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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
Watkins & Yardley and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-142 (12 April 2023)
2022-142

The Authority has not upheld two complaints about an interview on Morning Report with Sue Grey, lawyer for the parents of a baby whose urgent heart surgery had been delayed due to the parents’ concerns regarding blood from donors vaccinated against COVID-19. The essence of the complaints was that the host did not listen to Grey, constantly interrupted her, did not allow her to answer the questions, and pushed his personal views. The Authority found the interview did not go beyond the level of robust scrutiny that could reasonably be expected in an interview with Grey on this subject, noting in particular that Grey was making claims contrary to public health advice, and was able to put forward key points in the course of the eight-minute interview. Therefore the broadcast overall did not result in any unfairness to Grey....

Decisions
Seven Complainants and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-090 (14 September 2022)
2021-090

The Authority upheld aspects of seven complaints under the privacy and fairness standards, regarding broadcasts by RNZ which included material stolen from the Waikato District Health Board and released by hackers on the dark web. The broadcasts were about a child under the care of Oranga Tamariki, who was effectively ‘living’ in a WDHB hospital because Oranga Tamariki was unable to find them a placement. The Authority found the child was identifiable and their privacy was breached on a segment on Morning Report. While there was a legitimate public interest in the story, this did not extend to all the details included in the item. The Authority also found the Morning Report segment breached the privacy of the child’s family but not of the social worker involved. The fairness standard was also breached as the broadcasts were unfair to the child and their family....

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
Toovey and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2005-046
2005-046

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Morning Report – item on changing population statistics of New Zealand – introduced with reference to the possibility of New Zealand becoming a republic – allegedly unbalancedFindingsPrinciple 4 (balance) – topic of republicanism not the controversial issue of public importance covered by the item – balance on that issue not required – not upheldThis headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] On 26 April 2005 at 7. 20am on National Radio, an item on Morning Report covered changing population statistics in New Zealand, noting the expectation of continuing increases in Asian, Māori and Pacific Island communities. The introduction to the item included the statement “some believe this will fuel arguments to ditch the Queen as the head of State”....

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
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
Kāinga Ora and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2023-007 (7 June 2023)
2023-007

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Morning Report and a summary bulletin that discussed complaints about Kāinga Ora tenants forcing people to leave their homes. Kāinga Ora complained it was not given an opportunity to comment on one of two situations discussed during the broadcast, which led to the item being unbalanced, and was unfair to the agency. Noting the issue, and numerous similar cases, had been discussed over a number of months in RNZ reporting, the Authority found it was not required in the interests of either balance or fairness for Kāinga Ora to be given a specific opportunity to comment in relation to that particular case. In any event, the Housing Minister’s response, which referred to Kāinga Ora treating complaints seriously and its updated processes for dealing with complaints, was adequate to address the issues raised. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Jones and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-139 (9 February 2022)
2021-139

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an interview between host Kim Hill and John Tamihere, Chief Executive of Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report breached broadcasting standards. It found the interview did not threaten current norms of good taste and decency, noting that the robust nature of the interview was in line with audience expectations of RNZ and Hill. It also found the balance standard was not breached on the basis that Tamihere was given sufficient time to express his views and, given other media coverage, viewers could reasonably be expected to be aware of other perspectives regarding how to best increase Māori vaccination rates. It further found that Tamihere was not treated unfairly during the interview. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Balance and Fairness...

Decisions
Watkins and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-135 (22 March 2023)
2022-135

The Authority has not upheld a direct privacy complaint about an interview on Morning Report following the stabbing of an Auckland dairy worker. The interviewee (the local Neighbourhood Support Coordinator) speculated about who the victim could be and gave information about the living arrangements of the family who operated the dairy. The Authority did not find any breach of the privacy standard in relation to the victim’s family, on the basis the information disclosed did not attract a reasonable expectation of privacy. It noted in any event that the identity of the victim was officially confirmed soon after, and reporting on the circumstances surrounding the stabbing carried high public interest. Not Upheld: Privacy...

