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Decisions
Anderson and CanWest RadioWorks Ltd - 2006-118
2006-118

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Radio Live – host described the late King of Tonga as “King, fat King, brown slug King, Tupou the fourth of Tonga” – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and denigratoryFindingsPrinciple 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheldPrinciple 7 (social responsibility) and guideline 7a (denigration) – comments were made about an individual, not a “section of the community” – not upheldThis headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast[1] During a Radio Live talkback programme between 9am–12pm on Tuesday 12 September 2006, host and Mayor of Wanganui Michael Laws commented that he had been amazed to receive a directive from the Prime Minister’s office that the city should fly the New Zealand flag at half mast to mark the passing of the King of Tonga, Tāufa ’āhau Tupou IV....

Decisions
Phillips and RadioWorks Ltd - 2009-152
2009-152

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989The Graeme Hill Show – included commentary from well-known atheist Pat Condell – Mr Condell made negative statements about religion and those who hold religious beliefs – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, controversial issues and denigration and discrimination standards Findings Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – Bill of Rights Act – not upheld Standard 7 (discrimination and denigration) – comments lacked the necessary invective to reach the threshold for encouraging denigration – not upheld Standard 4 (controversial issues – viewpoints) – segment was an opinion piece – did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] An episode of The Graeme Hill Show was broadcast on Radio Live at approximately 12. 55pm on Saturday 5 September 2009....

Decisions
Stringer and CanWest RadioWorks Ltd - 2006-088
2006-088

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Radio Live talkback – complainant strongly criticised the host’s approach in an interview with Georgina te Heuheu MP – after some two minutes of uninterrupted comment, the host cut off caller and, while declining to identify her, said that she had her own agendas and that she shouldn’t ring because it wasn’t appropriate for her to call talkback – broadcaster’s approach allegedly unbalanced, unfair and inaccurateFindingsPrinciple 4 (balance) – complainant’s criticism of host and host’s criticism of complainant were not controversial issues of public importance - standard does not apply – not upheldPrinciple 5 (fairness) – host’s critical response to experienced caller’s criticisms in robust talkback environment not unfair – not upheldPrinciple 6 (accuracy) – standard does not apply as exchange was neither news nor current affairs – not upheldThis headnote does not form part of the decision....

Decisions
Bowman and RadioWorks Ltd - 2011-129
2011-129

Leigh Pearson declared a conflict of interest and took no part in the deliberations. Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Prime Minister’s Hour – Prime Minister John Key hosted Radio Live for an hour – stated that it was an “election-free zone” – Mr Key interviewed Richie McCaw, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Peter Jackson – allegedly in breach of the Election Programmes Code FindingsStandards E1 (election programmes subject to other Codes) and E5 (opening and closing addresses) – broadcast did not amount to an “election programme” for the purposes of the Broadcasting Act 1989 or the Election Programmes Code – in any event the nominated standards were not breached This headnote does not form part of the decision. Introduction [1] Media Works broadcasts in New Zealand through two television stations and many more radio stations. One of its radio stations is Radio Live....

Decisions
Bowman and RadioWorks Ltd - 2012-049
2012-049

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Michael Laws Talkback – included discussion on a study which showed a link between domestic violence and animal abuse – host made a number of comments that were critical of the women who took part in the study and of women who stayed in violent relationships because of their pets – for example, he said that they were “morons”, “probably deserved to be abused”, and were “born sub-normal” – host made comments that were critical of the White Ribbon campaign – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, accuracy, and discrimination and denigration standards FindingsStandard 1 (good taste and decency) – talkback is a robust and opinionated environment – host’s approach could be considered offensive and provocative but was for effect and to generate a response – overall, programmes were balanced – contextual factors – not upheld Standard 7 (discrimination and denigration) –…...

Decisions
Berry and RadioWorks Ltd - 2011-018
2011-018

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Willie and JT – hosts interviewed the Prime Minister by telephone – one host joked that they were doing a phone interview because the Prime Minister used to suffer from polio and could not travel to the studio – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency standard FindingsStandard 1 (good taste and decency) – comments obtuse and clumsy – attempt at humour – comments intended to rib Prime Minister and did not extend to all people who suffered from polio or immobility – within broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] During the Willie and JT programme, broadcast on Radio Live on the afternoon of 8 February 2011, the hosts Willie and JT discussed an imminent telephone interview with the Prime Minister John Key....

Decisions
Bartlett and The RadioWorks Ltd - 1999-191, 1999-192
1999-191–192

SummaryDuring the course of the evening’s broadcast on The Rock on 28 June 1999, reference was made to a computer image of "a Dalmatian shagging a chick" and an All Black’s sexual orientation. The word "fuck" was used on several occasions in a broadcast on The Rock during the evening two weeks earlier – on 14 June 1999 – and a female caller who objected to being called "a dozy bitch" was told to "fuck off" if she did not like it. Mr Bartlett complained to The RadioWorks, the broadcaster, that it had breached the Broadcasting Act by using discriminatory, unfair and indecent language. He cited a number of specific instances which he asked the station to address. The station’s programme director responded that the show was targeted at an audience of males aged between 18–39 years and that its style appealed to them....

