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Decisions
Green and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-051
2015-051

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on 3 News discussed a leaked internal report which reviewed the Labour Party's election strategy. Towards the conclusion of the item the reporter briefly referred to the recent installation of security doors between the Labour and National Party offices at a cost of $30,000. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item lacked balance on this point. The brief reference to the installation of the doors did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue of public importance in the context of this item, which focused on the leaked Labour Party report – so the requirement to present alternative views was not triggered. Not Upheld: Controversial IssuesIntroduction[1] An item on 3 News reported on a leaked internal report which reviewed the Labour Party's election strategy....

Decisions
Lee and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-044 (14 October 2016)
2016-044

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An episode of The Nation discussed whether colonial figures were still worthy of commemoration, particularly when their actions were re-evaluated against 21st century values. An edited version of the report also appeared on Newshub. Both items featured excerpts from an interview with historian, Dr Jock Phillips, who provided comments on a South Auckland memorial to Colonel Marmaduke Nixon. Dr Phillips described Colonel Nixon’s involvement in events that occurred at Rangiaowhia in 1864 as ‘an appalling act of genocide’ and ‘a terrible atrocity’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the items lacked balance and were inaccurate. The items did not purport to provide a comprehensive examination of what occurred at Rangiaowhia....

Decisions
Evans and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-092 (24 April 2019)
2018-092

The Authority has upheld a complaint about a broadcast of The DailyMail TV, finding that footage broadcast during the programme was inappropriate for the PGR classification and time of broadcast, and required an audience advisory for disturbing content. The programme was broadcast at 3. 30pm on a weekday, and featured partially censored footage of an American stabbing victim in the moments before she died. While the woman’s injuries were blurred, her distressed facial expression and blood splatters on the floor were visible. A second story featured censored footage of two 19-year-old women who claimed they had been drugged, filmed inside a bar naked and allegedly performing sex acts. The Authority found that this content went beyond what could be expected from a PGR-classified programme broadcast during children’s normally accepted viewing times and that the programme should have been classified AO – Adults Only....

Decisions
Tempero and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-011 (7 May 2019)
2019-011

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub item, which featured blurred footage of a child, was in breach of the children’s interests standard. The item reported on the conviction of a British tourist for stealing from a service station and featured blurred footage of the woman’s child as the pair exited a New Zealand court. The Authority noted that the children’s interests standard is designed to protect children when viewing and listening to broadcasts. Complaints about children featured in broadcasts are more appropriately dealt with under other standards. In any event, there was no material in this item that might have adversely affected child viewers....

Decisions
Frewen and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2017-091 (16 February 2018)
2017-091

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub discussed revelations that the pension of New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, had been overpaid for up to seven years. The segment featured excerpts of a phone interview with Mr Peters, details about Mr Peters’ press release and subsequent comments made by Mr Peters about the overpayments. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the broadcast was unbalanced and unfair. The Authority did not consider that it was necessary to obtain a copy of the full phone interview transcript in order to determine whether the broadcast was inaccurate and unfair (as requested by the complainant)....

Decisions
Davie and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-090 (1 March 2016)
2015-090

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The host of Paul Henry said ‘bastards’ when referring to phone scammers and said the word ‘God’ several times as an exclamation when discussing the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this language breached broadcasting standards. It would not have offended a significant number of viewers or adversely affected any children who might have been watching. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Discrimination and DenigrationIntroduction[1] The host of Paul Henry said ‘bastards’ when referencing phone scammers and said the word ‘God’ several times when discussing the 2015 Rugby World Cup – for example, ‘by God they are playing well’. [2] Craig Davie complained that Mr Henry used ‘foul language’ and was ‘taking the lord’s name in vain’, which was offensive and unsuitable for children....

Decisions
Martyn and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-042 (22 August 2016)
2016-042

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on the world’s first legally recognised Pastafarian wedding between two members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (CFSM). The reporter referred to the CFSM as a ‘spoof religion’, and stated, ‘Pastafarians believe that pirates are supreme beings from which all humans evolved, and it’s an official religion’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that describing the CFSM as a ‘spoof religion’ was denigrating, disrespectful and discriminatory. It took the view that the broadcaster’s reference to the Church as a ‘spoof religion’ was an opinion which was available to be taken and able to be expressed, and that the high threshold required for discrimination and denigration to be established had not been reached. The Authority also did not uphold a complaint that the reference to pirates as ‘supreme beings’ was inaccurate....

