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Decisions
Stark and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-080 (15 September 2021)
2021-080

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint about the use of the phrase ‘Jesus Christ’ by an English football fan expressing excitement during a news item covering England’s win against Denmark in the UEFA European Football Championship semi-finals. The Authority has found on numerous occasions the use of ‘Jesus Christ’ or similar terms as an exclamation does not amount to a breach of standards. Declined to Determine: Good Taste and Decency (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989)...

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
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...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-065 (23 August 2022)
2022-065

The Authority has declined to determine five complaints about different Newshub Live broadcasts under several standards, on the basis they were trivial, vexatious, or in all the circumstances, did not warrant determination. Decline to determine (section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – trivial and vexatious, and section 11(b) in all the circumstances the complaint should not be determined): Accuracy, Children’s Interests, Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Programme Information, Law and Order...

Decisions
Bowkett and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-103 (21 December 2020)
2020-103

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding the question ‘How can anyone trust anything that you say?’ put to Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, following the positive tests of two women who were released from managed isolation on compassionate grounds. Dr Bloomfield’s answers to the question (which was posed twice) were shown on-air. Viewers would not have been left with an unduly negative impression of him. As a public health official he is reasonably subject to robust scrutiny, especially during a pandemic. The fairness standard was accordingly not breached and the remaining standards did not apply. Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Balance, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Singh and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-123 (20 December 2022)
2022-123

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the offensive and disturbing content, discrimination and denigration, and fairness standards. The segment referred to two recent kidnapping attempts, and asked for witnesses to come forward to help identify the alleged perpetrator. During the segment, a video was shown of the alleged perpetrator, who was described as ‘possibly Indian’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under any of the nominated standards, finding the broadcast was a straightforward news item; the language used was not offensive or disturbing; did not contain malice or nastiness; and was unlikely to encourage discrimination against, or denigration of a section of the community. The fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness...

Decisions
Judge and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-021 (14 June 2023)
2023-021

The Authority has not upheld a complaint an item on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the balance standard. The broadcast commented on Chris Hipkins’s first day as Prime Minister, and noted after only a few hours into the role, he did not have any ‘tangible’ policy to announce. The complainant alleged the broadcasting was biased, and unbalanced. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the balance standard did not apply as the broadcast did not discuss an issue of public importance, the complainant did not specify which balancing perspectives they considered were not presented, and in any event, relevant perspectives had been presented in the broadcast.   Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
Huriwai-Seger and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-105 (16 January 2024)
2023-105

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm item suggesting Labour’s Affordable Water Reform policy encompassed controls over all freshwater breached the accuracy standard. The Authority found the relevant references to freshwater were inaccurate. However, in the context of a story about Mayor Wayne Brown’s concerns for Auckland ratepayers and call to action for National, such detail regarding Labour’s policy was not material to the audience’s overall understanding of the item. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Anderson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-122 (1 December 2021)
2021-122

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm report breached the accuracy and fairness standards by stating there was no evidence ivermectin works in treating or preventing COVID-19. The Authority found the accuracy standard was not breached as the statements were materially accurate and not misleading. The complainant did not identify a person or organisation said to be treated unfairly in the broadcast so the fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Love and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-157 (9 February 2022)
2021-157

An item on Newshub Live at 6pm covering COVID-19 statistics opened by stating 8% of New Zealand’s population was currently unvaccinated. The complainant alleged by omitting the term ‘eligible’, this introduction breached the accuracy standard as more than 8% (at the time) of New Zealand’s total population was unvaccinated. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the segment was materially accurate and a reasonable viewer would have understood the reference to the population, in a vaccination context, to be a reference to the eligible population. The programme information standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Programme Information...

Decisions
Taylor and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-024 (26 April 2022)
2022-024

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive The Authority has not upheld a complaint that action taken by Discovery NZ Ltd was insufficient, after it upheld a complaint under the good taste and decency standard about language and behaviour in a live interview on Newshub Live at 6pm. The interviewee was the father of Olympian Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, and was interviewed after her gold medal win. The interviewee used variations of the word ‘fuck’ in his response to questions. The Authority found the decision of the broadcaster to uphold the complaint, apologise and create guidance for live interview guests was adequate action taken given the nature of the breach. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency (Action Taken)...