Decisions
Mazer and RadioWorks Ltd - 2010-021
2010-021

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Talkback with Michael Laws – host started discussion about the Star Anise Waru murder investigation – stated that the baby’s parents were “poster children for sterilisation” – included an argument with a caller who contended Mr Laws was promoting eugenics – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, controversial issues, accuracy, fairness, discrimination and denigration and responsible programming FindingsStandard 6 (fairness) – talkback radio is a robust environment – callers aware that Mr Laws could be rude to them if they disagreed with his views – remarks did not amount to abuse – not upheld Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – comments were rude and obnoxious, but not abusive – not upheld Standard 4 (controversial issues – viewpoints) – involuntary sterilisation of child abusers not a controversial issue of public importance – not upheld Standard 5 (accuracy) – comments were clearly…...

Decisions
RW and RadioWorks Ltd - 2008-111
2008-111

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(ii) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 The Edge – broadcast conversation with listener – hosts had told listener that she was not on air – broadcast her cellphone number – listener complained that broadcast breached her privacy and was unfair – broadcaster upheld the complaint – action taken allegedly insufficient Findings Standard 3 (privacy) – action taken insufficient – upheld Standard 6 (fairness) – action taken insufficient – upheld Order Section 13(1)(d) – payment to the complainant for breach of privacy $1,500 This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] On Wednesday 27 August 2008 on The Edge radio station, a telephone conversation between the hosts and a listener was broadcast between 5pm and 6pm. The listener expressed concern that the hosts were making inappropriate remarks about people from other countries, such as India and America....

Decisions
Drenth and The RadioWorks Auckland - 1998-129
1998-129

SummaryIn a prank telephone call broadcast on Solid Gold FM on 12 June 1998 at about 8. 25am, a woman was called by a man claiming to be her fiance’s boss and was told that he was going to be fired because he was sleeping with the boss’s secretary. The woman reacted with tearful remonstrations, but then admitted that she was having an affair with her fiance’s brother. Anrik Drenth of Wellington complained to the station that the call was distressing and offensive because it was malicious, and listeners were not informed at the conclusion that it was a prank. He noted that the woman had been clearly distressed by the news. In a brief response, the station advised that the call was a hoax and had been set up. It apologised if it caused offence....

Decisions
South Pacific Pictures Ltd and RadioWorks Ltd - 2008-017
2008-017

Complaint under section 8(1A) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Marcus Lush Breakfast Show – host disclosed the street address of the house where the television programme Outrageous Fortune was filmed – allegedly in breach of privacy Findings Principle 3 (privacy) – no “identifiable individual” – right to privacy attached to the individual not to the house – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] During the Marcus Lush Breakfast Show, broadcast on Radio Live on the morning of 11 February 2008, the radio host discussed the lack of famous film and television set locations in New Zealand that people can visit and pay homage to. He told viewers that he had received an email informing him of the street address of the house used as the fictional West family’s residence in the television programme Outrageous Fortune. [2] At approximately 8....

Decisions
Kinsella and Canwest RadioWorks Ltd - 2007-059
2007-059

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 Radio Live – host repeatedly referred to the Catholic Church as “the church of paedophilia” and commented that “the church is rife with paedophilia among its priests” – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, balance, fairness and accuracy Findings Principle 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – not upheld Principle 4 (balance) – broadcast did not discuss a controversial issues of public importance – not upheld Principle 5 (fairness) – the church’s representative was given a sufficient opportunity to rebut the comments made by the host – not upheld Principle 6 (accuracy) – host did not make any unqualified statements of fact – the accuracy standard did not apply – not upheld  This headnote does not form part of the decision....

Decisions
Lawrence and The RadioWorks Ltd - 2002-053
2002-053

ComplaintRadio Pacific – talkback – caller referred to Prime Minister Helen Clark as "a barren bitch and a sleeping homosexual" – failure to cut off caller – breach of good taste and decency – broadcaster failed to respond to complaint within statutory 20 working days – later advised the broadcast of derogatory comments against policy – host apologised and gave assurance that it would not occur again FindingsPrinciple 1 – personal abuse – unacceptable – uphold Principle 8 – no tape – no excuse – uphold OrderPrinciple 1 – broadcast of approved statement This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary [1] During a talkback programme broadcast on Radio Pacific on 20 September 2001 between 9. 00pm and 10. 00pm, a listener heard a caller to the station describe Prime Minister Helen Clark as "a barren bitch and a sleeping homosexual"....

Decisions
EF and CanWest RadioWorks Ltd - 2006-112
2006-112

Complaint under section 8(1)(c) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 The Edge – anonymous caller revealed that named person had visited a medical clinic – disclosed confidential medical details – allegedly in breach of privacyFindings Principle 3 (privacy) – highly offensive disclosure of private facts – upheldOrder Section 13(1)(d) – payment to the complainant for breach of privacy $5,000 Section 16(1) – payment of costs to the complainant $2,067 Section 16(4) – payment of costs to the Crown $5,000This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast[1] On the afternoon of Monday 9 October 2006, the hosts on The Edge radio station stated that they had “a bit of inside goss” from an anonymous caller who had previously worked at a medical centre for two weeks. The hosts asked “are you breaking patient confidentiality here or something?” to which the caller laughed....

