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Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-084 (28 January 2021)
2020-084

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that statistics given in a news item about a drug used to successfully treat some COVID-19 patients were inaccurate. The statistics were drawn from a press release from the Chief Investigators of the medical trial and were materially accurate and not misleading. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Arps and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-073B (7 May 2020)
2019-073B

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a Newshub segment that discussed the potential rise of far-right ideology in New Zealand breached the balance and accuracy standards. The Authority found that the segment was balanced as it contained multiple points of view. The Authority also found that the presenter’s reference to the complainant as a ‘white supremacist’ was a statement of analysis and opinion to which the accuracy standard does not apply. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy...

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
Shierlaw and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-068 (22 January 2020)
2019-068

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a comment made by Patrick Gower during a Newshub segment about the presence of the far right in New Zealand breached the accuracy standard. The Authority found that Mr Gower’s comment that ‘the global far-right is here in New Zealand, influencing us and our politicians whether we realise it or not’ was not a statement of fact to which the accuracy standard applies. The Authority found the statement was one of comment and political analysis, the type of which is common in news and current affairs broadcasts and which viewers would have understood to be Mr Gower’s conclusion based on the information presented in the item. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Ministry of Education & I.D.C. New Zealand Ltd and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-101 (29 June 2020)
2019-101

The Authority has found that a segment on Newshub regarding the sale of a report summarising data received from schools in a survey run by the Ministry of Education and I. D. C. New Zealand Limited breached the accuracy standard. The item reported on concerns of the New Zealand Educational Institute and survey participants regarding the sale of the report to Microsoft and Google. The Authority found that the statement ‘sensitive, private data about schools and their students pawned off to private companies by Chinese data giant’, which was included in the item, was materially inaccurate and likely to mislead viewers given the data contained in the report was anonymised and aggregated. The Authority also found the broadcaster did not make reasonable efforts to ensure that the relevant statement was accurate and did not mislead. Upheld: Accuracy No orders...

Decisions
Cowan and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-058 (21 September 2017)
2017-058

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on the Government’s upcoming review of KiwiRail’s operational and funding models. The item featured interviews with Transport Minister, Simon Bridges, NZ First leader, Winston Peters, and Prime Minister Bill English. The reporter commented that KiwiRail had been a ‘black hole’ for tax payers and ‘a giant problem for this Government’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item was unbalanced and unfair to KiwiRail. Given the nature of the item, which was a straightforward news report about the Government’s proposed review, viewers would not have expected to be provided with information about the historic benefits of rail or the history of KiwiRail. The Authority also found that, although the reporter’s use of language could be considered critical, the item did not result in KiwiRail being treated unfairly....

Decisions
Abel and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-004 (7 May 2019)
2019-004

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a news item on Newshub Live at 6pm was insensitive and encouraged the denigration of Christians. The item covered the controversy around an Australian advertisement, which featured two Roman soldiers asking Jesus on the cross to consent to organ donation via an app. The Authority found that while the advertisement made light of the crucifixion, the news item itself was a balanced discussion of the controversy that did not contain any statements encouraging the denigration of, or discrimination against, Christians.   Not Upheld: 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
Cloud Ocean Water and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-037 (23 July 2018)
2018-037

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub explored concerns of members of the public and the Christchurch City Council regarding potential water contamination from a bore drilled by Cloud Ocean Water and pending judicial review action taken against Environment Canterbury (ECan) over their resource consent processes. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the broadcast was inaccurate and unfair to Cloud Ocean Water. The Authority found that Cloud Ocean Water’s responses to questions from Newshub prior to the broadcast were fairly reflected in the item, and that viewers were unlikely to be misled regarding the nature of Cloud Ocean Water’s involvement in the resource consent process or the judicial review....

Decisions
Julian and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-152 (20 April 2021)
2020-152

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item summarising latest election poll results on Newshub breached the accuracy standard. The standard applies only to statements of fact, and the statements in question were clearly distinguishable as news analysis. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-102 (28 January 2021)
2020-102

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a Newshub item interviewing two ‘dare-devils’ who engage in ‘roof-topping’, an activity which the New Zealand Police issued a ‘stern’ warning about. The Authority found the item did not actively promote or glamorise illegal behaviour as it was made clear the activity was illegal and ill-advised. The remaining standards either did not apply or were not breached in the context. Not Upheld: Law and Order, Children’s Interests, Good Taste and Decency, Alcohol, Balance...

