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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
Hogan and Discovery Ltd - 2021-089 (10 November 2021)
2021-089

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging an item on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the accuracy standard. The item reported on inconsistencies and ‘a backdown of sorts’ regarding a discussion document on proposed changes to hate speech laws in New Zealand. The Prime Minister and Justice Minister were accused of contradicting each other and the discussion document. As the item was political comment and analysis, the accuracy standard does not apply. Not Upheld: 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
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
Averis and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-036 (17 July 2017)
2017-036

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on renewed efforts by the New Zealand Government to secure a free trade deal with Russia, after negotiations were ‘put on hold when Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea two years ago’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the use of the term ‘invaded’ was inaccurate as no invasion had in fact occurred. The Authority acknowledged that a range of terms were used across national and international media coverage to describe Russia’s actions in Crimea. It emphasised the importance of using precise and correct language when reporting on contentious and complex international conflicts, where the potential to misinform audiences is great....

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
Tempero and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-011 (7 May 2019)
2019-011

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub item, which featured blurred footage of a child, was in breach of the children’s interests standard. The item reported on the conviction of a British tourist for stealing from a service station and featured blurred footage of the woman’s child as the pair exited a New Zealand court. The Authority noted that the children’s interests standard is designed to protect children when viewing and listening to broadcasts. Complaints about children featured in broadcasts are more appropriately dealt with under other standards. In any event, there was no material in this item that might have adversely affected child viewers....

Decisions
Edwards and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-050 (4 September 2017)
2017-050

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on Waitangi Day events around New Zealand, including Bill English’s first Waitangi Day as Prime Minister and his phone call with US President Donald Trump. The item also featured comment on English’s attendance at Waitangi Day celebrations in Auckland, rather than at Waitangi. Comment was provided by Mr English, as well as political editor Patrick Gower, who said: ‘Waitangi Day celebrations will go on the road… away from Waitangi, away from the cauldron that is Te Tii Marae’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this item reflected the Government’s desire to control the image of, and de-politicise, Waitangi Day. The Authority acknowledged the national significance of Waitangi Day, and the views of the complainant as to how it should be celebrated....

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....

Decisions
Hummelstad and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-077 (14 November 2018)
2018-077

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A complaint about a Newshub item in which the presenter commented, ‘And I thought the only reason we watch Aussie Rules [AFL] was for the short shorts’, has not been upheld by the Authority. The Authority found that the comment, while inappropriate, did not reach the threshold to be considered a serious violation of community norms of good taste and decency. The Authority acknowledged the importance of contextual factors in considering whether the standards have been breached, including the nature of Newshub as an unclassified news programme and audience expectations of the broadcast. The Authority recognised that the statement was not made with malice or nastiness and found the comment did not breach the discrimination and denigration, balance or fairness standards....

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
McCaughan and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-062 (2 December 2016)
2016-062

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During three items on Newshub, interviewees used potentially offensive language, including ‘piece of piss’ and ‘shit’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that multiple instances of allegedly ‘foul language’ during a news programme were unacceptable. The Authority emphasised that the expressions reflected the interviewee’s choice of language to convey their response to the issues discussed, and were not abusive or directed at any individual. The Authority recognised that in our diverse New Zealand society, people may communicate using different kinds of language, and this will usually be acceptable so long as standards are maintained. In the context of a news programme aimed at adults, and items which carried relatively high value in terms of public interest and freedom of expression, the Authority was satisfied that the language would be unlikely to cause widespread undue offence among the general audience....

Decisions
Moore and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-059 (21 September 2017)
2017-059

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on the rescue of an American woman who had been held captive as a sex slave by a serial killer for two months in South Carolina. The item featured newly-released footage of the woman’s rescue, and showed her chained to the wall of a shipping container by her throat. The item also featured footage of the woman’s appearance on the American talk show, Dr Phil, during which she discussed her kidnapping. The item was preceded by the following verbal audience advisory: ‘A warning: some viewers may find our next story disturbing’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this audience advisory was inadequate given the nature of the footage, which was violent, inappropriate for children and further breached the featured woman’s privacy....

