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Decisions
Rohrbeck and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-092 (5 October 2022)
2022-092

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding an item on The Project discussing whether nurses who were not vaccinated against COVID-19 should return to the workforce given staff shortages. The complainant stated the broadcast breached the offensive and disturbing content standard, as well as other standards, as it encouraged division in Aotearoa New Zealand and the presenters’ comments were ‘uncalled for and unfair’. The Authority found the comments reflected the presenters’ opinions and were unlikely to cause widespread disproportionate offence or distress or otherwise undermine widely shared community standards. The remaining standards either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour, Discrimination and Denigration, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Kingston and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-100 (22 November 2022)
2022-100

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a 1 News item, reporting on the sustainability implications of the Government’s programme providing free period products to schools, breached the offensive and disturbing content broadcasting standard. The broadcast outlined types of sustainable period products and included a demonstration on how to wash period underwear, using red-tinted liquid. The Authority found the content was within audience expectations of the item, and news programming more generally, and unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress or undermine widely shared community standards. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content...

Decisions
Hutt and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-040 (12 September 2023)
2023-040

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an episode of The Feed discussing issues faced by rainbow communities breached multiple standards. The complaint alleged the programme, which was aimed at children, was one-sided in favour of the ‘trans lifestyle’ and did not include balancing content about the ‘heterosexual lifestyle’, and accordingly amounted to illegal gender reassignment therapy or grooming. The Authority found the programme content carried high value and public interest by raising and exploring issues and perspectives in relation to rainbow communities, and through promoting diversity and inclusion. It was satisfied the programme would not cause widespread offence or adversely affect children. The other standards either did not apply or were not breached. Not upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Jones and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-006 (12 April 2023)
2023-006

The Authority declined to determine a complaint alleging an item on AM breached the offensive and disturbing content and children’s interest standards. The broadcast included the phrase ‘get the bloody hell out of here’. In light of the Authority’s guidance on complaints that are unlikely to succeed and previous decisions on low-level offensive language, the Authority considered it appropriate to decline to determine the complaint.   Declined to determine: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989)...

Decisions
Jones, Seale & Daldry and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-017 (14 June 2023)
2023-017

In a segment on Breakfast, the hosts tried out a ‘Bug-A-Salt’; a device in the shape of a firearm which shoots granules of salt to kill flies and other bugs. As part of the segment, the hosts did some ‘target practice’ on a Donald Trump ‘troll doll,’ shooting it down twice. The Authority did not uphold complaints that this breached the offensive and disturbing content and promotion of illegal or antisocial behaviour broadcasting standards. While the Authority found the segment pushed the boundaries of acceptable humour, in the context of the broadcast, including the comedic and light-hearted tone, the focus on the effectiveness of the Bug-A-Salt rather than Trump, and the lack of malicious intent, it found it was unlikely to cause widespread disproportionate offence or distress, or undermine widely shared community standards....

Decisions
Cobham, Findlay & Cox and NZME Radio Ltd - 2023-023 (28 June 2023)
2023-023

The Authority has not upheld complaints that comments made during Early Edition with Kate Hawkesby allegedly downplayed the severity of ex-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle and associated warnings and safety measures, in breach of several broadcasting standards. The broadcast occurred during the early stages of ex-Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle, and featured Hawkesby and Mike Hosking remarking, among other things, that people ‘love the panic’, had become ‘soft’ and there was no reason for ‘this level of hysteria’. The Authority considered the comments were dismissive of the weather event and insensitive to those already suffering the consequences of Gabrielle....

Decisions
Jameson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-046 (30 August 2023)
2023-046

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a joke made on 7 Days breached the offensive and disturbing content standard. The show featured a segment where comedians were asked to come up with scary kids’ shows, to which one of the responses was ‘High School Musical 4: The Active Shooter. ’ The complainant alleged this joke was offensive due to recent school shootings in the United States. The Authority found the joke was not outside of audience expectations for the programme, and the nature of the content was sufficiently signposted through audience advisories. In this context, the joke was not likely to widespread undue offence or distress, or undermine widely shared community standards. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content...

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
Johnson and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-143 (7 March 2023)
2022-143

The Authority has not upheld a complaint concerning comments by the host of Newstalk ZB’s Overnight Talk responding to a listener’s question about what you should/should not include on your CV. The complainant considered the host’s references to ‘neo-Nazi dress-up parties’ and being a fan of the Ku Klux Klan as examples of ‘things you wouldn’t want to put on your CV’ were offensive and ‘almost glorifying’ of Nazis. The Authority did not consider the comments glorified Nazis, and found in the context the comments did not seriously threaten community standards of taste and decency and would not have disproportionately offended the audience. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content...

Decisions
Leitch & Shadbolt and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-038 (9 August 2023)
2023-038

The Authority has not upheld complaints concerning a promo for the programme MILF Manor, broadcast during episodes of Ice Vikings and Border Patrol. The complainants considered the use of the term ‘MILF’ offensive, even if the word was not spelled out. The Authority found the promo complied with the PG classification of its host programmes and that use of the term ‘MILF’ was not likely to seriously violate community norms or disproportionately disturb the audience. It also did not consider the promo was likely to adversely affect children. The promotion of illegal or antisocial behaviour standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour...

