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Decisions
Abdul-Rahman and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-026 (21 June 2022)
2022-026

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on RNZ National’s Morning Report on 14 January 2022 breached the discrimination and denigration standard by voicing-over comments made by international students. The complainant alleged this implied that foreign students and immigrants are not easily understood due to their accents, thereby reinforcing xenophobia. The Authority found ‘international students’ and ‘immigrants’ did not constitute relevant sections of the community for the purposes of the standard. In any event, the broadcast would not have reached the threshold required for finding a breach. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Bunkley and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2006-060
2006-060

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Morning Report – lead story on speculation that recently announced tax cuts in the Australian Federal budget could attract an increased number of migrants from New Zealand – allegedly unbalanced in that it omitted to mention New Zealand’s low tax rate by OECD standardsFindingsPrinciple 4 (balance) – controversial issue was whether the cut in tax rates would lead to increased migration – significant points of view presented about that issue – not upheldThis headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] The possible attraction to New Zealanders of the recently announced tax cuts in the Australian Federal budget was discussed on Morning Report on 11 May 2006, immediately following the 7. 00am news. The item referred to spokespeople from recruitment agencies who said migration to Australia could increase unless there were tax reductions in the forthcoming New Zealand budget....

Decisions
Golden and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2010-167
2010-167

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Morning Report – reported that shareholders had questioned the appointment of a former director of Feltex as the new Auckland International Airport chairperson, “even though she left the failed carpet company 15 months before its collapse” – allegedly inaccurate and unfair FindingsStandard 5 (accuracy) – timing of Feltex’s collapse not a material point of fact – item included comment from Ms Withers referring to the situation at Feltex – item was not inaccurate or misleading – not upheld Standard 6 (fairness) – complainant did not identify who he thought had been treated unfairly – no unfairness – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] A news item during Morning Report, broadcast on Radio New Zealand National on the morning of 29 October 2010, reported that Auckland International Airport had a new company chairperson....

Decisions
McArthur and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2023-004 (16 May 2023)
2023-004

The Authority has not upheld a complaint several broadcasts on RNZ National concerning missiles that crossed into Poland breached broadcasting standards. The complainant alleged the reports were unbalanced, inaccurate as to the ownership of the missiles and other matters, discriminated against Russo and Slavic people, disturbing as they raised the prospect of nuclear war in which children would be harmed, and unfair to children. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the balance standard as the broadcaster had presented significant viewpoints on the issue and had made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy in the context of a developing story. The other standards either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness...

Decisions
Minister of Justice (Hon Tony Ryall) and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1999-195
1999-195

Summary There was controversy over the government’s proposal to enact legislation dealing with crimes of home invasion, according to news reports and an extended news item on Radio New Zealand Ltd’s Morning Report programme broadcast on 23 June 1999 at 7. 00am, 7. 30am, 7. 40am and 9. 00am. The former Justice Minister was said to be willing to admit that the bill had "some flaws". Hon Tony Ryall, Minister of Justice, complained that the reports were inaccurate when they reported that Sir Douglas Graham, the former Minister of Justice, "had admitted the bill was flawed". Mr Ryall advised that he had spoken to Sir Douglas, who confirmed that he had not made the remarks attributed to him. RNZ acknowledged that Sir Douglas had not used the word "flawed". However, it argued, the phrase was used accurately to reflect Sir Douglas’s view that the bill had limitations....

Decisions
McKenna and New Zealand Public Radio Ltd - 1996-047, 1996-048, 1996-049
1996-047–049

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1996-047 Decision No: 1996-048 Decision No: 1996-049 Dated the 22nd day of April 1996 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of complaints by LEN MCKENNA of Kaitaia Broadcaster NEW ZEALAND PUBLIC RADIO LIMITED J M Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod A Martin...

