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Decisions
Francis and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2007-041
2007-041

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Sunday – interviewed alleged rape victim in high-profile police trials – discussed whether current system in New Zealand was fair to alleged rape victims – allegedly unbalanced Findings Standard 4 (balance) – item omitted crucial information about evidence in police trials which was highly relevant to the controversial issue under discussion – majority uphold No Order This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] An item on Sunday entitled “Justice Denied” was broadcast on TV One at 7. 30pm on 11 March 2007. The item looked at the issues raised by the acquittal of three former Rotorua police officers (Brad Shipton, Bob Schollum and Assistant Police Commissioner Clint Rickards) in respect of a historical rape allegation. The reporter noted that the three men had also been acquitted in the high profile rape trial involving Louise Nicholas....

Decisions
Hunter and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2004-158
2004-158

Diane Musgrave declared a conflict of interest and declined to take part in the determination of this complaint. Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Sunday – item focused on woman who had married Scott Watson who is in prison serving a life sentence for two murders – touched on aspects of the trial and conviction of Watson – used brief sequences from documentary Murder on the Blade? produced by the complainant – allegedly presented aspects of trial and evidence inaccurately and complainant argued that he had been misinformed by TVNZ of the use to which the sequences were to be put. FindingsStandard 5 (accuracy) – some statements made in broadcast inaccurate – upheld Standard 6 (fairness) – complainant not referred to in programme – not upheld No OrderThis headnote does not form part of the decision....

Decisions
Family First New Zealand and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2011-065
2011-065

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Sunday – item investigated the “purity movement” in the United States – after the item the presenter stated, “Well as you’ve heard earlier, the attrition rate is a big one. Lots of girls grow up and question the commitment they’ve made. It is believed that more than 80 percent break their purity vows” – statement allegedly inaccurate FindingsStandard 5 (accuracy) – presenter’s statement distinguishable as commentary on what was said in the item – exempt from accuracy under guideline 5a – not upheld by majority This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] During Sunday, broadcast on TV One at 7. 30pm on 3 April 2011, an Australian Channel 7 story, entitled “Thrill of the Chaste”, investigated the “purity movement” in the United States....

Decisions
Knight and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-028 (22 August 2016)
2016-028

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Sunday exposed the alleged mistreatment of bobby calves by some members of the dairy industry in the Waikato region. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item was an unbalanced and inaccurate depiction of dairy farming, and breached a number of other broadcasting standards. The Authority found the item was sufficiently balanced, as the perspective of the dairy industry was given both within the item and within the period of current interest. The item was not inaccurate or misleading in the ways alleged by the complainant; rather, it focused on instances of bad practice within the dairy industry and did not suggest these were commonplace. Furthermore, the item did not breach the privacy of a local farming family, as they were not identifiable or otherwise referred to in the footage....

Decisions
Thomson and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-060 (1 December 2015)
2015-060

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Sunday discussed AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd’s alleged unsafe sex practices with escorts. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item breached Mr Rudd’s privacy. The information disclosed during the item was already in the public domain and widely broadcast, so did not constitute private facts. The item also did not disclose any personal details about Mr Rudd for the purposes of encouraging harassment. Not Upheld: PrivacyIntroduction[1] An item on Sunday discussed former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd and his alleged behaviour with escorts, in particular his unsafe sex practices. The item featured an interview with an anonymous former escort who had been hired by Mr Rudd. The item also showed images of the outside of Mr Rudd’s house and boat....

Decisions
CA and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2019-042 (29 October 2019)
2019-042

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that an episode of Sunday about voluntary ‘DIY’ sperm donation in New Zealand, and in particular the complainant’s history of frequent sperm donations, breached broadcasting standards relating to privacy, fairness and accuracy. The Authority found there was a high level of public interest in discussing the risks associated with using DIY sperm donors, as well as CA’s extensive donation history in particular, which outweighed the potential harm to CA. The Authority concluded the programme did not disclose any private information about CA, and overall CA was treated fairly and was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment in response to allegations made about him in the programme. Doorstepping CA (approaching him on the street with cameras rolling) was not unfair in the circumstances, and he willingly engaged in a lengthy interview with the reporter....