Decisions
Livingstone and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-013 (16 May 2023)
2023-013

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a promo leading to a news report on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the discrimination and denigration standard in its use of the word ‘Aboriginals’ when describing Aboriginal peoples / First Nations peoples in Alice Springs, and for discussing concerns of rising crime in Alice Springs. While acknowledging the description ‘Aboriginals’ rather than ‘Aboriginal people(s)’, is no longer considered appropriate terminology in Australia, the host’s statement was made without malice or nastiness as part of a straightforward news report on rising criminal activity. The broadcaster also advised the complainant’s concern regarding correct terminology has been passed on to the Newshub team. The Authority did not consider regulatory intervention justified in these circumstances. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Samson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-010 (12 April 2023)
2023-010

The Authority has not upheld a complaint an item on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the discrimination and denigration standard. The item reported on the appointment of Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni as the new Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, and discussed the high levels of diversity in the top four positions in Cabinet. Later in the segment, the political editor stated ‘you can’t have two white guys from Wellington at the top in this day and age’, in reference to why she believed Grant Robertson had not been named Deputy Prime Minister. The Authority found the comments were a genuine expression of the political editor’s opinion, and 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
Findlay and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-078 (31 August 2022)
2022-078

The Authority has not upheld an accuracy complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm which referred to ‘countless drive-by shooting incidents in recent weeks’, in the context of reporting on community efforts to limit gang tension and violence in Auckland in the lead up to a Tonga national rugby league match. The Authority found the item was materially accurate, and it would be contrary to the right, and value, of freedom of expression to restrict such speech. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Franklin and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-113 (20 December 2022)
2022-113

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that two items on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the offensive and disturbing content, and children’s interests standards. The programme included interviewees using the terms ‘shit’ and ‘holy shit’. Considering relevant contextual factors, the BSA’s guidelines on low-level language, and the expectation children are supervised when watching the news, the Authority found the relevant language was not at a level meriting regulatory intervention. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, and Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Wellington Palestine Group and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-082 (8 November 2022)
2022-082

The Authority has not upheld an accuracy complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm reporting on clashes between mourners and Israeli police at the funeral of a Palestinian-American journalist in East Jerusalem. Footage of the events was accompanied by a caption onscreen stating ‘Jerusalem, Israel,’ which the complainant considered was inaccurate. The Authority found the brief caption would not have materially affected viewers’ understanding of the item as a whole and therefore the accuracy standard was not breached. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Maysmor and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-048 (21 July 2021)
2021-048

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about multiple images of needles and vaccinations being performed shown in two Newshub Live at 6pm items reporting on COVID-19. The Authority found the images were unlikely to cause widespread undue offence. There is a high public interest and value in news reporting about the vaccination programme. In the context of a news item, the images would not adversely affect child viewers. The balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Good taste and decency, Children’s interests, Balance...

Decisions
New Zealand Republic Inc and Discovery New Zealand Ltd - 2022-030 (6 July 2022)
2022-030

An item on Newshub Live at 6pm reported on the results of a poll with the question ‘When Queen Elizabeth II is no longer queen, should New Zealand break away from the Commonwealth and become a republic?’ From this poll, the item reported ‘almost half of us’ want to remain in the monarchy after the Queen dies. The complainant alleged that the question was misleading as it implied that for New Zealand to transition to a republic, it must also leave the Commonwealth, which is not the case. The complainant argued that the item’s reporting on the poll results as representing support for the monarchy, was therefore inaccurate....

Decisions
Vorwerk and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-158 (31 March 2021)
2020-158

The Authority declined to determine a complaint about the use of te reo Māori on Newshub Live at 6pm. Te reo Māori is an official New Zealand language. Its use is a matter of editorial discretion appropriately determined by broadcasters. The Authority declined to determine the complaint because the use of te reo Māori does not raise any issue of broadcasting standards. Declined to Determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Balance...

Decisions
HJ and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-110 (1 December 2021)
2021-110

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Live at 6pm concerning a car accident breached several standards by featuring images of dead bodies in the car wreck. The complainant believed there were dead bodies shown in the wreck, which they found highly distressing. The Authority acknowledged the complainant’s distress, however, after carefully reviewing the broadcast, found that no bodies were featured. In considering the images of the car wreck shown, the Authority considered that the footage was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress, or undermine widely shared community standards, so the good taste and decency standard was not breached. It further found that an audience advisory was not required, and the programme information standard was not breached. The balance, accuracy, privacy, and fairness standards did not apply or were not breached....

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