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Decisions
Eliott and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-062 (18 November 2019)
2019-062

During an episode of Newshub, political editor Tova O’Brien used the term ‘SNAFU’ in reference to a plane the Prime Minister was supposed to be on breaking down. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the use of the term ‘SNAFU’ was unacceptable and a breach of the good taste and decency standard. The Authority found that, taking into account relevant contextual factors, including the nature of the programme, audience expectations of Newshub and the fact that the offensive word implied was not explicitly stated in the broadcast, the use of ‘SNAFU’ did not threaten community norms of good taste and decency, or justify restricting the right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
DV and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-021 (18 July 2019)
2019-021

The Authority has not upheld a privacy complaint about items on Newshub and The AM Show, which reported on a Police raid of a gang house and featured footage of the complainant’s property, with the house number blurred. The Authority found that the privacy standard did not apply in this case, as the complainant was not identifiable in the broadcast and no private information or material was disclosed about them. As the house was only filmed to the extent visible from the street, the broadcaster did not intrude upon the complainant’s interest in solitude or seclusion in a way that was highly offensive. The Authority recognised the public interest in the broadcast and found that the harm alleged to have been caused by the complainant did not outweigh the right to freedom of expression.   Not Upheld: Privacy  ...

Decisions
Sheerin and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-018 (26 May 2017)
2017-018

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Four items on Newshub featured stories related to the United Kingdom and/or the British Royal Family. The Authority did not uphold complaints that the Newshub items and the reporters’ comments were biased, unfair and derogatory towards the United Kingdom and/or members of the British Royal Family. The Authority found that the news reports did not contain any material which discriminated against or denigrated any section of the community, or which could be said to be unfair to members of the British Royal Family. The items also did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance which triggered the requirement for balancing perspectives to be given, and did not raise accuracy or programme information issues....

Decisions
Abel and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-004 (7 May 2019)
2019-004

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a news item on Newshub Live at 6pm was insensitive and encouraged the denigration of Christians. The item covered the controversy around an Australian advertisement, which featured two Roman soldiers asking Jesus on the cross to consent to organ donation via an app. The Authority found that while the advertisement made light of the crucifixion, the news item itself was a balanced discussion of the controversy that did not contain any statements encouraging the denigration of, or discrimination against, Christians.   Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Miller and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-089 (15 December 2017)
2017-089

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A segment on Newshub during the election period featured a political reporter discussing the potential factors behind the Labour Party’s drop in the Newshub election poll. During the segment the reporter stated that the National Party’s claim that Labour would increase income tax if elected was a ‘lie’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this comment was unfair and biased. The Authority emphasised that it is an important function of the media to comment critically on party policies and actions and that this type of speech has high value in terms of the right to freedom of expression, particularly during election time. Political parties should expect to be subject to robust criticism and the Authority was satisfied the political reporter’s comment did not go beyond what could be expected during the election period....

Decisions
Pask and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-057 (18 November 2019)
2019-057

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Live at 6pm concerning US immigration breached the good taste and decency and balance standards. The complaint was that showing the bodies of a toddler and her father who drowned while trying to enter the US was gratuitous, and that the item’s coverage of migrant detention camps and interviews with protestors outside were unbalanced as no comment was included from US authorities. The Authority found that including the images of dead bodies was justified in the public interest, and the warning preceding them was sufficient to enable viewers to exercise choice and control over their viewing, so there was no breach of good taste and decency....

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
XD and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2018-102C-D (13 March 2019)
2018-102C-D

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A complaint regarding two broadcasts, relating to threats to public officials over the Government’s use of 1080 (including footage of an anti-1080 protest featuring the complainant), was not upheld. The Authority found the use of the footage, in segments on Newshub and The AM Show, did not result in any unfairness to the complainant. The Authority considered these broadcasts did not link the complainant, or the majority of anti-1080 protestors, to the threats, as both broadcasts stated that the threatening behaviour was from the fringes of the movement. The Authority determined that the audience was therefore unlikely to be misled or misinformed. The Authority also found a comment made by host Duncan Garner during The AM Show segment, implying Willie Apiata should be sent to harm the people who made the threats, did not breach broadcasting standards....

