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Decisions
Tily and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-047 (2 August 2022)
2022-047

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that it was inappropriate to broadcast images of spiders due to viewers potentially having arachnophobia. The Authority found the images were unlikely to cause widespread undue offence, and the introduction to the item gave viewers who did not want to see spiders the opportunity to switch off. The programme information and discrimination and denigration standards did not apply. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Discrimination and Denigration....

Decisions
Huriwai and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-061 (2 August 2022)
2022-061

A segment on AM interviewed the complainant regarding his documentary, Milked, which focused on the environmental impact of the dairy industry. Following the interview, the presenter interviewed DairyNZ CEO, Dr Tim Mackle, on the same topic. The complainant stated the broadcast breached the fairness standard as he was not informed of Dr Mackle’s involvement and he was not given a right to respond following the interview. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the nature of the broadcast did not materially deviate from what was consented to. The Authority also found the interviews were conducted fairly and the audience would not have been left with a negative impression of the complainant. Not Upheld: Fairness...

Decisions
Franklin and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-113 (20 December 2022)
2022-113

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that two items on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the offensive and disturbing content, and children’s interests standards. The programme included interviewees using the terms ‘shit’ and ‘holy shit’. Considering relevant contextual factors, the BSA’s guidelines on low-level language, and the expectation children are supervised when watching the news, the Authority found the relevant language was not at a level meriting regulatory intervention. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, and Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Findlay and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-078 (31 August 2022)
2022-078

The Authority has not upheld an accuracy complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm which referred to ‘countless drive-by shooting incidents in recent weeks’, in the context of reporting on community efforts to limit gang tension and violence in Auckland in the lead up to a Tonga national rugby league match. The Authority found the item was materially accurate, and it would be contrary to the right, and value, of freedom of expression to restrict such speech. Not Upheld: 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
Gilchrist and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-130 (20 December 2021)
2021-130

Following an interview with a COVID-19 vaccine advocate on the AM Show, the host noted Medsafe gave the vaccine the ‘same approval as everyday medicines like Panadol and Nurofen’. The complaint stated this was misleading and in breach of five standards, including the accuracy standard. The Authority did not uphold the complaint as the accuracy standard is concerned with material inaccuracy. To the extent there was any inaccuracy, it was unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the programme. The Authority considered the other standards raised either did not apply or were not breached. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Balance, Fairness...

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
Anderson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-122 (1 December 2021)
2021-122

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm report breached the accuracy and fairness standards by stating there was no evidence ivermectin works in treating or preventing COVID-19. The Authority found the accuracy standard was not breached as the statements were materially accurate and not misleading. The complainant did not identify a person or organisation said to be treated unfairly in the broadcast so the fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Hibbs and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-074 (23 August 2022)
2022-074

A segment on The Project reported on the discovery of the Smeagol slug in South Westland. The hosts took the opportunity to tease their co-host, Kanoa Lloyd, during the segment as they knew she had a phobia of slugs. The complainant stated the segment breached the good taste and decency standard as it normalised bullying behaviour and harassing someone due to their phobias. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the segment amounted to friendly banter without any offensive intent. Accordingly, it did not reach the threshold for regulatory intervention. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

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
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
Love and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-157 (9 February 2022)
2021-157

An item on Newshub Live at 6pm covering COVID-19 statistics opened by stating 8% of New Zealand’s population was currently unvaccinated. The complainant alleged by omitting the term ‘eligible’, this introduction breached the accuracy standard as more than 8% (at the time) of New Zealand’s total population was unvaccinated. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the segment was materially accurate and a reasonable viewer would have understood the reference to the population, in a vaccination context, to be a reference to the eligible population. The programme information standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Programme Information...

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
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
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
Morgan and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-035 (30 May 2022)
2022-035

The Authority upheld a complaint the broadcast of the crime-drama Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey, classified ‘M’, on Bravo at 7. 30pm breached the children’s interests standard. The Authority found the movie was inappropriately classified, precluding viewers from making informed choices for their, and their children’s, viewing. The movie dealt with strong adult themes, including sexual violence, and contained distressing scenes outside the ‘M’ classification. The Authority acknowledged the broadcaster’s steps in informing viewer choice, but found the movie should have been classified as ‘16’, requiring a later broadcast time of 8. 30pm. Upheld: Children’s Interests No Order...

Decisions
Singh and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-123 (20 December 2022)
2022-123

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the offensive and disturbing content, discrimination and denigration, and fairness standards. The segment referred to two recent kidnapping attempts, and asked for witnesses to come forward to help identify the alleged perpetrator. During the segment, a video was shown of the alleged perpetrator, who was described as ‘possibly Indian’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under any of the nominated standards, finding the broadcast was a straightforward news item; the language used was not offensive or disturbing; did not contain malice or nastiness; and was unlikely to encourage discrimination against, or denigration of a section of the community. The fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness...

Decisions
Taylor and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-024 (26 April 2022)
2022-024

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive The Authority has not upheld a complaint that action taken by Discovery NZ Ltd was insufficient, after it upheld a complaint under the good taste and decency standard about language and behaviour in a live interview on Newshub Live at 6pm. The interviewee was the father of Olympian Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, and was interviewed after her gold medal win. The interviewee used variations of the word ‘fuck’ in his response to questions. The Authority found the decision of the broadcaster to uphold the complaint, apologise and create guidance for live interview guests was adequate action taken given the nature of the breach. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency (Action Taken)...

Decisions
Livingstone and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-013 (16 May 2023)
2023-013

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a promo leading to a news report on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the discrimination and denigration standard in its use of the word ‘Aboriginals’ when describing Aboriginal peoples / First Nations peoples in Alice Springs, and for discussing concerns of rising crime in Alice Springs. While acknowledging the description ‘Aboriginals’ rather than ‘Aboriginal people(s)’, is no longer considered appropriate terminology in Australia, the host’s statement was made without malice or nastiness as part of a straightforward news report on rising criminal activity. The broadcaster also advised the complainant’s concern regarding correct terminology has been passed on to the Newshub team. The Authority did not consider regulatory intervention justified in these circumstances. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Judge and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2023-021 (14 June 2023)
2023-021

The Authority has not upheld a complaint an item on Newshub Live at 6pm breached the balance standard. The broadcast commented on Chris Hipkins’s first day as Prime Minister, and noted after only a few hours into the role, he did not have any ‘tangible’ policy to announce. The complainant alleged the broadcasting was biased, and unbalanced. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the balance standard did not apply as the broadcast did not discuss an issue of public importance, the complainant did not specify which balancing perspectives they considered were not presented, and in any event, relevant perspectives had been presented in the broadcast.   Not Upheld: Balance...

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