Decisions
Morse and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2014-094
2014-094

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on Morning Report reported on a New Zealand Defence Force exercise in Hawkes Bay which involved visiting local schools. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item was unbalanced and in the nature of ‘propaganda’. This was a brief news report about the army exercise and the school visits, and the fact it reflected positively on the NZDF did not automatically trigger the requirement to present alternative viewpoints. Not Upheld: Controversial Issues Introduction [1] An item on Morning Report reported on a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) exercise and was introduced as follows: War has broken out in Hawkes Bay, but the bullets being fired are blanks. Several hundred defence force personnel are conducting war games in different parts of the region as part of an intentional training exercise....

Decisions
Taranaki Regional Council and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2014-013
2014-013

*Te Raumawhitu Kupenga declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the determination of this complaint. Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Morning Report looked at the Taranaki Regional Council’s ‘landfarming’ policy and contained an interview with a Council representative. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the broadcast was misleading, unfair and unbalanced. The report was an accurate and fair reflection of what the representative told the reporter in the interview, and it is legitimate and important in our free and democratic society to challenge and criticise public bodies on matters of strong public interest. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Controversial IssuesIntroduction[1] An item on Morning Report reported on the Taranaki Regional Council’s (TRC) ‘landfarming’ policy. The reporter interviewed TRC’s Director of Environment Quality, Gary Bedford, and his comments formed the basis of the story....

Decisions
James and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2004-022
2004-022

ComplaintMorning Report – item about benefits of replacing sugar with artificial sugar – public health researcher referred to sugar and butter as “natural poisons” – implied butter more harmful than margarine – stated New Zealanders’ shift to margarine had had substantial effect on heart disease rates – item allegedly unbalanced and inaccurate – butter not a poison – studies link margarine with increased risk of death/disability Findings Principle 4 – item not about butter – no requirement for balance – Principle 4 not applicable Principle 6 – not Authority’s role to decide whether butter is more or less harmful than margarine – decline to determine; “natural poison” the expression of opinion – not upheldThis headnote does not form part of the decision Summary [1] Senior public health researcher Professor Rod Jackson was interviewed on Morning Report on National Radio on 24 October 2003 in relation to his call for hospitals and schools to replace…...

Decisions
Odinot and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1992-010
1992-010

Download a PDF of Decision No. 1992-010:Odinot and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1992-010 PDF426. 74 KB...

Decisions
Shepherd and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2005-089
2005-089

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Morning Report – reference to “Labour” and “Labour-led” government – allegedly inaccurate and unfairFindingsPrinciple 6 (accuracy) – “Labour-led government” acceptable shorthand – not upheld – majority considers “Labour government” acceptable shorthand – not upheld Principle 5 (fairness) – no issue of fairness arises – not upheldThis headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] At various times between Tuesday 26 April and Friday 29 April 2005, on Morning Report, National Radio presenters and reporters used the following expressions: “the Labour-led government” – 26 April “the Labour government” – on 26 April (twice), 28 and 29 April “In 1999 when Labour took power” – 28 April Complaint [2] Vivienne Shepherd complained that the broadcasts breached standards of accuracy, fairness and programme information....

Decisions
de Boer and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2004-122
2004-122

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 Broadcast on Morning Report on National Radio – referred to MP Richard Prebble’s nickname “mad dog” – allegedly unfair, inaccurate and contrary to children’s interests. FindingsPrinciple 5 (fairness) – simple reference to widely known nickname not unfair to Mr Prebble – not upheld Principle 6 (accuracy) – item accurate – not upheld Principle 7 (children’s interests) – nothing to indicate item injurious to children listening – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] Morning Report, broadcast on National Radio on 28 April contained an item about the resignation of Richard Prebble as leader of the ACT party and the subsequent contest for the leadership....

Decisions
Robinson and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-112 (20 December 2022)
2022-112

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an interview with a delegate of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. The complainant alleged that the interview was unfair, unbalanced and inaccurate as the host was rude, offensive, underprepared and did not allow her to read from a prepared statement. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the fairness standard as, among other reasons, the interviewee was a delegate from a large union, who can be expected to handle robust questioning. The other standards raised either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Hon Murray McCully and New Zealand Public Radio Ltd - 1996-088
1996-088

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1996-088 Dated the 15th day of August 1996 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by MINISTER OF HOUSING (Hon Murray McCully) Broadcaster NEW ZEALAND PUBLIC RADIO LIMITED J M Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod A Martin...