Decisions
Neate and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-074 (16 December 2019)
2019-074

A complaint that an RNZ news bulletin item breached the balance standard was not upheld. The item reported on a ‘Northland farmer’ who said his business would be put at risk by the government’s proposed methane reduction targets included in the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill. The Authority found that while climate change issues are controversial issues of public importance, the item did not amount to a ‘discussion’ for the purposes of the standard, as it was a brief, straightforward news report that did not purport to be an in-depth examination of the proposed methane reduction targets or the Bill. Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
Privacy Commissioner and Radio New Zealand Ltd - ID2021-090D (27 October 2021)
ID2021-090D

The Authority has accepted jurisdiction to consider a complaint under the privacy standard made by the Privacy Commissioner. The Authority found the Privacy Commissioner had standing to make the complaint under the Broadcasting Act 1989. It also found it is capable of considering the complaint on its merits and would not be subject to undue influence or bias as a result of the complainant’s status. Finally, it agreed the complaint raised some matters outside the scope of the complaints process and, in accordance with its usual procedures, such matters would not be considered. Accepted Jurisdiction...

Decisions
Oxley and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-105 (22 November 2022)
2022-105

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment on Morning Report breached the discrimination and denigration, and accuracy standards. The report was about trans men and non-binary people missing out on notifications for cervical screenings, due to how gender and sex are recorded by health services. The Authority found that the discrimination and denigration standard was not breached as the terminology used was specifically chosen to be inclusionary rather than exclusionary, and the inaccuracies alleged by the complainant were immaterial to the broadcast as a whole. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration and Accuracy...

Decisions
McCracken and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-099 (22 November 2022)
2022-099

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that it was a breach of broadcasting standards for an expert interviewee to suggest the anti-mask/anti-vaccination movement was behind bomb threats made to several New Zealand schools. The Authority found that while the issue of who was responsible constituted a controversial issue of public importance, the interview was clearly signalled as approaching the issue from a particular perspective, so the balance standard was not breached. It also found that anti-mask/anti-vaccination advocates are not groups to which the discrimination and denigration and fairness standards apply. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, 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
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
Hart and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2024-002 (8 April 2024)
2024-002

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a statement on RNZ National that the new Government ‘plans to repeal Smokefree legislation to fund tax cuts’ breached the accuracy and balance standards. The Authority found the accuracy standard was not breached noting other content within the broadcast and interviews with National Party members before the programme meant audience members were unlikely to be misled. The balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance...

Decisions
Loder and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2018-041 (10 August 2018)
2018-041

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Morning Report reported that, over the past ten years, reported firearm theft has increased by 35%, and through the comments of three interviewees considered whether the increase of firearm theft is related to issues around their safe storage and registration. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item breached standards of balance and fairness. The Authority found the item provided sufficient balance through multiple alternative points of view that enabled listeners to form their own opinion on the topic. The fairness standard cannot be applied to licenced firearm owners as they are not an ‘organisation’ for the purposes of the standard. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness The broadcast[1] An item on RNZ’s Morning Report reported that:’Almost 3,300 firearms have been stolen over the past five years – a 35% percent increase on the five years before....

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
Watkin and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-091 (22 November 2022)
2022-091

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an interview on Morning Report following the US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade (regarding rights to abortion) breached the balance standard. The complainant alleged the broadcast was unbalanced as both interviewees chosen were from the ‘pro-choice’ perspective, and the ‘pro-life’ point of view was not mentioned, nor a ‘pro-life’ interviewee included. The Authority found that while abortion access and related laws constitute a controversial issue of public importance, the full broadcast (in particular the news report immediately prior covering reactions in the US) included viewpoints from both sides of the issue. Further, the nature of the issue is such that the public can reasonably be expected to be aware of the major perspectives in the debate through ongoing media coverage. Not Upheld: Balance...

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