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Decisions
Morton and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-150 (20 April 2021)
2020-150

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a question during a social welfare debate on Morning Report suggesting an ACT Party policy ‘smacks of eugenics’. In the context it was not outside audience expectations for Morning Report and political debate. It would not have caused widespread offence. The complaint did not raise any issues under the balance standard. The question was comment and analysis, to which the accuracy standard does not apply. Ms McKee and the ACT Party were treated fairly in the context of the debate. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Purvis and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1999-140
1999-140

Summary An item on Morning Report dealt with genetically modified plants. In some parts of the item, the commentary and opinions were accompanied by music. The item was broadcast on National Radio on 5 May 1999 at about 7. 50 am. Mr Purvis complained to Radio New Zealand Limited that the "mood music" which was played was designed to engender a sense of foreboding. He questioned whether similar music would follow a report about an out-of-favour politician. RNZ responded that the music drew attention to some of the opinions expressed in the item. The item itself did not pass judgment on whether those opinions were correct or not, it wrote. Some public alarm already existed about the issue of genetic modification of plants, it submitted, and the music highlighted parts of the item but it did not create alarm....

Decisions
Garrett and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-079 (4 February 2020)
2019-079

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a segment on Morning Report about the release of the Department of Corrections’ strategy ‘Hōkai Rangi’, aimed at reducing the proportion of Māori in prisons, breached the balance standard. The broadcast included a pre-recorded interview with Corrections Minister, Hon Kelvin Davis, followed by a discussion between host Susie Ferguson and guests Sir Kim Workman and Julia Whaipooti about the issues for Māori in the corrections system and whether the strategy would help to address these. The following morning, the National Party’s Corrections spokesperson David Bennett was interviewed on Morning Report about why the National Party was critical of the strategy. The complaint was that the interview with Sir Kim and Ms Whaipooti was unbalanced and one-sided....

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
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
Anderson and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2018-091 (4 February 2019)
2018-091

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A complaint about an interview between Kim Hill and Rt Hon Winston Peters regarding the relationship between New Zealand First and the Labour Party was not upheld. The complainant submitted the interview was unbalanced because Kim Hill’s interviewing of Mr Peters was ‘biased, rude and condescending’. The Authority found that, while Ms Hill asked Mr Peters challenging and critical questions, Mr Peters had a reasonable opportunity to put forward his competing point of view. Given the level of public interest in the interview, Mr Peter’s position and his experience with the media, the Authority also found Ms Hill’s interview style did not result in Mr Peters being treated unfairly....

Decisions
Barclay and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-003 (20 May 2019)
2019-003

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an interviewee’s language, broadcast during an item on Morning Report on 10 December 2018, was violent and inappropriate. The item reported on the declining memberships of sports clubs in New Zealand and featured an interview with the Club Captain of a tennis club. The interviewee commented that the tennis courts were so empty ‘you could… fire a machine gun and hit no one. ’ The Authority noted that the right to freedom of expression allows individuals to express themselves in their own words, provided this does not cause undue harm. In this case, the comment made by the interviewee was brief, was not overly graphic or targeted at a particular individual or group, and was not intended to be taken literally....

Decisions
Mosen and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-044 (2 August 2021)
2021-044

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Morning Report including an interview between reporter Phil Pennington and Minister for the Environment Hon David Parker, regarding toxic waste contamination at Tiwai Point. During the interview Mr Parker described himself as being ‘blind’ on the state of contamination at Tiwai Point. In the introduction to the interview, presenter Susie Ferguson referred to this comment, and in the course of examining Mr Parker’s awareness of the issue Mr Pennington queried it twice. The complainant submitted the use of ‘blind’ in this way denigrated people who are blind as it equated blindness with ignorance. The Authority found the use of ‘blind’ in this context did not meet the high threshold required to find a breach of the discrimination and denigration standard.   Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Thorp and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-164 (7 March 2022)
2021-164

