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Decisions
O'Neill and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2019-086 (25 March 2020)
2019-086

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an interview with Simon Bridges, National Party leader and Leader of the Opposition, was in breach of the accuracy, balance and fairness standards. The complainant submitted that the interviewer’s description of a tweet from National MP Chris Penk regarding the Abortion Legislation Bill as ‘fake news’, ‘misinformation’, and ‘wrong’ was inaccurate. The Authority found that this description amounted to comment and analysis, to which the accuracy standard does not apply. The Authority also found that the interview was balanced, as it was reasonable for the interviewer to take a position opposing that of Mr Bridges, and Mr Bridges was given ample opportunities to present his perspective on issues discussed....

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
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
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
Seafood New Zealand Ltd and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2018-054 (19 September 2018)
2018-054

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ] A complaint from Seafood New Zealand Ltd (Seafood NZ) about an interview between Morning Report host Guyon Espiner and Dr Russell Norman of Greenpeace was not upheld. Dr Norman and Mr Espiner discussed Greenpeace’s view that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) had been ‘captured’ by the fishing industry, and why MPI has not prosecuted anyone for under-reporting whiting catches, with reference to a leaked MPI report from 2012. While RNZ acknowledged the interview did not meet its internal editorial guidelines, as it should have at least acknowledged the views of other stakeholders, the Authority did not find any breach of broadcasting standards. The Authority found the interview was unlikely to mislead listeners as it was clear that the interview comprised Dr Norman’s and Greenpeace’s opinions and analysis....

Decisions
Johnson and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2018-003 (28 March 2018)
2018-003

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Morning Report featured an interview between presenter Kim Hill and a seismologist from GNS Science, following a 4. 3-magnitude earthquake the previous night. At the beginning of the interview, during a discussion of the seismologist’s initial reaction to the earthquake, Ms Hill said, ‘WTF’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the use of the term ‘WTF’ in this broadcast was unacceptable and a breach of the good taste and decency standard. The Authority found that, taking into account relevant contextual factors, including the nature of the programme, audience expectations of RNZ and Kim Hill, and the fact that the offensive word implied was not explicitly stated in the broadcast, the use of ‘WTF’ did not threaten community norms of taste and decency, or justify restricting the right to freedom of expression....

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
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
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-029 (15 July 2021)
2021-029

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging an item on Morning Report misrepresented the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s views responding to iwi concerns about groundwater issues, including why local streams were drying up, and did not properly examine the complexity of the issues. The Authority found no breach of the balance standard as the item focused on one aspect of the issue and was clearly presented from the iwi’s perspective, and there is ongoing coverage of various viewpoints on the topic. Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
Beckers and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2018-008 (18 April 2018)
2018-008

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Morning Report reported on and discussed the introduction of ACT MP David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill 2017 to Parliament. The broadcast featured excerpts from speeches made during the first reading of the Bill, comments from RNZ’s political commentator and an interview with Mr Seymour. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that statements made by Mr Seymour that ‘[assisted dying is] becoming normal around the world’ were inaccurate. The Authority emphasised the importance of freedom of political expression and the high threshold required to justify limiting that expression. It found that the statement complained about was clearly distinguishable as Mr Seymour’s analysis and opinion, rather than a statement of fact to which the accuracy standard applied. Additionally, alternative viewpoints on the Bill were presented during the item so listeners would not have been misled....

Decisions
Wakim on behalf of Palestine Human Rights Campaign and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2003-052
2003-052

ComplaintMorning Report – presenter stated "To Israel […] and the streets of Bethlehem" – inaccurate FindingsPrinciple 6 – implication that Bethlehem in Israel – inaccurate – uphold No Order This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] On Morning Report broadcast on National Radio on 24 December 2002 at approximately 7. 50am, the presenter stated "To Israel […] and the streets of Bethlehem…". [2] On behalf of the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC), David Wakim complained to Radio New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, that the comment was inaccurate, as Bethlehem was not in Israel. [3] In response, RNZ said that the item was not inaccurate, as there was no assertion on the part of the presenter, or in the item, that Bethlehem was in Israel....

Decisions
Gibbs and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-156 (28 April 2021)
2020-156

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Morning Report which briefly discussed soil contamination at, and the possible repurposing of, a chemical plant site in Paritutu, New Plymouth. The complainant, an interviewee on the broadcast, argued the item misrepresented likely contamination levels by citing test results from outside of the plant site, and through a comment that the site was cleaner than that at Mapua. The Authority found the statements complained about either were not materially inaccurate, or were clearly distinguishable as opinion, to which the requirement for factual accuracy does not apply. The broadcast was unlikely to mislead listeners. The balance and fairness standards either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Fairness...

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
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
Ryall MP and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1993-076
1993-076

Download a PDF of Decision No. 1993-076:Ryall MP and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 1993-076 PDF545. 05 KB...

Decisions
Laven and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-169 (28 April 2021)
2020-169

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about an item on Morning Report discussing data showing Wellington to have the highest assault and sexual assault rates. Discussing the causes for this, the interviewer posed the question: ‘Do we have a problem with masculinity here?’ and a discussion followed regarding the potential contribution of ‘toxic masculinity’ to Wellington’s crime rate. The Authority found the term did not carry the derogatory connotations suggested and the item did not contain the high level of condemnation or malice towards men required to contravene the standard. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Family First New Zealand and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2021-046 (2 August 2021)
2021-046

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about four items on Morning Report covering an open letter to Government calling for ‘a major overhaul of the drug laws’. The Authority found the items did not breach the balance standard, as, while they discussed a controversial issue of public importance to which the balance standard applied, a reasonable range of perspectives were included, particularly given they were reporting on the publication of the open letter. In the context of items covering a challenge to the status quo, and when debate around drug reform is an ongoing issue in New Zealand, it was unlikely that listeners would have been left uninformed or unaware there were other perspectives on this issue. Not Upheld: Balance...

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
Wong-Tung and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2015-048
2015-048

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] Morning Report covered a story on kauri swamp logs that were allegedly being illegally exported to China. It reported that the company Oravida was one of the ‘kauri wholesalers’ involved. RNZ upheld a complaint from Oravida’s director that the broadcast was unfair as comment was not sought from Oravida. RNZ had removed the audio and written pieces that referred to Oravida and its director from its website, and two days later in a subsequent broadcast briefly reported Oravida’s position that it had never been involved in illegal trading. The Authority upheld the complaint that the action taken by RNZ in upholding the fairness complaint was insufficient and that the broadcast was also inaccurate. The Authority did not make any order noting that a full correction and apology was broadcast after the referral of the matter to this Authority....

Decisions
Lee and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2017-088 (16 February 2018)
2017-088

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A segment on Morning Report discussed one Auckland individual’s challenge to Auckland Council to open a discussion about removing or altering a monument to Colonel Marmaduke Nixon in Ōtāhuhu. The item briefly summarised Colonel Nixon’s role in colonialism and in the Waikato land wars, including the invasion of Rangiaowhia. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item lacked balance and was inaccurate in its account of the events at Rangiaowhia. The Authority found the item did not purport to provide a comprehensive examination of what occurred at Rangiaowhia. Rather, the item focused on one individual’s challenge to the Council to consider removing or altering the monument. In this context, it was not required in the interests of either balance or accuracy to present alternative accounts of the historical events....

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