Decisions
Lowes and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-072 (2 December 2016)
2016-072

An appeal against this decision was dismissed in the High Court: CIV-2017-485-71. 12 MBSummary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Paul Henry about Independence Day celebrations in the USA featured an interview with the USA’s Ambassador to New Zealand. Prior to the interview, Paul Henry referred to the USA claiming ‘its independence from England’. He later quoted Margaret Thatcher, referring to her as the ‘Prime Minister of England’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Mr Henry’s statements were inaccurate and discriminatory in that he should have referred to Great Britain or the United Kingdom, rather than England. The item was focused primarily on Independence Day celebrations and the statements would not have affected viewers’ understanding of the item as a whole....

Decisions
Both and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-068 (1 December 2015)
2015-068

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on 3 News discussed New Zealand’s efforts to remove the veto power held by permanent member states on the United Nations Security Council. Both the presenter and reporter referred to a recent example of Russia exercising its veto in relation to a proposed tribunal to investigate the crash of flight MH17. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that the item was misleading and unbalanced because Russia in fact was supportive of investigating the MH17 tragedy and holding those responsible to account, but was not in favour of setting up a tribunal on the matter. The item was materially accurate and the reference to Russia’s exercise of the veto power did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue of public importance which triggered the need to present alternative views....

Decisions
Harvey and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-008 (7 May 2019 )
2019-008

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that comments made by Duncan Garner on The AM Show regarding Don Brash’s visit to Te Tii Marae as a part of Waitangi Day celebrations breached broadcasting standards. During the broadcast, Mr Garner made comments about Dr Brash’s potential reception at Te Tii Marae including: ‘good luck Don, nice knowing you and yeah I think you need security’, ‘hope you return in one piece’ and ‘Rest in Peace’. The Authority found Mr Garner’s comments were unlikely to undermine widely shared community standards and did not amount to unduly disturbing violent content, considering the context of the broadcast and the flippant nature of the comments. The Authority also found the balance and fairness standards were not breached. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Durward and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-031
2015-031

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A promo for Jono and Ben showed a parody of the Biblical event the Last Supper, in which the 'disciples' complained that 'Jesus' brought bread to dinner when 'Simon' and 'Paul' were 'gluten-free'. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the promo was offensive to Christians. Light-hearted satire of religious figures is a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression. This particular skit was not malicious and did not threaten norms of good taste and decency. Not Upheld: Good Taste and DecencyIntroduction[1] A promo for Jono and Ben showed a parody of the Biblical event the Last Supper, in which the 'disciples' complained that 'Jesus' brought bread to dinner when 'Simon' and 'Paul' were 'gluten-free'. [2] Lois Durward complained that the promo was offensive to Christians, especially as it was shown during the week before Easter....

Decisions
Woods and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-062 (1 December 2015)
2015-062

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A 3 News item reported on Labour Party leader Andrew Little’s response to questions about his party’s use of data allegedly showing the percentage of offshore Chinese home-buyers in Auckland. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item lacked balance because it was dominated by the political editor’s point of view. The item included balancing comment from both Mr Little and Labour Housing Spokesman Phil Twyford and it would have been clear to viewers that the political editor was giving his own robust commentary and analysis of the issue. Not Upheld: Controversial IssuesIntroduction[1] A 3 News item reported on Labour Party leader Andrew Little’s response to questions about his party’s use of real estate data allegedly showing the percentage of offshore Chinese home-buyers in Auckland....

Decisions
van der Merwe and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-015 (24 June 2019)
2019-015

The reality television series, Harnas Wildlife Rescue Camp, profiles various workers and volunteers and their day-to-day activities at the Harnas Wildlife Foundation (Harnas) in Namibia. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Harnas was being misleadingly promoted through the programme as an ethical wildlife sanctuary, when in the complainant’s view, the facility and conditions were inhumane. The Authority found that the programme was presented as a slice-of-life, observational documentary, which did not shy away from presenting difficult material and the challenges facing Harnas. As such, viewers were shown the conditions at Harnas and were provided with sufficient information to make up their own minds about the welfare of the animals. On this occasion therefore, the harm alleged to have been caused did not outweigh the right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Malone and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-087 (4 February 2020)
2019-087