Decisions
Helm and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2009-101
2009-101

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Sunday – item examined attitudes of “boy racers” in Christchurch and the efforts by police to curb their activities – allegedly inaccurate FindingsStandard 5 (accuracy) – item focused on the “boy racers” and their attitudes – did not purport to examine the issue from residents’ perspective – clear from the item that “boy racer” activities were noisy and disruptive – also stated that police were outnumbered and struggling to contain the problem – not inaccurate or misleading – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] An item on Sunday, broadcast on TV One at 7. 30pm on 31 May 2009 reported on the ongoing problem of “boy racers” in Christchurch and efforts by police to curb their activities....

Decisions
RZ and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-011 (17 May 2016)
2016-011

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Sunday exposed the alleged mistreatment of bobby calves by some members of New Zealand’s dairy industry. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that the item was unfair to the complainant and breached his and his employee’s privacy, and that the item was inaccurate and lacked balance. Neither RZ nor his employee was identifiable during the footage and they were not participants, or referred to, in the item. The item was also sufficiently balanced, as the perspective of the dairy industry was given both within the item and within the period of current interest. Comments in the item that the complainant alleged were inaccurate were clearly opinion and analysis and thus not subject to the accuracy standard, and the item was not otherwise misleading....

Decisions
JL and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-049 (30 August 2023)
2023-049

The Authority has not upheld a complaint an episode of Sunday breached the complainant’s privacy, and was unfair to the complainant, by broadcasting an image taken on the complainant’s property. The Authority found the complainant was not identifiable for the purposes of the privacy standard, and was not ‘referred to’ in the broadcast for the purposes of the fairness standard. Not Upheld: Privacy, Fairness...

Decisions
Seager and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2012-052
2012-052

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Sunday – interview with a man about the fate of his wife who died in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake – showed sequence of photographs as reporter stated, “As these police photos show, there were concrete cutters used on the western side of the building, but what about on the side [the woman] and four others were trapped?” – photographs allegedly inaccurate and misleading FindingsStandard 5 (accuracy) – photographs used to illustrate assertions, based on eyewitness evidence, that concrete cutters were available but not used – use of photographs not material in the context of the item – photographs would not have misled viewers in any significant respect – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision....

Decisions
Judge and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-026 (21 July 2020)
2020-026

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an episode of Sunday concerning the increasing population of wallabies in New Zealand was inaccurate and unbalanced. The Authority found that the balance standard did not apply as the segment did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance. The Authority also found that the reference to wallabies as an ‘Aussie pest’ did not amount to a material inaccuracy as it was unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the programme as a whole. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy...

Decisions
New Zealand Mounted Rifles Association Inc and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2010-016
2010-016

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) and 8(1C) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Sunday – item and follow-up item investigated a war crime perpetrated by New Zealand’s mounted troopers in Surafend in 1918 – reported how many people had been killed and questioned why the Government would not apologise to the victims’ families – allegedly in breach of controversial issues, accuracy, fairness, and discrimination and denigration FindingsStandard 5 (accuracy) – no material points of fact raised by the complainant – general thrust of the item was accurate – upholding the complaint would unreasonably restrict broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression – not upheld Standard 4 (controversial issues – viewpoints) – programme of historical interest but did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance – not upheld Standard 6 (fairness) – standard only applies to specific individuals – not upheld Standard 7 (discrimination and denigration) – New Zealand World War I troops not a section of the…...

Decisions
Willcock and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2009-056
2009-056

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Sunday – item about New Zealand’s dog breeds and breeders’ ethics regarding inbreeding – reporter visited one breeder at her home – allegedly unfair FindingsStandard 6 (fairness) – complainant was not given a reasonable opportunity to comment – she should have been informed that the programme would broadcast specific allegations against her – reporter’s approach was unfair – upheld OrderSection 13(1)(a) – broadcast of a statement This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] An item on Sunday, broadcast on TV One at 7. 30pm on 29 March 2009, investigated the state of New Zealand’s pedigree dog breeds and breeding ethics in response to an earlier programme which looked at the health of Britain’s purebred dogs. [2] Included in the item was comment from a dog-owner, Chris, who owned a bulldog....

Decisions
Boyce and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2006-121
2006-121

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Sunday – interviewed former SIS agent about its operation in the 1970s involving Dr William Sutch and representatives of the Soviet Embassy – former agent said that Dr Sutch had been a spy for 30 years – allegedly unbalanced, inaccurate and unfair Findings Standard 4 (balance) – programme did not deal with a controversial issue of public importance – standard does not apply – not upheld Standard 5 (accuracy) – statements clearly expressions of former agent’s opinion – not facts – not upheld Standard 6 (fairness) – no unfairness to members of Dr Sutch’s family – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] Kit Bennetts, a former SIS agent who had obtained High Court approval to publish a book covering aspects of his work, was interviewed on Sunday, broadcast on TV One at 7....