Decisions
Franklin and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-113 (20 December 2022)
2022-113

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that two items on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the offensive and disturbing content, and children’s interests standards. The programme included interviewees using the terms ‘shit’ and ‘holy shit’. Considering relevant contextual factors, the BSA’s guidelines on low-level language, and the expectation children are supervised when watching the news, the Authority found the relevant language was not at a level meriting regulatory intervention. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, and Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Johnson and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-125 (8 February 2023)
2022-125

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment of Overnight Talk breached the discrimination and denigration, offensive and disturbing content, and fairness standards. A caller to the show advised the host he believed Russia was acting in ‘the least violent way possible’ in its invasion of Ukraine, to which the host responded heatedly, referring to the caller’s opinion as ‘stupid’ and ‘bullshit’. The Authority was satisfied the language used amounted to low-level language, and the host’s comments, while potentially seen as disrespectful by some, did not reach the level necessary to constitute unfair treatment. The discrimination and denigration standard did not apply as the comments were directed at the caller as an individual. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration, Offensive and Disturbing Content, Fairness  ...

Decisions
Dandy and Sky Network Television Limited - 2023-055 (3 October 2023)
2023-055

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the broadcast of UFC 286 Prelims Live on Prime between 8am and 10am, and re-broadcast on Prime+1 between 9am and 11am, breached the offensive and disturbing content and children’s interests standards. The complainant considered the broadcast of mixed martial arts (MMA) fights was offensive and inappropriate to broadcast at a time when children may be watching television unsupervised. The Authority found, taking into account the context, including that UFC 286 Prelims Live was; an unclassified live sports broadcast; preceded by a warning that it would feature live MMA and would contain content that viewers may find distressing; had an adult target audience; and had a buffer of programmes unlikely to be of interest to children, the broadcast did not breach the nominated standards. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Mather and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-088 (5 October 2022)
2022-088

The Authority has declined to determine three complaints about different programmes broadcast on TVNZ channels on 4 July 2022 as the concerns related to the complainant’s personal preferences on what should be broadcast, and other issues raised have recently been dealt with and did not warrant further determination. Decline to determine (section 11(b) in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined): Offensive & Disturbing Content; Discrimination & Denigration...

Decisions
Marston and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2022-117 (20 December 2022)
2022-117

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment on The Morning Rumble featuring ‘songs that I can guarantee won’t be played’ at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral breached the offensive and disturbing content standard. One of the songs was ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ by Queen, which the complainant considered was in bad taste. The Authority found the segment was within audience expectations of the radio station and the programme, and sufficiently signposted to allow listeners an opportunity to exercise choice and control. Therefore it was unlikely to cause widespread disproportionate offence or distress or otherwise undermine widely shared community standards. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content...

Decisions
Middleton and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-119 (8 February 2023)
2022-119

A promo for Comedy Gala aired during the programme Newshub Live at 6pm, stating ‘Prepare your pelvic floor, as you run the risk of wetting yourself. ’ The Authority did not uphold a complaint this statement breached the offensive and disturbing content, children’s interests and discrimination and denigration standards. It found the statement was a light-hearted joke directed at people generally, rather than just women as alleged by the complainant, and was suitable for a PG-rated environment. It further found the joke would not have encouraged the denigration of, or discrimination against women. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
YS and NZME Radio Ltd - 2023-011 (16 May 2023)
2023-011

During a broadcast of Mike Hosking Breakfast, Hosking discussed his predictions for the upcoming Hamilton West by-election, commenting that Dr Gaurav Sharma would be the ‘biggest loser’ and stating he was a ‘nobody. ’ Later in the programme, Hosking discussed the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s (our) recently released annual report, commenting the BSA is ‘a complete and utter waste of time. ’ The complainant alleged these comments breached multiple broadcasting standards. In the context of the broadcast, the Authority found Hosking’s comments were not likely to cause widespread disproportionate offence or distress, and did not result in any unfairness to Dr Sharma or the BSA. The discrimination and denigration, balance, accuracy and privacy standards either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Privacy, Fairness...

Decisions
Greig and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-060 (3 October 2023)
2023-060

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that broadcasting the film Jason Bourne at 7. 30pm breached the offensive and disturbing content and children’s interests standards, due to violent opening scenes. The Authority found the scenes did not feature violence exceeding the film’s ‘MV’ rating (suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over and containing violence that might offend viewers) and was therefore suitable to be broadcast at 7. 30pm, during children’s normally accepted viewing times. Further, the broadcaster had sufficiently signposted the nature of the programme, by showing the classification and advisory before the film started, and again after every ad break. Parents and caregivers were therefore adequately apprised of the nature of the film in order to make informed viewing choices for children in their care....

Decisions
Judge and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-068 (7 November 2023)
2023-068

The Authority declined to determine a complaint that an episode of Country Calendar depicted cruelty towards animals. The episode focused on the work of the Fiordland Wapiti Foundation and the Foundation’s conservation work. It included footage of Wapiti deer being hunted and shot from a helicopter, collected, and processed at an abattoir. The Authority has consistently found that hunting is a reality of life in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the depiction of hunting footage is generally acceptable provided it does not depict undue cruelty. The Authority did not consider this broadcast included any such footage justifying a departure from these findings. Declined to determine (section 11(b) in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined): Offensive and Disturbing Content...

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....

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