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Decisions
Foster and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-125 (16 March 2021)
2020-125

An item on RNZ’s Midday Report reported ‘Scientists warn polar bears may become extinct by the end of the century because of climate change. ’ The complainant alleged climate change was not threatening polar bears as reported in the item. The Authority found the statements in the item were clearly framed as predictions, and attributed as being the scientists’ view. Therefore, they were analysis and opinion (rather than statements of fact) and the accuracy standard did not apply. Reporting on the predicted future impact of declining sea ice on polar bear survival, as shown in studies, did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue, so the balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Programme Information...

Decisions
Cochran and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-066 (15 September 2021)
2021-066

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a promo for Checkpoint, broadcast after the 8am news on 11 May 2021, which included soundbites, showcasing the previous day’s news, concerning a supermarket stabbing in Dunedin. The complaint alleged the promo sensationalised news that was no longer current, suggesting another stabbing had occurred, and unnecessarily repeated scenes of violence when affected families were still suffering and children were likely to be listening. In its context, the Authority found the promo content was not likely to cause widespread undue offence or distress and did not breach the children’s interests standard. The programme information, violence and balance standards either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Violence, Balance...

Decisions
West and Discovery New Zealand Ltd - 2022-038 (21 June 2022)
2022-038

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding an item on Newshub Live at 6pm about the current war in Ukraine. The complaint was in relation to the map used in the segment, which showed Ukraine, Russia and other nearby countries, and depicted Crimea as a part of Russia. The Authority acknowledged that the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing war in Ukraine is a highly sensitive topic and found the map did contain inaccuracies. However, the Authority found the segment was materially accurate, as the map would not have significantly affected the audience’s understanding of the programme as a whole. In the circumstances the Authority determined that regulatory intervention was not required. The programme information, law and order, and fairness standards did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Programme Information, Law and Order, Fairness...

Decisions
Sheerin and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-018 (26 May 2017)
2017-018

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Four items on Newshub featured stories related to the United Kingdom and/or the British Royal Family. The Authority did not uphold complaints that the Newshub items and the reporters’ comments were biased, unfair and derogatory towards the United Kingdom and/or members of the British Royal Family. The Authority found that the news reports did not contain any material which discriminated against or denigrated any section of the community, or which could be said to be unfair to members of the British Royal Family. The items also did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance which triggered the requirement for balancing perspectives to be given, and did not raise accuracy or programme information issues....

Decisions
Frewen and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2017-091 (16 February 2018)
2017-091

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub discussed revelations that the pension of New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, had been overpaid for up to seven years. The segment featured excerpts of a phone interview with Mr Peters, details about Mr Peters’ press release and subsequent comments made by Mr Peters about the overpayments. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the broadcast was unbalanced and unfair. The Authority did not consider that it was necessary to obtain a copy of the full phone interview transcript in order to determine whether the broadcast was inaccurate and unfair (as requested by the complainant)....

Decisions
Spring and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-072 (6 September 2021)
2021-072

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint regarding a news item which included a quote from Liz Cheney calling Donald Trump’s claims that he had won the 2020 US Election ‘dangerous lies’. The complainant was concerned about RNZ referring to some politicians as liars but not others. The Authority found the content of the complaint did not relate to the substance of the broadcast, and was not capable of being properly determined by a complaints procedure. Declined to Determine: Programme Information, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989)...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-065 (23 August 2022)
2022-065

The Authority has declined to determine five complaints about different Newshub Live broadcasts under several standards, on the basis they were trivial, vexatious, or in all the circumstances, did not warrant determination. Decline to determine (section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – trivial and vexatious, and section 11(b) in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined): Accuracy, Children’s Interests, Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Programme Information, Law and Order...

