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Decisions
Monaghan and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-029 (26 July 2023)
2023-029

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint that the use of the word ‘Jesus’ as an exclamation during an episode of Shortland Street breached broadcasting standards. In light of the Authority’s guidance on complaints that are unlikely to succeed, and previous decisions on the use of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christ’ as exclamations, the Authority considered it appropriate to decline to determine the complaint. Declined to determine (section 11(b) in all the circumstances): Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Buckingham and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2002-185
2002-185

ComplaintShortland Street – episodes about a child of drug dealer in coma having taken a capsule of cannabis oil – drug dealer said she gave child small amounts of cannabis oil to calm him as he was ADHD – offensive – encouraged illegal behaviour – inaccurate – unbalanced FindingsStandard 1 and Guideline 1a and Standard 2 – use of cannabis oil to treat ADHD child shown as unacceptable and irresponsible – no uphold Standards 4 and 5 – do not apply to fictional programmes – no uphold This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] The treatment of a child "Max", who had taken a capsule of cannabis oil was a story line in an episode of Shortland Street broadcast on TV2 at 7. 00pm on 17 July 2002....

Decisions
Gee and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1995-087
1995-087

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 87/95 Dated the 24th day of August 1995 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by LESLIE GEE of Christchurch Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED J Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod...

Decisions
Percy and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1999-118, 1999-119
1999-118–119

SummaryTwo consecutive episodes of Shortland Street contained a story-line about a nine-year-old boy, previously diagnosed with leukaemia, suffering a relapse and needing further medical treatment. His "mother" was shown receiving medical advice that his chances of survival with a bone marrow transplant were about one in ten. In the next episode, the child was shown bleeding profusely from mouth and nose, because his blood was not clotting properly. The episodes were broadcast on TV2 on 29 and 30 April 1999, commencing at 7. 00 pm. L D Percy complained to Television New Zealand Limited, the broadcaster, that the portrayals had a frightening impact on family and child viewers, particularly children who had returned to normal lives after receiving treatment for leukaemia. The depictions should only have been shown in an AO-rated programme, if at all, L D Percy wrote....

Decisions
Barker and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1998-172
1998-172

Summary Storylines which ran through five episodes of Shortland Street broadcast at 7. 00pm during the week 31 August to 4 September 1998, concerned the intimate relationships of three sets of characters. The first storyline featured the relationship between a 17 year old female and a 28 old male, the second portrayed a male character who was painting a nude portrait of his partner, and the third concerned a male character who manipulated a young woman with whom he wished to have sex. Ms Barker complained to Television New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, that the storylines were offensive because they portrayed sex outside marriage as acceptable, and failed to examine the damaging consequences of such behaviour. She considered that the programmes’ PGR classification and 7. 00pm timeslot were inappropriate, as many younger children could still be viewing at that time....

Decisions
Toomer and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1992-078
1992-078

Download a PDF of Decision No. 1992-078:Toomer and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1992-078 PDF270. 33 KB...

Decisions
Viewers for Television Excellence Inc and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2001-231, 2001-232, 2001-233
2001-231–233

Complaint Shortland Street – episodes involving – casual sex (one night stand) – the use of toothpaste to make a child ill – ending an episode with voodoo-inspired fear – adult themes – inappropriate for broadcast to young people at 7. 00pm FindingsStandard G8 – appropriately rated PGR – no uphold Standard G12 – classification evidence of being mindful of children – no uphold This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] Shortland Street is a long running fictional series broadcast at 7. 00pm on weekdays on TV2. The episode broadcast on 12 August 2001 included a central character having a one-night sexual encounter, the episode on 17 August raised the possibility of giving a child some toothpaste to make her ill to enable the mother to have a break, and on 21 August, an episode concluded with fear inspired by the use of voodoo....

Decisions
Barker and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1997-187
1997-187

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1997-187 Dated the 18th day of December 1997 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by GLENYSS A BARKER of Christchurch Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED S R Maling Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod J Withers...

Decisions
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and Bipolar/Manic Depression Society Inc and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2002-074, 2002-075
2002-074–075

ComplaintsShortland Street – character with bipolar disorder – portrayed as obsessive, delusional and violent – inaccurate – unfair – stereotyping FindingsStandard G1/Standard 5 – fiction – not applicable Standard G6/Standard 4 and Guideline 4a – fiction – not applicable Standard G13/Standard 6 and Guideline 6g – no discrimination – dramatic work – no uphold Standard G20/Standard 4 and Guideline 4b – fiction – not applicable Standard G21/ Standard 5 and Guideline 5a – fiction – not applicable This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] A storyline about a character with bipolar disorder ("Jack Hewitt") screened during episodes of Shortland Street broadcast on TV2 at 7. 00pm on weeknights from 3 December to 14 December 2001 and on 21 January 2002. During these episodes, "Jack" attempted to kill "Chris Warner", kidnapped "Rachel McKenna" and then committed suicide....

Decisions
Loder and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1993-064
1993-064

Download a PDF of Decision No. 1993-064:Loder and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1993-064 PDF262. 56 KB...

Decisions
McBride and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-029
1996-029

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 1996 - 029 Dated the 21st day of March 1996 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by MICHELLE MCBRIDE of Rotorua Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED J M Potter Chairperson L M Loates R McLeod A Martin...