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an interview on Morning Report with the new leader of the National Party, Christopher Luxon MP breached the discrimination and denigration standard. During the interview, Luxon was asked questions around his Christian beliefs and the impact of these beliefs on his political views on abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage. The Authority was satisfied the interview did not contain anything that encouraged discrimination against, or denigration of, people of Christian faith. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Thomas and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-063 (23 August 2022)
2022-063

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Morning Report, which discussed efforts to increase diversity in local government bodies. The complainant considered the comment ‘pale, male and stale’ made during the broadcast was derogatory towards older white men, and breached the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority found the comments did not meet the high threshold required to breach the standard and justify restricting the right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
de Boer and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2004-123
2004-123

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 National Radio – interview with Pauline Hanson on Morning Report – interviewer asked if she was considering political life again and mentioned that ACT party in New Zealand was looking for a new leader – comments allegedly unfair to ACT leaders and voters Findings Principle 5 (fairness) – comment did not attribute politics of Pauline Hanson to ACT party or members – issue of fairness did not arise – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] Former Australian politician Pauline Hanson was interviewed on Morning Report on 7 May 2004, shortly before the 7 o’clock news. The interview took place in the context of Ms Hanson’s trip to New Zealand for the purpose of promoting a cleaning franchise....

Decisions
Andrews & Murray and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-153 (13 May 2021)
2020-153

A number of news bulletins on Morning Report reported findings from fact-checking group First Draft about political spending on Facebook advertising in the lead-up to the 2020 General Election and referendums. Two complaints alleged the bulletins inaccurately reported pro-cannabis group Make It Legal NZ had misleading ads removed from Facebook. The Authority did not uphold the complaints, finding although the morning bulletins were misleading and the broadcaster did not make reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of those reports, a later news bulletin during Midday Report was sufficient to clarify and correct the misleading impression created earlier. The Authority also found Make It Legal was not treated unfairly, as it is a lobby group that could reasonably expect a level of public scrutiny, and it was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond to the morning news items.   Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Noble and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1992-027
1992-027

Download a PDF of Decision No. 1992-027:Noble and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1992-027 PDF163. 37 KB...

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
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
Henderson and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2016-014 (27 June 2016)
2016-014

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Seven items on Morning Report contained references to greenhouse gas emissions, specifically agricultural emissions and the outcomes of discussions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21). The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging it was inaccurate and unbalanced to state or infer that livestock emissions amount to half of New Zealand’s total emissions. The Authority found that references to the amount of livestock emissions in several of the items were not material points of fact to which the accuracy standard applied. In relation to the other items the Authority was satisfied that the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy as it drew on a range of reputable sources and scientific evidence in support of the statements made....

Decisions
Bidwell and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-003 (27 May 2020)
2020-003

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an interview with ACT Party leader David Seymour, on the day of the final reading in Parliament of the End of Life Choice Bill, was unbalanced. The complainant submitted that Mr Seymour was given free licence to give his views from his perspective as the sponsor and a strong advocate of the Bill, and it was important that either someone with opposing views was also given an opportunity, or that the interviewer critically questioned him, given the item’s proximity to the final reading of the Bill. The Authority accepted that issues surrounding the Bill and the euthanasia debate more broadly amounted to a controversial issue of public importance that triggered the requirements of the balance standard....

Decisions
Connell and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1998-061
1998-061

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1998-061 Dated the 18th day of June 1998 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by JOHN CONNELL of Rotorua Broadcaster RADIO NEW ZEALAND LIMITED L M Loates R McLeod J Withers...

Decisions
Rickard and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2009-084
2009-084

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Morning Report – interview with Larry Baldock about the citizens-initiated referendum on smacking – host asked the interviewee a question nine times challenging him to give an answer – host interrupted interviewee on several occasions – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, controversial issues, accuracy, fairness and discrimination and denigration standards FindingsStandard 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheld Standard 4 (controversial issues – viewpoints) – host played the role of devil’s advocate – significant points of view presented – not upheld Standard 5 (accuracy) – item did not mislead – not upheld Standard 6 (fairness) – interviewee was robustly challenged and given an adequate opportunity to express his views – not upheld Standard 7 (discrimination and denigration) – standard not applicable – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision....

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....

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