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the use of the terms ‘synthetic cannabis’ and ‘synthetic cannabinoids’ in a Newshub segment that reported on these products, their availability and the fact they have been responsible for a large number of deaths in New Zealand recently breached the accuracy standard. The Authority found that while these products do not contain actual cannabis, the terms ‘synthetic cannabis’ and ‘synthetic cannabinoids’ are commonly used to describe them, both by agencies like the Ministry for Health and the NZ Drug Foundation, and also by the media. Therefore, the Authority did not consider it likely viewers would be significantly misinformed by their use in this broadcast. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Bamber and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-096 (23 April 2020)
2019-096

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a remark about suicide made by Mr Burns at the end of The Simpsons Movie was in breach of the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority acknowledged that the remark pushed the boundaries of the G (General) classification and recognised the need for broadcasters to take particular care when addressing subjects such as suicide. However, noting the nature of, and audience expectations for, The Simpsons as well as the nature and position (within the credits) of the remark, the Authority concluded that the programme was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress or to be unduly harmful or disturbing to children. The Authority also noted that there were no scenes of violence depicted. Not upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests and Violence...

Decisions
Davidge and Mediaworks TV Ltd -2020-068 (24 November 2020)
2020-068

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a segment on The Project, in which host (and comedian) Jeremy Corbett compared the time then National Party Leader Todd Muller and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spent thinking before responding to a question about whether US President Donald Trump is racist. The complaint was that the segment breached broadcasting standards by implying Mr Muller ‘failed’ by answering the question too soon and by comparing Mr Trudeau with Mr Muller rather than Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The segment was clearly intended to be comical rather than a serious political commentary. In that context it would not have misled viewers and did not trigger the requirements of the balance standard. Nor was the item unfair to Mr Muller who, as then Leader of the Opposition, could reasonably expect to be the subject of media coverage and commentary, including satirical commentary....

Decisions
AFFCO Holdings Ltd and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-050
2015-050

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Two items on 3 News reported on two cases of Talley's Group paying compensation to employees for work accidents at its freezing works. The items featured interviews with both workers and referred to their Employment Relations Authority (ERA) cases. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the items were inaccurate and unfair to AFFCO Holdings Ltd, the subsidiary of Talley's Group which owns the freezing works. The broadcaster was entitled to report key parts of the ERA judgments, and AFFCO was given a fair opportunity to comment. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness Introduction[1] Two items on 3 News reported on Talley's Group paying compensation to employees for work accidents at its freezing works....

Decisions
Cowan and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-058 (21 September 2017)
2017-058

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on the Government’s upcoming review of KiwiRail’s operational and funding models. The item featured interviews with Transport Minister, Simon Bridges, NZ First leader, Winston Peters, and Prime Minister Bill English. The reporter commented that KiwiRail had been a ‘black hole’ for tax payers and ‘a giant problem for this Government’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item was unbalanced and unfair to KiwiRail. Given the nature of the item, which was a straightforward news report about the Government’s proposed review, viewers would not have expected to be provided with information about the historic benefits of rail or the history of KiwiRail. The Authority also found that, although the reporter’s use of language could be considered critical, the item did not result in KiwiRail being treated unfairly....

Decisions
Richards and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-105 (7 April 2020)
2019-105

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a promo for Love Island Australia, which was available to view online on ThreeNow. The promo depicted the programme host, Sophie Monk and two others as angels sitting in the clouds. The ‘god of love’, a heart-shaped cloud in the sky, called down to Sophie saying, ‘we need more love’. Sophie responded that she had ‘the perfect place for falling in love… a love island’, in response to which the ‘god of love’ asked, ‘and what about hot bods?’ The complainant found the promo offensive as he considered it mocked Christianity and Christian beliefs....

Decisions
Hagger and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-032 (14 September 2020)
2020-032

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an interview conducted with then-Minister of Health, Dr David Clark, on his breaches of the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 ‘lockdown rules’. The complainant argued that the interview amounted to harassment and bullying, and breached the fairness standard. The Authority found that the robust questioning was within the scope of what could be expected of a public figure being interviewed on a matter of significant public interest, particularly given the expectation as to how politicians will be treated by the media. Not Upheld: Fairness...

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