Decisions
Denley and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2007-065
2007-065

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Shortland Street – contained a scene in which a character dreamed about a sexual encounter – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and children’s interests Findings Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheld Standard 9 (children’s interests) – programme was classified PGR – no nudity – broadcaster was mindful of child viewers – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] During an episode of Shortland Street, broadcast at 7pm on 31 May 2007, a scene showed two of the main characters, Maia and Mark, involved in a sexual encounter. The scene contained head-and-shoulder shots of both characters apparently having sex. The scene ended eight seconds later with the character Maia waking up and realising that the sexual encounter with Mark was just a dream....

Decisions
Aitchison and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1995-014
1995-014

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 14/95 Dated the 16th day of March 1995 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of a complaint by MARY N AITCHISON of Timaru Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED I W Gallaway Chairperson J R Morris L M Loates W J Fraser...

Decisions
Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child and Gliddon and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1995-032, 1995-033
1995-032–033

BEFORE THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY Decision No: 32/95 Decision No: 33/95 Dated the 18th day of May 1995 IN THE MATTER of the Broadcasting Act 1989 AND IN THE MATTER of complaints by SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE UNBORN CHILD and MERLENE AND JOHN GLIDDON of Waiomu Broadcaster TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND LIMITED I W Gallaway Chairperson L M Loates W J Fraser...

Decisions
Mclean and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-046 (10 August 2018)
2018-046

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During an episode of Shortland Street, one of the characters, Harper, used the exclamation ‘Oh, Jesus…’ to express her shock and disgust at a flood of sewage in her new home. A promo for this episode, broadcast during the weather report on 1 News, also included Harper using this expression. The Authority received a complaint that this language was blasphemous and offensive, and in the case of the promo, inappropriate for broadcast during 1 News at 6pm when children might be watching. The Authority acknowledged that the complainant, and others in the community, might find this type of language offensive. However, the Authority has consistently found that these type of expressions are commonly used as exclamations in our society....

Decisions
Chaney and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2013-029
2013-029

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Shortland Street – showed characters smoking cigarettes and dropping their cigarette butts on the ground – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, and law and order standards FindingsStandard 1 (good taste and decency) and Standard 2 (law and order) – footage of characters smoking and dropping cigarette butts on the ground would not have offended most viewers and did not encourage viewers to break the law – acceptable in context and relevant to developing storyline – behaviour not portrayed as desirable – well within broadcaster’s right to employ dramatic licence – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Introduction [1] An episode of Shortland Street showed two characters smoking cigarettes before dropping their cigarette butts on the ground. The programme was broadcast on TV2 at 7pm on 19 April 2013....

Decisions
Ngapo & Tolungamaka and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-099 (13 March 2019)
2018-099

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority has not upheld two complaints about episodes of Shortland Street, which followed the ongoing storyline of a threesome between a married couple and their nanny. The Authority acknowledged that some viewers might find this storyline distasteful and that some scenes and references might have raised questions for children. However, the Authority found that various contextual factors, including audience expectations of the long-running television drama and a warning for sexual material, prepared audiences for the likely content and minimised the potential for undue harm. The sexual material and references contained in these episodes were relatively inexplicit, with no nudity or sexual activity beyond kissing shown. Finally, the fictional sexual activity took place between consenting adults and no illegal or seriously antisocial activity was portrayed during the programme....

Decisions
Hall & Large and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-061 (10 October 2018)
2018-061

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Two complaints regarding an episode of Shortland Street were not upheld. In the episode a new character appointed CEO of the Shortland Street hospital commented, ‘Puffed up, privileged Pakeha men drunk on control, terrified of change… we are the future, Esther, not them,’ referring to the hospital’s management. Complaints were made that this statement was sexist, racist and offensive to white men. The Authority reviewed the programme and relevant contextual factors, including established expectations of Shortland Street as a long-running, fictional soap opera/drama, and concluded the character’s statement did not breach broadcasting standards. It found upholding the complaints in this context would unreasonably limit the right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration, Good Taste and Decency, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness The broadcast[1] A Shortland Street episode featured a new CEO, Te Rongopai, starting at Shortland Street hospital....

Decisions
Turner and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2008-112
2008-112

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Shortland Street – episode contained violent scenes – man hit another’s head on a rock – man hit with baseball bat – unconscious man put in car and car set alight – allegedly in breach of standards of good taste and decency Findings Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – programme contained disturbing adult themes and violence – unsuitable for children even when supervised by an adult – upheld by majority No Order This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] An episode of Shortland Street was broadcast on TV2 at 7pm on Tuesday 2 September 2008. It began with a car chase involving one of the central characters, Dr Craig Valentine, who was eventually forced off the road and down a bank....

Decisions
Holding and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-019 (24 May 2018)
2018-019

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An episode of Shortland Street featured a character using the phrase (according to the accompanying closed captions), ‘You’ve got no freaking idea…’ The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this phrase breached the good taste and decency standard because in the complainant’s view, the character actually said ‘f***ing’. The Authority noted that if broadcasters wish to broadcast sanitised versions of unacceptable words, then it is their responsibility to make it clear that it is not the offensive word that is being uttered, but rather a word which is distinctly aurally different. Here, where there was some uncertainty about what was said, the Authority did not uphold the complaint....

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