Decisions
Gilchrist and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-130 (20 December 2021)
2021-130

Following an interview with a COVID-19 vaccine advocate on the AM Show, the host noted Medsafe gave the vaccine the ‘same approval as everyday medicines like Panadol and Nurofen’. The complaint stated this was misleading and in breach of five standards, including the accuracy standard. The Authority did not uphold the complaint as the accuracy standard is concerned with material inaccuracy. To the extent there was any inaccuracy, it was unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the programme. The Authority considered the other standards raised either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Singh & Singh Bassi and Access Community Radio inc - 2019-045 (16 December 2019)
2019-045

The Authority has upheld complaints from two complainants about a segment of Punjabi talkback programme Panthak Vichar, broadcast on Access Community Radio Inc (Planet FM). During the programme, the hosts made a number of allegations against the complainants, regarding their fundraising activities and whether they were trustworthy, and played a recorded phone conversation with Jaspreet Singh on-air. The Authority found that the comments reflected negatively on the complainants, and that Jaspreet Singh would not have known that the phone call would be played on-air. The Authority upheld the complaint under the fairness standard but did not uphold the remaining aspects of the complaint. Upheld: Fairness. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Privacy, Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
HJ and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-110 (1 December 2021)
2021-110

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Live at 6pm concerning a car accident breached several standards by featuring images of dead bodies in the car wreck. The complainant believed there were dead bodies shown in the wreck, which they found highly distressing. The Authority acknowledged the complainant’s distress, however, after carefully reviewing the broadcast, found that no bodies were featured. In considering the images of the car wreck shown, the Authority considered that the footage was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress, or undermine widely shared community standards, so the good taste and decency standard was not breached. It further found that an audience advisory was not required, and the programme information standard was not breached. The balance, accuracy, privacy, and fairness standards did not apply or were not breached....

Decisions
Blomfield and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-027 (18 May 2022)
2022-027

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a talkback programme which discussed the protests and occupation of Parliament. The Authority found the programme was within audience expectations and did not contain language in breach of the good taste and decency standard. Callers were not treated unfairly, given the talkback environment. The remaining standards were not breached or did not apply. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration, Programme Information, Balance, Accuracy...

Decisions
Parlane and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-075 (4 February 2020)
2019-075

The Authority declined to determine a complaint regarding a news item covering the expansion of a sexual violence court pilot. The complainant submitted that the victim advocate interviewed in the item should not have been interviewed and should not have been referred to as a rape survivor. The Authority concluded that, in all the circumstances of the complaint, it should not be determined by the Authority. The Authority found the concerns raised in the complaint are matters of editorial discretion and personal preference rather than broadcasting standards, and are therefore not capable of being determined by the broadcasting standards complaints procedure. Declined to determine: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Violence, Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Privacy, Fairness...

Decisions
Tily and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-047 (2 August 2022)
2022-047

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that it was inappropriate to broadcast images of spiders due to viewers potentially having arachnophobia. The Authority found the images were unlikely to cause widespread undue offence, and the introduction to the item gave viewers who did not want to see spiders the opportunity to switch off. The programme information and discrimination and denigration standards did not apply. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Discrimination and Denigration....

Decisions
Wilson and Discovery NZ - 2021-026 (21 July 2021)
2021-026

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a news item about sex workers and escorts opening up about their work on social media breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and programme information standards. The Authority noted the public interest in the broadcast and considered the content was within audience expectations for the news. In this context, the Authority found the item was unlikely to cause widespread offence or undermine community standards. The Authority also found the introduction to the item was sufficient to inform viewers of the nature of the coverage, enabling them to adequately protect themselves and their children from the content by choosing not to watch. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Programme Information...

Decisions
Naughton and Mainland Television Limited & Daystar Television - 2021-103 (16 February 2022)
2021-103

An episode of Marcus and Joni breached the accuracy standard as it contained inaccurate and misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines and their safety. It also promoted conspiracies and advocated for ineffective remedies. The Authority found the broadcaster had not made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of the programme, particularly as the guests were not recognised experts in the subjects discussed. The balance and programme information standards did not apply. Upheld: Accuracy Not Upheld: Balance, Programme Information Orders: Daystar: Section 13(1)(a) – broadcast statement; Section 16(4) – $500 costs to the Crown; Mainland: Section 16(4) - $500 costs to the Crown...

