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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
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
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
Ragg and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2024-021 (22 May 2024)
2024-021

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the offensive and disturbing content standard regarding a match of Super Smash Cricket which featured the te reo Māori phrase ‘kore puta’ (following the English phrase ‘not out’) onscreen when a review was called for whether the player batting was out or not out. The complainant considered the word ‘puta’ was highly offensive due to its different meaning in other languages such as Spanish and Portuguese. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding that in the context of a broadcast of a New Zealand domestic cricket match, and the previous phrase onscreen ‘decision pending’ also translated in te reo, it was clear the word ‘puta’ was being used as a te reo translation for the word ‘out’. In this context, the Authority did not need to consider what the word may mean in other languages....

Decisions
Monaghan and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-029 (26 July 2023)
2023-029

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint that the use of the word ‘Jesus’ as an exclamation during an episode of Shortland Street breached broadcasting standards. In light of the Authority’s guidance on complaints that are unlikely to succeed, and previous decisions on the use of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ as exclamations, the Authority considered it appropriate to decline to determine the complaint. Declined to determine (section 11(b) in all the circumstances): Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration...

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
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
Klaassen and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-101 (22 November 2022)
2022-101

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint that reality show Naked and Afraid, broadcast after 9pm on Rush, was indecent and should not be shown on television. In the show, a man and woman are left in a remote location naked and with few tools, with the goal to survive for 21 days. With reference to previous decisions on similar programmes, the Authority found the complaint should not be determined as it has consistently not upheld complaints concerning adult-oriented content on late night television when tools aiding choice and control are available. Further, the complaint concerned the complainant’s personal preferences and such complaints are not, in general, capable of being resolved by this complaints process. Decline to Determine: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Newton-Wade & Nick Wilson and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-116 (27 February 2023)
2022-116

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the action taken by NZME in response to a breach of the fairness standard during an episode of Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive was insufficient. The complaint related to an interview with a 16-year-old climate activist about the Schools Strike for Climate movement, and the group’s key demands. During the interview, the interviewee admitted she had recently travelled to Fiji, despite one of the group’s demands being a ban on ‘unnecessary air travel’. This resulted in the host hysterically laughing at, and teasing the interviewee for over a minute. The broadcaster conceded in light of the interviewee’s age and potential vulnerability, the segment breached the fairness standard. The Authority determined it too would have found a breach of the fairness standard, but in the circumstances considered the action taken by the broadcaster was sufficient to address the breach....

Decisions
Alexander and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-076 (29 November 2023)
2023-076

An item on Paddy Gower Has Issues investigated the predator control of feral cats, and discussed whether or not feral cats should be included in the Predator Free 2050 strategy. The broadcast included footage of feral cats being trapped and shot, and people carrying, and holding up the carcasses. The Authority did not uphold the complaint the broadcast breached multiple standards, finding relevant footage was clearly signposted by the host, who provided two warnings to viewers about the content. Viewers were therefore given a reasonable opportunity to make a different viewing choice for themselves or children in their care. The footage depicted no undue cruelty or suffering, and while some viewers may have found it unpleasant to watch, the broadcast of hunting and pest control footage is generally acceptable in New Zealand provided it does not depict undue cruelty....

Decisions
Singh and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-123 (20 December 2022)
2022-123

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the offensive and disturbing content, discrimination and denigration, and fairness standards. The segment referred to two recent kidnapping attempts, and asked for witnesses to come forward to help identify the alleged perpetrator. During the segment, a video was shown of the alleged perpetrator, who was described as ‘possibly Indian’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under any of the nominated standards, finding the broadcast was a straightforward news item; the language used was not offensive or disturbing; did not contain malice or nastiness; and was unlikely to encourage discrimination against, or denigration of a section of the community. The fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness...

Decisions
Wakeman and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2024-009 (7 May 2024)
2024-009

The Authority has declined to determine two complaints under multiple standards relating to segments of a 1News broadcast that concerned a pro-Palestinian protest in Auckland and developments in the Israel-Hamas conflict, and aid funding for Ukraine. The Authority found the complainant had not raised arguments relevant to the standards raised, had raised matters of personal preference, the relevant issues had been satisfactorily addressed in the broadcaster’s decisions on his complaints, and/or related to issues that have previously been dealt with and did not warrant further determination. Declined to Determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – in all the circumstances the complaints should not be determined): Offensive and Disturbing Content, Promotion Of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

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
Tamihere and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-095 (22 November 2022)
2022-095

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Heather du Plessis-Allan Drive regarding MPs being infected with COVID-19 and mask-wearing breached multiple broadcasting standards. The Authority found the host’s comment that she would rather get COVID-19 than wear a mask all day was unlikely to seriously violate community standards of taste and decency. The comment did not relate to a recognised section of the community as contemplated by the discrimination and denigration standard or reach a threshold necessary to constitute discrimination or denigration. Nor did the broadcast ‘discuss’ a controversial issue of public importance as required for the balance standard to apply, and the comment at issue was an opinion to which the accuracy standard did not apply and which was unlikely to mislead the audience. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy...

Decisions
Duff and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-078 (3 October 2023)
2023-078

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint alleging an episode of Seven Sharp breached the offensive and disturbing content standard, as one of the hosts used the phrase ‘bloody good buggers’. 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 (section 11(b) in all the circumstances): Offensive and Disturbing Content...

Decisions
Alderston and NZME Radio Ltd - 2023-110 (31 January 2024)
2023-110

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a segment of Overnight Talk breached several standards. In the programme, a caller to the show queried the validity of the host’s statement that 1400 Israelis had died in the 7 October 2023 attack by Hamas, and asked what evidence the host had of the attack. The host’s response included suggesting the caller should not be ‘an idiot’, saying he was not going to waste his time, terminating the call and advising the caller that they could see ‘uncensored footage’ of the attack on the ‘deepest, darkest parts of the internet’ if they needed evidence....

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
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
Benefield and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-069 (16 January 2024)
2023-069

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint that a promo for ThreeNow programme I am Jazz breached multiple standards. The Authority has previously considered similar complaints concerning the inclusion of members of the rainbow community, including trans people, in programmes and saw no reason to depart from previous findings concerning this matter. Decline to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Balance, Accuracy...

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