Decisions
GL and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-002 (24 August 2018)
2018-002

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on Newshub reported on ‘cash for job’ work scams in New Zealand. The reporter described the experiences of one worker, who alleged he had been exploited by his employer and told to pay $30,000 for his job as a technician at an internet café. GL, who was named and whose photo was shown during the item, was said to have ‘demanded’ $15,000 from the worker as part of the scam. GL complained that the item was inaccurate and unfair, because he did not demand or receive any payment from the worker and he was not given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him....

Decisions
Richards and MediaWorks Ltd - 2020-006 (9 June 2020)
2020-006

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub item reporting on changes to Reserve Bank rules requiring commercial banks to hold more capital in reserve was unbalanced. The item focussed on the potential effects of new capital requirements on the public, particularly borrowers. The Authority recognised that the item discussed a controversial issue of public importance and was satisfied that the item featured significant viewpoints on the particular issue discussed. The Authority also noted that the issue had been widely covered in other news media and viewers could be expected to receive a broad understanding of the main perspectives on the issue within the period of current interest. Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
Wellington Palestine Group and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-048 (14 October 2016)
2016-048

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Two items on Newshub reported on incidents of violence which occurred in the city of Hebron, in the West Bank, and in Jerusalem. The Authority did not uphold complaints from the Wellington Palestine Group that the items were inaccurate and misleading. The reporters’ references to Hebron in the West Bank, and to Jerusalem, were correct and there was no implication during either item that these events occurred in Israel, as alleged. The lack of an explicit reference to ‘Occupied Territories’ or to ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ did not result in the items as a whole being inaccurate or misleading. Not Upheld: AccuracyIntroduction[1] An item on Newshub reported on the shooting of a wounded Palestinian man by an Israeli soldier in the city of Hebron in the West Bank....

Decisions
Malone and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-087 (4 February 2020)
2019-087

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the use of the terms ‘synthetic cannabis’ and ‘synthetic cannabinoids’ in a Newshub segment that reported on these products, their availability and the fact they have been responsible for a large number of deaths in New Zealand recently breached the accuracy standard. The Authority found that while these products do not contain actual cannabis, the terms ‘synthetic cannabis’ and ‘synthetic cannabinoids’ are commonly used to describe them, both by agencies like the Ministry for Health and the NZ Drug Foundation, and also by the media. Therefore, the Authority did not consider it likely viewers would be significantly misinformed by their use in this broadcast. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Apps and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-055 (18 November 2019)
2019-055

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a promo for The Titan Games, broadcast during Newshub Live at 6pm and containing the phrase ‘holy crap’ breached the good taste and decency standard. The Authority found that the phrase was unlikely to undermine or violate widely shared community norms and overall any potential for harm did not justify a restriction on the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
Stein and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-096 (9 February 2021)
2020-096

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a reference to ‘the heebies’ in a Newshub item canvassing reactions to Judith Collins’ appointment as leader of the National Party. The reporter asked then National MP Paula Bennett on camera, ‘Will this give Jacinda Ardern the heebies, do you reckon?’ The complainant argued the term could be interpreted as offensive slang for Jew. The Authority considered most viewers would have understood the term as common slang used to express a feeling of nervousness or anxiety, rather than embedding derogatory connotations about Jewish people as a section of the community. Given the ambiguity around the term’s origins, it found its use in the context was unlikely to encourage discrimination or denigration, or threaten community standards of taste and decency. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
McCaughan and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-065 (16 December 2019)
2019-065

During an episode of Newshub, news reporter Emma Cropper referred to police vehicles as ‘paddy-wagons’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the use of the term breached the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority did not find any element of condemnation, malice or nastiness present in the usage of the term in this context and therefore could not conclude that the broadcast encouraged discrimination and denigration in contravention of the standard. Not Upheld: Discrimination and denigration...

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