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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
Stein and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-096 (9 February 2021)
2020-096

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a reference to ‘the heebies’ in a Newshub item canvassing reactions to Judith Collins’ appointment as leader of the National Party. The reporter asked then National MP Paula Bennett on camera, ‘Will this give Jacinda Ardern the heebies, do you reckon?’ The complainant argued the term could be interpreted as offensive slang for Jew. The Authority considered most viewers would have understood the term as common slang used to express a feeling of nervousness or anxiety, rather than embedding derogatory connotations about Jewish people as a section of the community. Given the ambiguity around the term’s origins, it found its use in the context was unlikely to encourage discrimination or denigration, or threaten community standards of taste and decency. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Hogan and Discovery Ltd - 2021-089 (10 November 2021)
2021-089

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging an item on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the accuracy standard. The item reported on inconsistencies and ‘a backdown of sorts’ regarding a discussion document on proposed changes to hate speech laws in New Zealand. The Prime Minister and Justice Minister were accused of contradicting each other and the discussion document. As the item was political comment and analysis, the accuracy standard does not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
McCaughan and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-166 (25 May 2021)
2020-166

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a news item reporting on the Rt Hon Winston Peters’ likelihood of not returning to Parliament after the General Election. The item did not discuss a controversial issue, so the balance standard did not apply. It was not unfair to Mr Peters, given his position as an elected public figure and experience dealing with the media. Coverage of political issues close to Election Day is not in itself a breach of broadcasting standards. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Kirke and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-020 (29 June 2021)
2021-020

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a remark ‘there will probably be some racists tuning in’ in reference to the English greeting following ‘kia ora koutou katoa’ during a comedy skit shown on The AM Show. The complainant alleged this was ‘racist’ and the broadcaster should apologise to ‘all English-speaking people’. The Authority found ‘English-speaking people’ are not a section of society to whom the standard applies. In any event, the comment was not directed specifically at English speakers, it was satirical and it would not have met the threshold required for a breach of the standard. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

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
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
Jones and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-006 (12 April 2023)
2023-006

The Authority declined to determine a complaint alleging an item on AM breached the offensive and disturbing content and children’s interest standards. The broadcast included the phrase ‘get the bloody hell out of here’. In light of the Authority’s guidance on complaints that are unlikely to succeed and previous decisions on low-level offensive language, the Authority considered it appropriate to decline to determine the complaint.   Declined to determine: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989)...

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
Kearins and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-137 (9 February 2022)
2021-137

The Authority has found a news item about a party breaching lockdown restrictions in Auckland did not breach the children’s interests standard. The Authority noted the public interest in the broadcast and considered the content was within audience expectations for a news programme. In context, the item was unlikely to cause widespread offence or undermine community standards. Not Upheld: Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Creedy and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-097 (26 October 2022)
2022-097

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding comments made by the presenters of The Project about Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth. The presenters asked Kanoa Lloyd, who was at the Sydney premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder, about her experience interviewing the actors and ‘which one was hotter’ of the two. Lloyd said she embarrassed herself in front of the actors as she was talking about Hemsworth’s butt in the interview and that she preferred Hemsworth ‘just because I've seen the full Chris, and that's hotter to me’. The complainant considered the discussion was inappropriate ‘in our current #metoo society’. The Authority acknowledged societal issues surrounding sexual harassment and concerns regarding the normalisation of female-to-male sexual objectification. However, the comments in this instance did not go beyond audience expectations of The Project....

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
Girardin and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-039 (9 August 2023)
2023-039

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on AM concerning the imminent arrival to Aotearoa New Zealand of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, breached broadcasting standards. The complainant alleged the broadcast was unfair, inaccurate and denigrated Parker by describing her as ‘anti-trans’, that such a description ‘could well increase the likelihood of violent antisocial protests’ at her events, and that the item was also unbalanced. The Authority found that, given Parker’s views, the description ‘anti-trans activist’ was not unfair given its literal accuracy, and the brief item did not otherwise breach broadcasting standards. Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour, Balance, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Benefield and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-069 (16 January 2024)
2023-069

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint that a promo for ThreeNow programme I am Jazz breached multiple standards. The Authority has previously considered similar complaints concerning the inclusion of members of the rainbow community, including trans people, in programmes and saw no reason to depart from previous findings concerning this matter. Decline to determine (section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, in all the circumstances): Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Balance, Accuracy...

Decisions
Bowkett and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-103 (21 December 2020)
2020-103

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding the question ‘How can anyone trust anything that you say?’ put to Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, following the positive tests of two women who were released from managed isolation on compassionate grounds. Dr Bloomfield’s answers to the question (which was posed twice) were shown on-air. Viewers would not have been left with an unduly negative impression of him. As a public health official he is reasonably subject to robust scrutiny, especially during a pandemic. The fairness standard was accordingly not breached and the remaining standards did not apply. Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Balance, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Poll and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-175 (28 April 2021)
2020-175

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that language used in Million Dollar Listing LA breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. The programme was rated G and broadcast at 2. 20pm on a Sunday. In the context, and given most of the words were censored and did not appear until the final five minutes of the 55-minute programme, overall it was unlikely to likely to cause widespread undue offence or distress, or undermine widely shared community standards. It was also unlikely to alarm or distress any children who were watching. The audible words did not go beyond what viewers would reasonably expect from the programme. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests...

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...

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