BSA Statement of Intent 2023-27

This Statement of Intent (SOI) sets out what the Broadcasting Standards Authority | Te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho (BSA) intends to achieve or contribute to over the next four years and how it will manage its functions and operations to meet its intentions. This SOI is produced in accordance with section 141 of the Crown Entities Act 2004.

A copy of the full report is available for download for the year ending 30 June 2027.
BSA Statement of Intent 2023-27 

Statement from the Board 

As we plan for the next four years, we are conscious of the impact pending change may have on those plans.

We are encouraged that modernisation of the regulatory framework for media and online content providers is on the agenda and hope to see relevant legislation introduced over the period of this SOI.

The issues with the current regime are now very familiar: the confusing range of ‘regulators’ involved, the lack of a level playing field where different providers are not subject to the same rules and the regulatory gaps that allow misinformation and disinformation to circulate. The issues have only been exacerbated as Aotearoa New Zealand audiences increasingly move away from traditional broadcasting platforms, towards online information sources that are not subject to the same controls. COVID-19 brought the current regulatory gaps into sharp relief. The misinformation and disinformation which circulated around COVID-19 caused unprecedented social unrest and division, highlighting the urgency of reform.

It also drove significant workload for the BSA and for broadcasters as people influenced by misinformation challenged broadcasters offering more reliable content. COVID-19 related complaints (many of which were driven by misinformation and disinformation) contributed to a 52% increase in broadcasting standards complaints in 2021 and to similarly high numbers the following year.

In this environment, we are strongly focused on supporting the proposed reform efforts. We also welcome theproposed introduction of a mandatory news media bargaining framework which will help ensure the sustainability of New Zealand news media.

For the coming years, our goals are to influence change towards a new, future-focused regulatory model, while continuing to pursue opportunities to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our existing services and processes. Recent efforts to streamline and futureproof the current regime (eg the introduction of our updated concise new Codebook) will continue as will our work with broadcasters and the public to ensure they are aware of and understand how the standards apply and how the complaints process works. Regulation is only ever part of the solution, and our ongoing efforts to equip the public with the tools to engage safely with broadcast content will remain an important focus.

In addition, whatever changes are to come, our commitment to the principles in Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to the appropriate recognition, protection and support of the rights and interests of Māori as tangata whenua will be a constant. Accordingly, over the coming period we will continue our current programme to enhance our cultural competence and ensure we embed practices and systems reflective of te ao Māori and Te Tiriti principles.

New Zealand broadcasters are well positioned to facilitate the healthy cultural growth of our nation, driving public understanding, recognition and respect for Te Tiriti principles and the Maihi Karauna (the Crown’s strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation). We will continue to support this growth, ensuring the broadcasting standards regime supports and reflects the principles of partnership, protection and participation in Te Tiriti.

The impacts we intend to achieve are set out in the strategic framework in section 4.

The rate of change (both technological and regulatory) is unlikely to slow down in the coming years. We will keep this SOI under constant review and may refresh it if necessary. If our hopes around regulatory reform come to fruition, our next SOI may look very different.

Susie Staley MNZM

Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i, John Gillespie, Aroha Beck

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