Decisions
Crocombe and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2001-031
2001-031

ComplaintMorning Report – panel discussion about Biketawa Declaration – presenter biased – panellist treated unfairly FindingsPrinciple 4 – reasonable efforts made to present significant points of view – no uphold Principle 5 – discussion could have been better handled – not, however, a breach of fairness requirement – no uphold This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary An item on Morning Report, broadcast on National Radio on 31 October 2000 between 7. 20am and 7. 30am, included a panel discussion about the effects of the recently announced Biketawa Declaration, in which Pacific Islands Forum leaders agreed to change a 30-year tradition of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states, to allow the Forum to deal with regional crises....

Decisions
Brown and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2009-035
2009-035

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Morning Report – interview with South African Rugby Union President about the possibility of a rugby game between the New Zealand Māori team and the South African team – allegedly in breach of fairness Findings Standard 6 (fairness) – interviewee had sufficient opportunity to respond and clearly expressed his views – not unfair – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] During Morning Report, broadcast on Radio New Zealand National between 6am and 9am on 20 February 2009, the host spent approximately six minutes interviewing the President of the South African Rugby Union. They discussed the possibility of revising the Union’s rules against playing racially selected sports teams, to allow a rugby game between the New Zealand Māori team and the South African team. The interviewee expressed the following views on the subject: . ....

Decisions
Schwabe and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2010-174
2010-174

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Morning Report – news item reported on controversial comments made by Breakfast presenter, Paul Henry, about Chief Minister of Delhi and New Zealand’s Governor-General – comments about Chief Minister re-broadcast – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and discrimination and denigration standards FindingsStandard 1 (good taste and decency) – legitimate news report – contextual factors – not upheld Standard 7 (discrimination and denigration) – item did not encourage discrimination against or denigration of a section of the community – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] A news item on Morning Report, broadcast on Radio New Zealand National at 6. 38am on 8 October 2010, reported on controversial comments made by television presenter, Paul Henry, on Breakfast....

Decisions
Greensill and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2007-045
2007-045

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Morning Report – news item reported investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour by police officers – said woman claimed that serving police officers would arrive while on duty, use handcuffs and batons on her and that she was often strangled to the point of blacking out – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and inappropriate for child listeners Findings Principle 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheld Principle 7 (social responsibility) and guideline 7b (child listeners) – contextual factors – broadcaster was mindful of child listeners – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] A news item on Radio New Zealand National’s Morning Report programme, broadcast at approximately 7....

Decisions
Keren and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2014-144
2014-144

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Morning Report covered a truce between Israel and Hamas during the Gaza conflict. A Palestinian rights activist and an Israeli spokesman were interviewed. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item was unbalanced because more air time was given to the Palestinian view, and because no significant point of view was presented from an equivalent Israeli activist. There is no requirement for mathematically equal time to be given to competing perspectives on controversial issues. Sufficient efforts were made during the broadcast to showcase the Israeli, as well as the Palestinian, perspective. Further, listeners could reasonably be expected to be aware of a range of views on the Gaza conflict given the extensive and ongoing coverage of this issue....

Decisions
Hayes and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2023-057 (18 October 2023)
2023-057

The Authority has not upheld an accuracy complaint about a statement by RNZ’s Morning Report host, ‘Māori have a clearly proven proprietary right over water… the Supreme Court has acknowledged that’, during an interview regarding the National Party’s Local Water Done Well policy. The complaint alleged there was no case in which the Supreme Court had made such a statement. The Authority found the statement was not materially inaccurate or misleading in the context of the broader discussion: most audience members would not have interpreted the statement in a strictly legal sense or appreciated the technical legal distinctions drawn in the complaint. The key point being made by the host was that National would need to ensure Māori interests in water were adequately dealt with – or risk facing further litigation – since its policy removed co-governance as a feature. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

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