Decisions
Ambanpola and RadioWorks Ltd - 2012-098
2012-098

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Jay-Jay, Mike and Dom Show – during segment called “The Olympic Athletes Hall of Names” the hosts joked about the names of athletes – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, discrimination and denigration, and responsible programming standards FindingsStandard 1 (good taste and decency) – comments were a light-hearted attempt at humour – focus of comments was athletes’ names, not their nationalities – contextual factors – not upheld Standard 7 (discrimination and denigration) – focus of comments was the individuals’ names and not their nationalities – comments were intended to be humorous and did not carry any invective – did not encourage discrimination against, or the denigration of, any section of the community – not upheld Standard 8 (responsible programming) – comments not socially irresponsible – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision....

Decisions
MacDonald and Channel Z Ltd - 2000-099
2000-099

Complaint Channel Z – broadcast of phone call to elderly woman about family member in lingerie advertisement – invasion of privacy – offensive FindingsContent of broadcast unclear – no tape provided – unable to determine complaint – decline to determine – warning about unsatisfactory complaints procedure This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary An announcer on Channel Z telephoned an elderly woman and asked her about the fact that her granddaughter had appeared in a lingerie commercial about ten years previously. This interview was broadcast on Channel Z at around 6. 30pm on 6 May 2000. Rory MacDonald complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s. 8(1)(c) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 that the broadcast breached the woman’s privacy. He maintained that the announcer’s questions had been provocative and distasteful and said he considered that they would have been highly offensive to the interviewee....

Decisions
Lochead and RadioWorks Ltd - 2010-031
2010-031

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Talkback with Michael Laws – host made comments that communities in the Far North of New Zealand were an “underclass” whose children would be “feral” and that welfare benefits should be given to stop them having children – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, and discrimination and denigration FindingsStandard 7 (discrimination and denigration) – talkback radio is a robust environment – host’s comments were extreme but encouraged discussion of a legitimate issue – did not encourage discrimination against or denigration of Māori in the Far North – not upheld Standard 1 (good taste and decency) – contextual factors – comments did not stray beyond norms of good taste and decency – not upheld This headnote does not form part of the decision....

Decisions
New Zealand Fire Service and RadioWorks Ltd - 2009-018
2009-018

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989Michael Laws Talkback – criticised comments made by the Fire Service after a house fire in which four children died – called Fire Service spokespeople “cocks”, “idiots”, “morons”, “arseholes” – allegedly unfair Findings Standard 6 (fairness) – comments went beyond criticising firemen’s actions in professional capacity – sustained personal abuse of individuals – unfair – upheld Order Section 13(1)(a) – broadcast of a statement This headnote does not form part of the decision. Broadcast [1] The Michael Laws Talkback programme was broadcast between 9am and 12 noon on Wednesday 7 January 2009. The host’s topic for the day was a house fire in Mangere in which four children had died and two adults were seriously injured....

Decisions
Beston and The RadioWorks Waikato - 1998-157
1998-157

SummaryAn episode of a popular sitcom, in which a character was portrayed using his former girlfriend’s name when taking his marriage vows, was discussed on The Edge at 7. 30am on 20 August 1998. Listeners were invited to discuss what they would do in a similar situation. One male caller said "I’d give her a slap around", to which the host DJ responded "That’s a bit rough mate, isn’t it?"Ms Beston complained to the RadioWorks Waikato, the broadcaster, that the exchange was offensive, and contended that the DJ’s casual response had tacitly condoned violence against women. In her view, the call should have been terminated before the comments were broadcast. She sought an apology from the station. In response, The RadioWorks advised that it considered the host’s response was a natural one which had not in any way endorsed the statement made by the caller....

Decisions
Cockram and The RadioWorks Ltd - 2000-114, 2000-115
2000-114–115

ComplaintRadio Pacific talkback – John Banks – misleading comments about Tranz Rail – unfair treatment of complainant – misrepresentation of complainant’s position on-airFindings(1) Principle 5 – complainant insulted and misrepresented – uphold (2) Principle 6 – Tranz Rail not an American company – upholdOrderBroadcast of statement This headnote does not form part of the decision. Summary Talkback host John Banks broadcast comments about Tranz Rail and its safety record on Radio Pacific during the morning of 6 April 2000. Then, during the 7 April 2000 morning show, Mr Banks broadcast comments about the complainant, who had written to Radio Pacific about the previous day’s broadcast. Tranz Rail’s Corporate Relations Manager, F C Cockram complained to The RadioWorks Ltd, the broadcaster, that the 6 April broadcast contained inaccuracies which related to Tranz Rail’s ownership and matters surrounding the death of a Tranz Rail employee....

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