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Awareness of BSA, broadcasting standards and the complaints process remains high

The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has today published the results of its two-yearly public awareness survey. 

The survey revealed high levels of awareness of both the BSA and the ability to complain about broadcasting standards. The results showed that:

  • 89% of New Zealanders are aware of the BSA
  • 84% are aware they can make a formal complaint about broadcast content
  • 91% are aware they can take a course of action to find out how to complain.

This year, the survey methodology was adjusted to increase the reach to Māori, Asian and Pasifika communities. The results revealed good awareness, though slightly lower overall awareness levels, amongst these respondents with:

  • Māori at 82%
  • Asian at 72%.
  • Pasifika at 62%.

The survey also tested awareness and use of filtering technologies/parental locks to find out if awareness and use of these tools has increased. The survey revealed that:

  • There has been no change to general levels of awareness of filtering technologies since the 2017 survey (46% of respondents aware).
  • Depending on the platform, only 4 – 15% of New Zealanders know how to use filtering technology and personally use it.

BSA Chief Executive, Belinda Moffat said, ‘This survey is one of the key ways that the BSA tests the reach of its services.  It enables us to identify what else we can do to assist all New Zealanders to navigate the current content environment without harm.  These results show that while awareness of the BSA is high, more can be done to reach some of our communities.  We want audiences to know that the standards system exists, and that there are steps audiences can take to complain to broadcasters and the BSA if they feel that content may cause harm.’

In light of the results the BSA will focus on:

  • increasing access to its services by New Zealand’s diverse communities
  • increasing the use of language translations
  • working with broadcasters to increase awareness about tools that are available to parents/caregivers to manage content for children in their care.

The survey was conducted by UMR Research. The full public awareness survey report is available here.



For more information contact Catie Murray on 021 623 794.



The BSA is an independent Crown entity that oversees the broadcasting standards regime in New Zealand. The BSA determines complaints that broadcasts have breached standards, undertakes research and oversees the development of broadcasting standards in consultation with broadcasters.

The Authority members are Judge Bill Hastings (Chair), Paula Rose, Wendy Palmer and Susie Staley.