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Decisions
Preston and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-011 (11 August 2021)
2021-011

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive The Authority has upheld a complaint about the classification and scheduling of an episode of SAS Australia which was classified ‘M’ and screened at 7. 30pm. The episode featured aggression, potentially distressing psychological elements and frequent coarse language (more than 35 instances or variations of ‘fuck’). The Authority found this content warranted a higher classification of ‘16’ rather than ‘M’, a stronger warning for frequent language and a later time of broadcast outside of children’s normally accepted viewing times (after 8. 30pm). It therefore upheld the complaint under the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards, as viewers were not given sufficient reliable information to make an informed viewing choice or exercise discretion. Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests Not Upheld: Violence No order...

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
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-131 (28 January 2021)
2020-131

The Authority did not uphold an accuracy complaint about a Newshub item describing a new solar paint product as potentially ‘160 times less’ expensive than solar panels. The statement was a technical point unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the item as a whole. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-115 (28 January 2021)
2020-115

The Authority declined to determine three complaints as they did not raise clear concerns capable of being addressed by the complaints process. Decline to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – in all the circumstances): Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Alcohol, Accuracy...

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
Olsen and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-055 (15 September 2021)
2021-055

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about an episode of New Zealand Today. The complaint was that an interviewee was treated unfairly, and the segment discriminated against and denigrated the elderly. Noting that comments concerning the interviewee were based on his individual actions and views (rather than his status as ‘elderly’) and that the discrimination and denigration standard is not intended to prevent the broadcast of genuine expressions of comment, legitimate humour or satire, the Authority found no breach of that standard. In the context, the Authority also found the interviewee was not treated unfairly. Not Upheld: Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-102 (28 January 2021)
2020-102

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a Newshub item interviewing two ‘dare-devils’ who engage in ‘roof-topping’, an activity which the New Zealand Police issued a ‘stern’ warning about. The Authority found the item did not actively promote or glamorise illegal behaviour as it was made clear the activity was illegal and ill-advised. The remaining standards either did not apply or were not breached in the context. Not Upheld: Law and Order, Children’s Interests, Good Taste and Decency, Alcohol, Balance...

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
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
Julian and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-152 (20 April 2021)
2020-152

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item summarising latest election poll results on Newshub breached the accuracy standard. The standard applies only to statements of fact, and the statements in question were clearly distinguishable as news analysis. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

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
Hoare and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-136 (9 March 2021)
2020-136

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm, in which Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall fund was described as ‘essentially his private slush fund’. The complaint was that this description was inaccurate and suggested illegal practices. In the context, given the public’s general understanding of ‘slush fund’, and the discretionary nature of the Duchy of Cornwall fund, the Authority found the use of the term was not inaccurate or misleading. The Authority also found this term did not undermine widely held community standards, and the balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Good Taste and Decency, Balance...

Decisions
Gibson and Discovery NZ Limited - 2021-096 (27 October 2021)
2021-096

A promo of Killer Couples was aired during the programme Drop Dead Fred at 7. 49pm. The Authority did not uphold a complaint the promo breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority found the promo was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress and did not go beyond what was expected in a PG classification. It also found the promo did not include any violent content as envisaged by the violence standard. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence...

Decisions
Derleth and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-109 (20 December 2021)
2021-109

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging an item on Newshub Live at 6pm lacked balance. The item reported on reactions to the sentencing of a person involved in the ‘coward punch’ death of a prominent Auckland kickboxer. A person’s sentencing is not a controversial issue of public importance, so the balance standard does not apply. In any case, it was clear the item was coming from a particular perspective. Not Upheld: Balance...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-084 (28 January 2021)
2020-084

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that statistics given in a news item about a drug used to successfully treat some COVID-19 patients were inaccurate. The statistics were drawn from a press release from the Chief Investigators of the medical trial and were materially accurate and not misleading. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Joubert-Buys and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-156 (16 February 2022)
2021-156

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint about the comments something was ‘hated with the passion of a thousand Christs’ and ‘for the love of God’. 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
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-005 (25 May 2021)
2021-005

The Authority did not uphold an accuracy complaint about a Newshub item describing a storm in Australia as a ‘one in 100 year storm’. The statement was a technical point unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the item as a whole. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Danes and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-140 (9 February 2022)
2021-140

A promo for Naked and Afraid of Love aired during the programme Aussie Gold Hunters at 5. 56pm on Three. The Authority did not uphold a complaint the promo breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards as it was consistent with the PG classification for Aussie Gold Hunters and was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-004 (25 May 2021)
2021-004

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a promo for Taranaki Hard. The Authority found the item was within audience expectations for a promo shown during an unclassified news programme. It did not actively promote or glamorise illegal behaviour nor was it likely to cause widespread undue offence or cause harm to children watching. Not Upheld: Law and Order, Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Hector and Discovery NZ LTD - 2020-120 (9 February 2021)
2020-120

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an episode of The Project in which Jesse Mulligan presented his view on whether New Zealand should ‘be more like Sweden’ in responding to COVID-19. Mr Mulligan stated ‘[Sweden's] number of COVID cases is actually going up, the virus is not under control and although their deaths are down, they're seeing more infections every day’. Mr Mulligan’s statement was not materially inaccurate and was unlikely to mislead viewers in the context, including given the wealth of other coverage and commentary available. The potential harm did not outweigh the right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

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