Decisions
HV and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2020-057 (16 November 2020)
2020-057

The Authority has upheld a complaint that an item on Sunday, featuring a family who complained to the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) about allegedly inadequate maternity healthcare following the death of their baby, breached the fairness and privacy standards. The Authority found it was unfair to name the complainant, HV, as the consultant obstetrician on the case prior to the HDC completing its investigation or making any findings. Singling out HV in this way had the effect of predetermining an adverse conclusion about their responsibility (whether or not that was the broadcaster’s intention), and the complainant was not informed about the proposed broadcast or given an opportunity to respond or mitigate any reputational impact. On privacy, the Authority found the fact HV was subject to an HDC complaint was information about which the complainant had a reasonable expectation of privacy....

Decisions
Staples & Claims Resolution Service Ltd and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2019-038 (30 September 2019)
2019-038

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that an episode of Sunday about legal proceedings brought against Claims Resolution Service Ltd breached the accuracy or fairness standards. The programme discussed the service provided by Bryan Staples and Claims Resolution Service Ltd to Christchurch home owners looking for help to resolve claims with their insurance companies and the Earthquake Commission after the Canterbury earthquakes. The Authority found that none of the statements made about the proceedings raised by the complainants were inaccurate or misleading. The Authority also found that the edited version of a phone call between Mr Staples and John Campbell that was broadcast fairly and accurately reflected the tenor of the views expressed by Mr Staples. Finally the Authority found that TVNZ gave Mr Staples a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment prior to the broadcast. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Two Complainants and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-074 (26 February 2019)
2018-074

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority has not upheld complaints from two complainants, a Christian organisation and its director, about an episode of Sunday which investigated gay conversion therapy and whether this practice was happening in New Zealand. The director, ‘X’, was filmed covertly during the programme, appearing to offer gay conversion therapy to an undercover reporter, ‘Jay’, who posed as a young Christian ‘struggling with same sex attraction’. The Authority found that the broadcaster’s use of a hidden camera in this case represented a highly offensive intrusion upon X’s interest in seclusion and that, on its face, this broadcast breached their privacy. However, the Authority found that the high level of public interest, both in the programme as a whole and in the hidden camera footage, justified the broadcaster’s use of a hidden camera....

Decisions
Wyn-Harris and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2017-047 (4 September 2017)
2017-047

Chair Peter Radich declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the Authority's determination of this complaint. Following the issue of this decision, the Authority received new information from a third party refuting certain allegations made by the complainant about, and descriptions of, the dairy farm referred to in the decision owned by 'B'. The Authority wishes to note that the descriptions of the farm owned by B used in this decision have been disputed. Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An episode of Sunday, titled ‘The Price of Milk’, followed a reporter as he visited two dairy farms in the Hauraki Plains. The reporter spent time with two farmers, A and B, to hear their perspectives on their work and the issues facing the industry, such as the impact of dairy farming on New Zealand waterways, abuse of bobby calves and financial struggles....

Decisions
Crossland and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2023-058 (20 November 2023)
2023-058

The Authority has issued a split decision in relation to a Sunday item which reported on a ‘silicosis epidemic’ in Australia’s engineered stone workforce and raised questions about New Zealand’s response to the same concerns, suggesting New Zealand is failing to address its own ‘looming health crisis’. The complaint alleged the broadcast breached the accuracy and balance standards as it misled the audience to believe the industry in New Zealand had the same regulatory failings as Australia, and was unbalanced as it omitted other perspectives on the New Zealand situation (for example, from the industry). The Authority did not uphold the accuracy complaint, finding it was reasonable for TVNZ to rely on the selected interviewee as a local authoritative source and spokesperson on this issue....

Decisions
Quayle and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2013-072
2013-072

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Sunday reported on a proposal by PHARMAC to decline funding for a drug needed to treat a rare blood disorder. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item was unbalanced and portrayed PHARMAC as ‘irresponsible and heartless’. The item was transparently an advocacy piece presented from the perspective of people who opposed PHARMAC’s proposal, in particular a New Zealand man suffering from the disorder who desperately needed the drug. The item emphasised that the high cost of the drug was the main reason behind PHARMAC’s proposal, and it contained a fair summary of a statement provided by PHARMAC to the programme....

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