference to Mr Muller as ‘that dude’ was in bad taste, unbalanced, unfair and sexist. The Authority found the comment was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress as contemplated under the good taste and decency standard. The fairness standard was not breached as the comment would not have left the audience with an unduly negative impression of Mr Muller. The balance standard was not breached as Ms Kaye’s response to the comment was presented.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Fairness, Balance

Decisions
Pascoe and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-090 (9 December 2020)
2020-090

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a segment of Q+A discussing the lack of diversity among the National Party’s then top-12 Members of Parliament. In the segment, panellist Laila Harre commented, ‘the whole front kind of line-up looks like they’ve had a bit of an accident with the bleach’. The complaint was that this comment was inappropriate, unprofessional and racist. The Authority found the comment did not threaten community standards of taste and decency, or encourage discrimination or denigration of any section of the community, in the context of a political discussion in the public interest. The remaining standards complained about either did not apply or were not breached.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness

Decisions
Jefferies and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-081 (24 November 2020)
2020-081

An episode of Seven Sharp included an item about a tornado and thunderstorm that occurred in New Zealand and an eye witness account from a resident. Considering the contextual factors and the nature of the programme, the Authority did not uphold a complaint that the language used breached the good taste and decency standard.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

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