Annual Report 2022

The Annual Report 2022 outlines the Authority's key achievements over the past year and details progress against long term outcomes and objectives. It includes performance information such as complaint determinations and the Authority's financial statements.

A copy of the full report is available for download for the year ended 30 June 2022.
BSA Annual Report 2022 (year 2021/2022)

Introduction from Chair

Tēnā koutou e te hunga e whai pānga ki ngā mahi papaoho, ki a koutou hoki e pānui ana i ēnei kōrero, kā nui te mihi ki a koutou, ki a tātau.

Some honesty

Our complaint levels have remained high compared to recent years and many have involved a kind of vehemence not seen before.

In dealing with 185 complaints and issuing 173 decisions, the pandemic and coverage of it has continued to generate increasingly passionate responses. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the Authority has found broadcasters have correctly and accurately covered the vicissitudes of the crisis.

Some of our complainants think otherwise and have misused information to support their opinions. The Authority has taken a very consistent line on this, rejecting such misrepresentations through rigorous research while trying to understand the factors behind such complaints.

There is a difference between the right to share opinions and being accurate with facts. As Emeritus Professor John Burrows has written in his review of five of our decisions (four of which were COVID-related):

“Overall, the freedom to express opinions, and the richness of debate it can engender, is an important ingredient of a democratic society. It must be preserved. Even more important, though, is the freedom to supply and receive information. To be good citizens, it is essential that we know what is going on around us. Without the media, it has been said, we would live in an invisible environment.

But there is a crucial qualifier. The only useful information is accurate information. False facts are not only not useful, they can be harmful; in some contexts they can be extremely damaging.

“We currently live in a fragile world where that is the case. Seldom in living memory have we been confronted with events where falsity of information can cause such harm. Pre-eminent among those events is the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Authority couldn’t agree more. The co-regulatory environment in which the BSA works plays a key role in ensuring people receive accurate information from broadcasters that they can trust and use.

Our broader role

Given the above, we have had a determined focus on how we interact with broadcasters, stakeholders and complainants. We have worked hard to communicate important decisions and our research, engage more through training sessions and by making material available to audiences and broadcasters in different languages. Our strategic approach continues to evolve, with qualitative as opposed to quantitative outcomes increasingly important.

For the first time, in 2023 broadcasters and audiences will have one, simplified code to use for pay TV, free-to-air TV and radio. This is a major change, and we thank all those who contributed to the final product. It’s an important step as the review of the content regulatory sector continues and gathers pace.

The BSA is an advocate for change that reflects how audiences consume content. The regulatory system has not kept pace with audiences, resulting in fragmentation, gaps and overlaps. This will further erode people’s trust in information if the burgeoning issues are not addressed. It means we will continue to play an active role in shaping a more flexible system.

Operations and our people

While the workload remains high it has been a productive year. Our backlog and timeframes for issuing decisions have been reduced to their best levels in many years. I am grateful for the efforts of our small team and my fellow members for helping make this happen.

One of our greatest challenges, and one currently shared by many employers, is the retention of staff. To aid this, we provide a flexible, supportive workplace where everyone has a voice and is rewarded for good work.

However, we do face financial headwinds. This year we will post a deficit. It is slightly higher than forecast, but declining levy revenue and the increasingly competitive market for skills is creating pressures. We have healthy reserves, which will be used in the coming years to
maintain our services to meet high demand.

Again, thank you to all members of the team who have contributed so much to the year’s work. To broadcasters and their audiences, we thank you too for the crucial role you play in making the co-regulatory system work so well

Susie Staley, MNZM

A limited number of print copies are available. To enquire about a print copy, email:

A media release summarising major themes and achievements from the past year is available here.