Labour Party advertisement concerning the National Party's health and defence policies. Complaint that created false impression. Not upheld (accuracy of election programme).
2ZB. Labour Party advertisement alleged the National Party would abolish weekend pay rates by that Christmas. Upheld (accuracy of election programme). Order (broadcast of statement to correct false impression).
Election advertisement for Labour Party. Accuracy, and Standard E1 of the Election Programmes Code, upheld. Fairness, not upheld. No order,
Prime Minister’s Hour. Prime Minister John Key hosted Radio Live for an hour on 30 September 2011, two months out from the General Election. Allegedly in breach of the Election Programmes Code. Not upheld (Standards E1- election programmes subject to other Codes, E3 – denigration, and E4 – misleading programmes).
Decision 93. Report on TV One about outcome of that day's general election. Complaint by the Christian Heritage Party about its coverage in the results and during the campaign. Upheld: majority (balance, one minor aspect about TVNZ's presentation of the electorate results). Not upheld (balance, substance of the complaint; accuracy). No order.
The Ralston Group. Comments about Christian Heritage Party and scenes from a nudist camp. Not upheld (good taste and decency, balance, accuracy, discrimination and denigration).
National Party election advertisement. Focused on the tax policies of other parties. Not upheld (accuracy).
One Network News. Item reported on results of a poll of voters one month before the Taranaki–King Country by-election. Complaint that the poll was misleading both in the way it was presented, and in the questions asked of voters. Not upheld (balance, accuracy).
Assignment, Meet the Press. The first of these programmes profiled and analysed three of the minor political parties, the second interviewed the leaders of two of these parties. The New Zealand Conservative Party complained about not being included. Not upheld (balance, accuracy).
Niu FM. Interview with Adi Asenaca. Balance, social responsibility. No recording available. Declined to determine complaint under s11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.
Niu FM. Situation in Fiji. Social responsibility. Not upheld. Balance. Action taken insufficient. Upheld. Order (broadcast statement).
A special investigation on Native Affairs reported the concerns of some members of Kōhanga Reo about the governance and management of Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust. The report focused on allegations that the trust board had too much power and not enough accountability, and its alleged mismanagement of public funds. The Authority did not uphold the complaint from the trust board that the story was inaccurate, unfair and unbalanced. The story had very high public interest and was a legitimate investigation of the financial activities of the trust and its subsidiary, Te Pātaka Ōhanga. The story was largely framed as being from the perspective of the interviewees, and the trust was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond to the claims made.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Controversial Issues, Fairness
Aotearoa National Maori Radio. Broadcast of angry and obscene talkback interchange was relayed to a number of iwi radio stations, including Te Upoko o Te Ika (Wellington), which complained that the exchange breached broadcasting standards. Upheld (good taste and decency): action taken insufficient. Orders ($5,000 costs to Crown, broadcast of apology and summary of decision).
60 Minutes: "Cry Rape". item examined the impact on a young man of a false accusation of rape. Not upheld (balance, fairness, responsible programming).
Two complaints about Heather du Plessis-Allan’s use of the term ‘leeches’ to describe the Pacific Islands during Wellington Mornings with Heather du Plessis-Allan were upheld, under both the good taste and decency and discrimination and denigration standards. The Authority recognised the important role talkback radio plays in fostering open discourse and debate in society. However, the Authority found Ms du Plessis-Allan’s comments went beyond what is acceptable in a talkback environment, considering the use of language that was inflammatory, devalued the reputation of Pasifika people within New Zealand and had the potential to cause widespread offence and distress.
Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration
Not Upheld: Children’s Interests, Law and Order, Balance, Accuracy, Fairness
Orders: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement; Section16(4) – $3,000 costs to the Crown
The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the song Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love breached broadcasting standards. The complaint was that the song lyrics described an ‘intention to stalk, kidnap, imprison and rape’ and the song was inappropriate to broadcast in the afternoon. The Authority determined that the song’s satirical nature and upbeat style reduced the potential for the darker tone of the lyrics to cause harm. The song was within audience expectations for the eclectic music selection of the host programme, Matinee Idle and, taking into account the context of the broadcast, the lyrics did not undermine widely shared community standards and would not have unduly harmed child listeners.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration
The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a segment on Morning Report about the release of the Department of Corrections’ strategy ‘Hōkai Rangi’, aimed at reducing the proportion of Māori in prisons, breached the balance standard. The broadcast included a pre-recorded interview with Corrections Minister, Hon Kelvin Davis, followed by a discussion between host Susie Ferguson and guests Sir Kim Workman and Julia Whaipooti about the issues for Māori in the corrections system and whether the strategy would help to address these. The following morning, the National Party’s Corrections spokesperson David Bennett was interviewed on Morning Report about why the National Party was critical of the strategy. The complaint was that the interview with Sir Kim and Ms Whaipooti was unbalanced and one-sided. The Authority found that sufficient balance was achieved taking into account: the signalled approach of the discussion with these two individuals (which focused on the perspectives of people with expertise in justice reform and Māori experiences in the corrections system); the follow up interview with Mr Bennett who gave an alternative perspective; and significant media coverage of the issue within the period of current interest, which enabled the audience to arrive at an informed and reasoned opinion on the strategy.
Not Upheld: Balance
The Authority has upheld a complaint that comments made by Mike Hosking during his ‘Mike’s Minute’ segment were misleading in breach of the accuracy standard. Mr Hosking made statements referring to death-rate statistics in Italy related to COVID-19, including that ‘99.2% percent died with underlying health issues. In other words, the very things that were killing them anyway, at over 1,600 per day’. The Authority found the comments were misleading as the broadcaster conflated its own conclusions, drawn from a study into Italy’s COVID-19 figures, with the figure of 1,600 deaths per day, which was based on 2018 population data and ignored both cause of death and the notion of ‘excess mortality’. In this respect, the Authority emphasised the importance of data literacy among broadcasters and journalists, to ensure statistics are not misinterpreted or misrepresented. Finally, the Authority found the comments about people with ‘underlying health conditions’ did not reach the high threshold for finding a breach of the discrimination and denigration standard.
Upheld: Accuracy. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration.
The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a 1 News segment that discussed allegations and criticisms about the operations of the Tongan Health Society. The segment featured interviews with former employees and Board members who criticised the management of the Society, its CEO Dr Glenn Doherty, and called for an independent review of the Society. The Authority found that the requirements of the fairness and balance standards were met as TVNZ had taken reasonable steps to seek, and then adequately presented, the Society’s point of view on the issues raised in the programme. The Authority found the disclosure of the CEO’s request for a bonus and extracts from correspondence between the CEO and Board relating to this amounted to a breach of privacy, but determined that the defence of public interest applied on this occasion.
Not Upheld: Balance Fairness, Accuracy, Privacy
Checkpoint item reported on a rally was held in Wellington protesting against some of the government's policies. The speakers included Maxine Gay of the NZ Trade Union Federation. Comments from the speeches of the three other speakers were included in the item. Complaint that the omission of any reference to Ms Gay, and the omission of her significant contribution, breached the balance and accuracy standards. Not upheld (balance, accuracy).