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
Eliott and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-062 (18 November 2019)
2019-062

During an episode of Newshub, political editor Tova O’Brien used the term ‘SNAFU’ in reference to a plane the Prime Minister was supposed to be on breaking down. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the use of the term ‘SNAFU’ 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 Newshub and the fact that the offensive word implied was not explicitly stated in the broadcast, the use of ‘SNAFU’ did not threaten community norms of good taste and decency, or justify restricting the right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
WL and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-167 (29 June 2021)
2020-167

The Authority upheld a privacy complaint about a Newshub item showing footage of children being uplifted from their homes by Oranga Tamariki. The Authority considered there was adequate information in the clip to enable identification of the children. While the story carried high public interest, protecting children’s privacy interests, particularly where the children are clearly vulnerable, must be paramount in broadcasters’ editorial decision making. Insufficient steps were taken to protect the children’s identities, and given the highly sensitive and distressing circumstances, the Authority considered the disclosure of footage enabling their identification was highly offensive. Upheld: Privacy Orders: Section 16(4) – $1500 costs to the Crown...

Decisions
Pask and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-057 (18 November 2019)
2019-057

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Live at 6pm concerning US immigration breached the good taste and decency and balance standards. The complaint was that showing the bodies of a toddler and her father who drowned while trying to enter the US was gratuitous, and that the item’s coverage of migrant detention camps and interviews with protestors outside were unbalanced as no comment was included from US authorities. The Authority found that including the images of dead bodies was justified in the public interest, and the warning preceding them was sufficient to enable viewers to exercise choice and control over their viewing, so there was no breach of good taste and decency....

Decisions
Martyn and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-042 (22 August 2016)
2016-042

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on the world’s first legally recognised Pastafarian wedding between two members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (CFSM). The reporter referred to the CFSM as a ‘spoof religion’, and stated, ‘Pastafarians believe that pirates are supreme beings from which all humans evolved, and it’s an official religion’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that describing the CFSM as a ‘spoof religion’ was denigrating, disrespectful and discriminatory. It took the view that the broadcaster’s reference to the Church as a ‘spoof religion’ was an opinion which was available to be taken and able to be expressed, and that the high threshold required for discrimination and denigration to be established had not been reached. The Authority also did not uphold a complaint that the reference to pirates as ‘supreme beings’ was inaccurate....

Decisions
Baxter and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-013 (12 May 2016)
2016-013

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Newshub reported on a Christchurch earthquake memorial service, which marked the five-year anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item breached the privacy of grieving families attending the memorial service. Families in attendance at the memorial generally cannot be considered under the privacy standard, which is concerned with identifiable individuals. In any case, the coverage was duly sensitive and respectful, was not overly intrusive and did not focus on any particular individuals at length. Not Upheld: PrivacyIntroduction[1] Newshub reported on a Christchurch earthquake memorial service, which marked the five-year anniversary of the February 2011 earthquake. The item included footage of attendees at the memorial service. [2] Iain Baxter complained that the item breached the privacy of grieving families who attended the memorial service....

Decisions
Wray and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2017-014 (15 May 2017)
2017-014

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on the conviction and sentencing of a New Zealand woman, A, for the murder of her 20-year-old severely autistic and intellectually disabled daughter, B. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item ‘sympathised with the murderer over the victim’ and ‘morally absolved [A]’. The broadcast was a factual news item which reported on the outcome of criminal proceedings involving A, and largely reflected the Judge’s statements at sentencing. It was focused on the circumstances of A’s particular case and did not contain a discussion of the wider issues of violence against disabled people or family violence, and therefore did not require balancing perspectives on these issues....

Decisions
Sheerin and MediaWorks TV Ltd - ID2017-022 (26 April 2017)
ID2017-022

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A Newshub bulletin featured five separate items which the complainant considered related to the United States. The Authority declined to determine a complaint about the ‘sheer volume’ of news stories from the US, finding it raised matters of editorial discretion and personal preference rather than broadcasting standards. Declined to Determine: Balance, Programme InformationIntroduction[1] Bronwyn Sheerin complained to MediaWorks about the ‘sheer volume’ of news items from the US. She referred to a Newshub bulletin featuring five separate items which she considered related to the United States (US). [2] The issue is whether the complaint raises matters of broadcasting standards which can properly be determined by this Authority. [3] The programme was broadcast at 6pm on 26 February 2017 on Three. The members of the Authority have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix....

Decisions
Ministry for Primary Industries and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2016-092 (15 May 2017)
2016-092

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Newshub broadcast a story about the outcome of a review by Michael Heron QC of Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) fisheries prosecution decisions. The reporter referred to the resignations of two senior MPI officials, implying that the resignations were connected to the outcome of the Heron review. The Authority upheld the complaint that the broadcast was unfair. The item reflected negatively on the two individuals’ professional reputations and had the potential to adversely affect them. In the interests of fairness, the broadcaster should have given the individuals affected a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations, which did not occur. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item breached the accuracy standard, as it found the broadcaster had made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy by relying on sources which it satisfied itself were credible....

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