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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
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 Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-166 (25 May 2021)
2020-166

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a news item reporting on the Rt Hon Winston Peters’ likelihood of not returning to Parliament after the General Election. The item did not discuss a controversial issue, so the balance standard did not apply. It was not unfair to Mr Peters, given his position as an elected public figure and experience dealing with the media. Coverage of political issues close to Election Day is not in itself a breach of broadcasting standards. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association Inc and Discovery NZ Inc - 2022-084 (30 January 2023)
2022-084

The Authority has upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm that discussed the alleged misuse of public funds for safety improvements at a greyhound racetrack. The complainant alleged the programme did not present a balanced view of the issue and misled the audience on key facts regarding what action was taken at the raceway. The Authority found the item was presented in a way that favoured the perspectives of those critical of the racing club’s actions, without giving reasonable opportunities to provide balance from the other side of the story. The Authority also found that a collection of factual errors in the item meant, overall, viewers were materially misled. Upheld: Balance, Accuracy...

Decisions
Nelson and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-113 (27 May 2020)
2019-113

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a Newshub report regarding government employees accessing pornographic sites while at work breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. The Newshub report included images of web addresses for the sites accessed. The Authority noted the public interest in the prevalence of, and harm caused by, pornography and considered that the content was within audience expectations for the news. In the context, the item was unlikely to cause widespread offence or undermine community standards and unlikely to adversely affect child viewers. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Scott and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2017-092 (16 February 2018)
2017-092

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub by political editor Patrick Gower reported on National Party Leader Bill English’s claim that the Labour Party would raise income tax if they won the 2017 General Election. Mr Gower stated that the National Party was ‘deliberately spreading misinformation’ about Labour’s income tax policy. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Mr Gower deliberately misled the public prior to the election. The Authority emphasised the importance of freedom of political expression, particularly in an election year. The Authority considered significant viewpoints on the issue discussed were adequately presented in the broadcast and within the period of current interest, enabling the audience to form their own opinions. The Authority also found that the comments complained about were statements of analysis and opinion, rather than statements of fact, so the accuracy standard did not apply....

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
Harvey and Lorck and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-036 (24 August 2018)
2018-036

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Over two evenings, on 20 and 21 January 2018, Newshub reported on the delayed launch of a rocket from the Māhia Peninsula, due to a boat being in the exclusion zone around the launch site. The first item strongly implied that Hastings District Councillor Damon Harvey was responsible for the delayed launch, referring to a tweet, featuring a photo of the launch site, that the reporter said was tweeted by Mr Harvey ‘around the same time’ as the launch delay. The second item included a short comment from an interview with Mr Harvey. The Authority found parts of these broadcasts were inaccurate and misleading, and were unfair to Mr Harvey....

Decisions
IY and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-032 (5 September 2018)
2018-032

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]On 13 March 2018, an item on Newshub reported on allegations of sexual assault and harassment at a Young Labour camp. The item included photos of the camp attendees, sourced from public social media accounts, with no masking or blurring. The Authority upheld a direct privacy complaint from IY, who was featured in the photos, that this item breached their privacy. The Authority noted the value of the broadcast in reporting on the response of the Labour Party to the allegations, but emphasised the high level of potential harm that could be caused to the individuals involved....

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
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
Smith and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-062 (26 October 2018)
2018-062

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub promo that stated ‘over 3 million Kiwis [get their news from Newshub]’ breached the accuracy standard. The complaint was that the promo did not indicate the reference to ‘over 3 million Kiwis’ was a ‘reach’ number (ie a statistical estimate on total audience numbers), and that the omission of information about the source and research methodology used to arrive at the 3-million figure resulted in the promo being misleading. The Authority found the use of the statistic in the promo was unlikely to mislead viewers or significantly affect their understanding of the promo as a whole, taking into account the nature of the promo as a piece of station branding or marketing, rather than a news or current affairs item....

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
Miller and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-089 (15 December 2017)
2017-089

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A segment on Newshub during the election period featured a political reporter discussing the potential factors behind the Labour Party’s drop in the Newshub election poll. During the segment the reporter stated that the National Party’s claim that Labour would increase income tax if elected was a ‘lie’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this comment was unfair and biased. The Authority emphasised that it is an important function of the media to comment critically on party policies and actions and that this type of speech has high value in terms of the right to freedom of expression, particularly during election time. Political parties should expect to be subject to robust criticism and the Authority was satisfied the political reporter’s comment did not go beyond what could be expected during the election period....

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
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
Dawson and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-098 (9 December 2020)
2020-098

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item during the sports segment of the news showing an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight and one of the competitor’s injuries after the fight. The item was brief, and in the context of an unclassified sports news segment, within audience expectations. Viewers would have had sufficient information to exercise choice and control. Not Upheld: Children’s Interests, Violence...

Decisions
Drinnan and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-100 (14 September 2020)
2020-100

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Nation about the New Conservative Party breached broadcasting standards. The Authority found that the New Conservative Party was not a recognised section of the community for the purposes of the discrimination and denigration standard, and that the accuracy standard did not apply as the complaint concerned matters of analysis and opinion rather than statements of fact. The Authority also found that the New Conservative Party and Party members were not treated unfairly, noting that the scrutiny of political parties is a vital component of freedom of expression, and is of particular importance in the lead-up to a general election. Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Wills and Discovery NZ Limited - 2021-087 (13 October 2021)
2021-087

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the balance, accuracy and fairness standards. It noted the complainant had not identified any inaccuracies or particular issues of public importance requiring balance. It also found the two interviewees were treated fairly and the interviews represented what it expects of the media in performing its role of scrutinising and holding to account those in power. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
The New Zealand Forest Owners Association Inc and Discovery TV Ltd - 2020-111 (24 February 2021)
2020-111

The Authority has not upheld a complaint from the New Zealand Forest Owners Association regarding a two-part investigation into the impact of carbon farming and the Emissions Trading Scheme on rural communities, particularly around the East Coast. The items examined the shift from sheep, beef and dairy farming to forestry, particularly carbon farming, and interviewed locals as to their perspectives on the impact of this. The Authority found the period of interest relating to the issue discussed in the items was ongoing, and that balance was achieved with significant viewpoints presented in other coverage as well as within the pieces. The Authority also found they were not inaccurate as the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of material points of fact. Other inaccuracies raised were not material, or were technical, unimportant points unlikely to mislead viewers. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy...

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