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
Lowes and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-064 (16 December 2019)
2019-064

During a segment on The AM Show that discussed immigration to New Zealand host Mark Richardson said: ‘we’re clearly not getting enough English immigrants to become traffic officers’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Mr Richardson’s comment was discriminatory to nationalities that are ‘not English’ in breach of the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority found the complainant did not identify a ‘section of the community’ for the purposes of the standard. The Authority also found that, considering audience expectations of The AM Show and Mr Richardson, the light-hearted nature of the comment and other contextual factors, the comment did not reach the threshold required to be considered discriminatory or denigratory. Not Upheld: Discrimination and denigration...

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
Hurley and MediaWorks TV Ltd - ID2018-068 (19 September 2018)
ID2018-068

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority declined jurisdiction to accept and consider a complaint referral about a video uploaded to video-sharing website platform YouTube, which featured clips from a broadcast of The Project. The Authority noted that its jurisdiction, which is prescribed under the Broadcasting Act 1989, is limited to consideration of formal complaints about television and radio broadcasts. In this case, the complainant was concerned about content uploaded to YouTube and edited by a third party. The content of the video predominantly comprised commentary by that third party. The Authority therefore did not have jurisdiction to accept and consider the complaint referral. Declined Jurisdiction  The YouTube video[1] A video uploaded to video-sharing website platform YouTube featured a woman’s response to New Zealand media coverage of an upcoming visit from speakers Stefan Molyneux and Laura Southern....

Decisions
Dawson and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-098 (9 December 2020)
2020-098

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item during the sports segment of the news showing an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight and one of the competitor’s injuries after the fight. The item was brief, and in the context of an unclassified sports news segment, within audience expectations. Viewers would have had sufficient information to exercise choice and control. Not Upheld: Children’s Interests, Violence...

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
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
Wilkinson and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-057 (1 December 2015)
2015-057

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Paul Henry featured an interview with the president of the Police Association about assaults on police and the debate about whether to arm front-line police officers with tasers. Towards the start of the interview, Mr Henry said, ‘The numbers are truly extraordinary, aren’t they? Violent attacks on police officers are definitely going up’. The Authority upheld a complaint that this comment was inaccurate, as the number of assaults on police officers was actually decreasing. However, it did not uphold a complaint that the item was unbalanced, as MediaWorks made reasonable efforts to provide balance on the issue of taser carriage by police within the period of current interest....

Decisions
Reekie and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-017 (18 July 2019)
2019-017

During a segment on The AM Show, host Duncan Garner referred to an individual as a ‘woolly woofter’. A complaint that the use of this term breached broadcasting standards, as it was homophobic and offensive, was not upheld. The Authority found that, while some viewers may have found the term inappropriate or offensive, the use of the term was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or seriously violate community norms. In the context of the programme, upholding the complaint would unreasonably restrict the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Law and Order...

Decisions
Wildman and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-075 (4 May 2016)
2015-075

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on Story investigated an alleged issue within the Auckland property market. It was introduced: ‘Some real estate agents are helping investors and traders… get the houses first [before auction]’. An actor approached different real estate agencies and asked agents to sell him properties for investment prior to auction and at a lower price, which the presenter claimed would be in breach of the industry code. Amy Wildman, one of the agents approached, was filmed with a hidden camera apparently agreeing to sell a property prior to auction. The Authority upheld a complaint from Ms Wildman that she was treated unfairly. The broadcast was damaging to Ms Wildman and did not fairly represent her position, and the use of the hidden camera footage was, on balance, not justified by public interest considerations....

Decisions
Ministry for Primary Industries and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2016-092 (15 May 2017)
2016-092

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Newshub broadcast a story about the outcome of a review by Michael Heron QC of Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) fisheries prosecution decisions. The reporter referred to the resignations of two senior MPI officials, implying that the resignations were connected to the outcome of the Heron review. The Authority upheld the complaint that the broadcast was unfair. The item reflected negatively on the two individuals’ professional reputations and had the potential to adversely affect them. In the interests of fairness, the broadcaster should have given the individuals affected a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations, which did not occur. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item breached the accuracy standard, as it found the broadcaster had made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy by relying on sources which it satisfied itself were credible....

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....

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