Decisions
Supreme Sikh Society, Kalgidhar Sports Club & Majinder Singh Bassi and Planet FM - 2018-040 (24 August 2018)
2018-040

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority has upheld one aspect of a complaint from three complainants about a segment of Punjabi talkback programme Panthic Vichar, broadcast on community radio station, Planet FM. During the programme, host Kuldip Singh made a number of allegations against the complainants, regarding use of grant money and cheating or ‘unjust’ behaviour at a kabaddi tournament. The Authority found that the host’s comments reflected negatively on the complainants and as such, they should have been given an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The Authority did not uphold the remaining aspects of the complaint. The Authority acknowledged the limited resources available to the broadcaster, but reminded it of its obligations under the Broadcasting Act 1989 to receive and consider formal complaints through a proper process, including where the broadcast subject to complaint is in a language other than English....

Decisions
Sarah and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-079 (27 November 2018)
2018-079

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During an episode of Shortland Street, characters Lincoln and Jack took Nicole out for drinks to take her mind off her attacker. Lincoln, who was previously in a relationship with a man, was shown taking an illegal drug which he gave to Nicole. Later in the episode, Lincoln and Nicole were shown in bed together. In the episode broadcast the following evening, Jack asked Lincoln about being gay and sleeping with Nicole. Lincoln replied that he did not have to ‘put a label on it’, saying, ‘I’m just me’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the programme’s portrayal of Lincoln’s sexuality, by a straight actor, could have damaging effects on young viewers or those struggling with their sexuality....

Decisions
Parlane and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2018-017 (21 May 2018)
2018-017

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During the talkback programme, Overnighter, host Garry McAlpine invited listeners to call in to discuss the issues facing New Zealand in 2018, one of which was the upcoming cannabis referendum. Mr McAlpine strongly expressed his view, throughout the programme, that cannabis should be decriminalised for medicinal and recreational use. A number of callers, including the complainant, expressed their views on the subject, with some supportive of, and others opposed to, Mr McAlpine’s views. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this programme was in breach of broadcasting standards. Talkback radio is known for robust discussion, and broadcasting standards recognise that it is an opinionated environment, with hosts granted some latitude to be provocative and edgy in the interests of generating robust debate. This programme in particular featured genuine discussion on an important issue in New Zealand....

Decisions
RK and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-025 (24 August 2018)
2018-025

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on 1 News reported on an alleged ‘mistake’ by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), which the reporter, Andrea Vance, said ‘cost the taxpayer a quarter of a million dollars’. The item referred to MFAT’s action in waiving the diplomatic immunity of an MFAT employee – the complainant – to allow child custody and matrimonial proceedings to be heard in an overseas court. According to Ms Vance, MFAT’s actions were disputed by the complainant’s ex-partner, resulting in MFAT issuing an apology and payment of ‘legal bills’ to both the complainant and the complainant’s ex-partner. The Authority upheld aspects of a complaint from the MFAT employee that the item was inaccurate, unbalanced and unfair....

Decisions
XD and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2018-102C-D (13 March 2019)
2018-102C-D

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A complaint regarding two broadcasts, relating to threats to public officials over the Government’s use of 1080 (including footage of an anti-1080 protest featuring the complainant), was not upheld. The Authority found the use of the footage, in segments on Newshub and The AM Show, did not result in any unfairness to the complainant. The Authority considered these broadcasts did not link the complainant, or the majority of anti-1080 protestors, to the threats, as both broadcasts stated that the threatening behaviour was from the fringes of the movement. The Authority determined that the audience was therefore unlikely to be misled or misinformed. The Authority also found a comment made by host Duncan Garner during The AM Show segment, implying Willie Apiata should be sent to harm the people who made the threats, did not breach broadcasting standards....

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