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Decisions
Smith-West and Discovery NZ - 2022-110 (20 December 2022)
2022-110

An item on Newshub Live at 6pm reported on artist Tāme Iti correcting the spelling of his name on an artwork by Dean Proudfoot. After the item aired, the host commented ‘fair enough. ’ The complainant considered this comment breached the promotion of illegal or antisocial behaviour standard by justifying Iti’s actions, thereby encouraging illegal behaviour (alleged vandalism). The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the brief, off the cuff comment was unlikely to encourage illegal or antisocial behaviour. Not Upheld: Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour...

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
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
Yuan and Discovery NZ Limited - 2022-044 (18 May 2022)
2022-044

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm report into the crash of China Eastern Flight MU5735 breached the accuracy, fairness, and discrimination and denigration standards. The complaint was in relation to speculation the crash might have been due to a deliberate act from the cockpit. The Authority acknowledged, while the discussion on the recently occurring tragedy may have been distressing to some viewers, the words were clearly stated as commentary, analysis and opinion, rather than fact, and therefore the accuracy standard did not apply. No discrimination or denigration was found, and the fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
O’Neill and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-085 (12 October 2022)
2022-085

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint regarding a broadcast including an interview with a lawyer who was represented as a ‘political commentator’. The complainant made several unsubstantiated allegations to the effect the lawyer was corrupt, and the broadcaster should have disclosed their alleged corruption. The Authority considered the complaint should not be determined in the circumstances as it amounted to the complainant’s personal preference on who should be interviewed, and how they should be portrayed, which are matters of editorial discretion not capable of being resolved by the broadcasting standards complaints process. Declined to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Law and Order, Balance...

Decisions
Dent and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-131 (7 March 2023)
2022-131

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm reporting on the results of the Transport and Accident Investigation Commission’s investigation into a fatal mid-air collision at an unattended aerodrome. The complainant alleged the broadcast was inaccurate and unbalanced in its reporting that ‘dangers’ (such as the non-compliant procedure that had contributed to the crash) were occurring at other unattended aerodromes. The Authority found the broadcast accurately reflected the results of the investigation and the broadcast did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance for the purpose of the balance standard. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance...

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
Wightman and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-060 (2 August 2021)
2021-060

The Authority has not upheld a privacy complaint about an item covering ‘an early morning street brawl’. The complainant was briefly shown in the item speaking to police at the scene of the brawl. The Authority found that while the complainant was identifiable, the item did not disclose any private information over which she had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Not Upheld: Privacy...

Decisions
Carson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2024-001 (20 February 2024)
2024-001

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint about comments made by the Political Editor on Newshub Live at 6pm, reporting on the first day of the new Parliament. Comments included that the Speech from the Throne sometimes sounded ‘like a National Party social media video’ and putting to Prime Minister Christopher Luxon ‘that’s National Party spin. ’ The complaint alleged this should have been identified as an opinion piece, and the Political Editor should be ‘unbiased’ and stick to news, not adding opinions. Declined to Determine: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Wade and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-018 (11 April 2022)
2022-018

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a joke made during the studio introduction to a report on a fire at The Great Western Racecourse in Victoria, Australia. The complainant alleged the comment ‘Well, the hottest tip in horse racing in Australia yesterday was “save your car from the flames” and it wasn't the name of a horse’ was mocking and in poor taste. The Authority found as the item itself was serious, no people or animals were hurt and the joke did not directly mock fire or property damage, it did not breach the good taste and decency standard. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

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
Frewen and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-115 (17 November 2021)
2021-115

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint, under the accuracy standard, about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm. The complainant alleged that analysis of a New Zealand political poll, including a translation of the poll results into seats in Parliament and the statement Labour ‘no longer governs alone’, was misleading, noting it was just a poll and Labour has a Co-operation Agreement with the Green Party. The Authority declined to determine the complaint on the basis it was trivial and did not warrant consideration. Declined to Determine: Accuracy (section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – trivial)...

Decisions
Greyhound Racing New Zealand and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-073 (31 January 2024)
2023-073

The Authority has partially upheld a complaint in relation to the accuracy of a Newshub Live at 6pm item about a person alleged to have harmed greyhounds. It alleged details about the accused were inaccurate and images of an unrelated dog accompanying the report were misleading. The Authority found the relevant details regarding the accused were not materially inaccurate. It found the broadcaster was correct in upholding the complaint initially in relation to the images used, but action taken in response was not sufficient to remedy the likely reputational damage to the handler and industry. The Authority held publication of this decision was sufficient remedy for the breach in all the circumstances. Upheld: Accuracy (Action Taken) No Orders...

Decisions
The New Zealand Forest Owners Association Inc and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-022 (26 April 2022)
2022-022

The Authority has not upheld a complaint from the New Zealand Forest Owners Association alleging an item about the sale of a sheep and beef station, Huiarua, to an overseas buyer breached the accuracy and balance standards. The Authority found no breach of the balance standard as the majority of the item was about the sale of a specific piece of land, and the period of interest is ongoing. The broadcaster also noted it would endeavour to include forestry perspectives in future items covering the issue. In context, it was not misleading for the item to not discuss the ‘special forestry pathway’ under the Overseas Investment Act, and the distinction between production forestry and carbon farming was not material to the item. While there were aspects of the issues discussed which were not included in the item, it would not have misled viewers to an extent justifying regulatory intervention....

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
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
Ashton, Hickson & Speak Up For Women and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-028 (9 August 2023)
2023-028

The Authority has not upheld complaints that the action taken by Warner Bros. Discovery in response to a breach of the accuracy and fairness standards – during a Newshub Live at 6pm item on Immigration New Zealand’s decision to allow Posie Parker’s entry to New Zealand – was insufficient. The broadcaster upheld the complaints relating to a clip of Parker, which the reporter stated had been blurred because Parker was ‘using a hand signal linked to white supremacists’. The broadcaster conceded that blurring Parker’s hands was potentially misleading as it prevented audiences from making their own assessment of the footage, and potentially unfair as Parker’s intention was unclear. The broadcaster removed the video in the online version of the story and replaced it with a clip of Parker’s position on neo-Nazis, which the Authority found was sufficient and proportionate action in the circumstances....

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
Sharifi and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-009 (14 June 2023)
2023-009

The Authority has not upheld a complaint a report on a demonstration against the Iranian regime by members of the Iranian community in Auckland breached the accuracy standard. The reporter noted demonstrators were also asking the Government to consider allowing 100 Iranian women to come and study in New Zealand. The complainant, who was present at that demonstration, considered this statement was inaccurate as it did not reflect demonstrators’ views and should have been attributed to the organiser personally. The Authority did not consider the broadcast breached the standard as it was reasonable in the circumstances for the broadcaster to rely on the organiser’s press release, which included the above demand, in reporting on the demonstrators’ demands. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Grammer and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-070 (24 August 2021)
2021-070

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the accuracy and balance standards about an item discussing the impact of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (the HSNO Act) on medical research, particularly in the context of COVID-19 vaccines. The item contained opinions from three scientists, which were not subject to the factual accuracy requirement and were presented accurately. The item was not required to include detail about how the HSNO Act regulated outdoor use of genetic modification compared to medical or laboratory use, as this was not material to the broadcast. The item also contained differing views, so balance was achieved within the programme. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance...

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