Public Awareness Survey 2023

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Date published: August 2023

Research Company: AK Research & Consulting


Every two years the BSA commissions a survey measuring the percentage of New Zealanders:

  • aware of the BSA
  • aware that they can make a formal complaint

This report analyses the results of the 2023 survey.

Consistent with previous years, we also included questions to measure public awareness of tools available to block content (filtering technology).

We note that the results reflect a long-term decline in awareness of the complaints process and the BSA, albeit that this decline has slowed over the past two years. We anticipate this is attributable to the continuing public shift from TV and radio towards other platforms (eg Netflix, YouTube). This saw linear TV’s daily reach fall to 56%, from 73%, of the population and radio to 47%, from 59% in the five years to 2021, according to NZ on Air’s Where Are The Audiences, 2021 survey.


Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed are aware of the BSA.

Sixty-one percent are aware they can make a formal complaint.

Pasifika and Asian people are significantly less likely to be aware of the ability to make a formal complaint, while Māori, Pasifika and Asian people are significantly less aware of the BSA, compared with the wider population.

However, awareness of the ability to find out about the complaint process is higher among Māori and Pasifika than for the total population.

Most of those who are aware of the BSA have a good general understanding of its role.

Ninety-one percent of New Zealanders either know for sure or assume they can make a formal complaint if concerned about the content of a programme on radio or television.

Unprompted, 29% of New Zealanders are aware of ways to restrict or block access on television.*

Awareness of filtering technologies in particular is higher for online platforms (and pay TV) than for free-to-air TV. Respondents with dependent children are more aware of, and more likely to use, these technologies.

The Authority will use the survey findings to inform its ongoing education and engagement work, and work with broadcasters, to ensure audiences are aware of the BSA, can access the complaints system, and know how to use filtering technology if they choose to.

* Information on the tools available to help audiences make appropriate viewing choices on free-to-air and pay TV is available on the BSA website and at