Statement of Performance Expectations 2023

This Statement of Performance Expectations (SPE) is presented to the House of Representatives in accordance with the Crown Entities Act 2004.

This SPE sets out our proposed performance targets and forecast financial information for the year ahead. It is produced in accordance with section 149E of the Crown Entities Act 2004 and should be read together with our Statement of Intent 2020-2024 (SOI).

The forecast financial statements and underlying assumptions in this document have been authorised as appropriate for issue by the board of the Broadcasting Standards Authority in accordance with its role under the Crown Entities Act 2004. It is not intended to update the forecast financial statements subsequent to presentation.

A copy of the full report is available for download for the year ending 30 June 2023.
BSA Statement of Performance Expectations 2023

Te Whakatakinga | Introduction 

This SPE sets out how we measure our performance, and reports on progress against our targets. Results against these and the longer-term goals set out in our SOI are reported in our Annual Report. 

Taking stock 

As we look to the future, we remain constrained by the past. 

In 2022/23 the BSA, broadcasters, audiences and community groups will have a revised Code of Broadcasting Standards to work with. It was created with their input to further reflect the modern environment and make the Code simpler to use. 

There are many changes, but there is consistency with previous formats. There are two reasons for this: 

  • The system has proven repeatedly that it works well, creating standards which are understood and adhered to. 
  • The Broadcasting Act 1989 has remained mostly unchanged for 33 years. 

Society, of course, has not stood still, with major changes in the environment in which the Code operates. The internet, and the technologies it has enabled, have led to dramatic shifts in modes of communication, and to the sheer amount and variety of information and content accessible.  

While there have been immense benefits, there is also much discussion and concern about the role these changes play in the spread of misinformation and disinformation, harmful material, polarisation, impact on ‘traditional’ elements of the media sector, like broadcasting, and on democracy itself.  

The technological change has helped supercharge the debates around numerous issues in recent years – how to deal with the pandemic being a perfect example. 

We are also a far more diverse society (more than 160 languages are spoken in Aotearoa) with a resulting range of perspectives and approaches to dealing with disagreements. This has been reflected in our research and decisions, which show quite different attitudes to issues like discrimination and denigration and good taste and decency. 

People’s habits continue to change at pace, with audience research consistently showing the shift from linear to on-demand consumption; from traditional to a hugely diverse range of information and entertainment sources. The question of who and what to trust constantly arises. 
It all means we are operating in a startlingly changed environment from when the Broadcasting Act was passed in 1989.  
Democracies around the world are beginning to confront the question of what kind of regulatory settings are appropriate. New Zealand is no different, with the content regulatory system under review. We have long advocated such a move and are focused on providing the lessons learnt from our system. 

These can provide some comfort – co-regulatory systems like ours work. Our purpose, free speech without harm, supports social cohesion and a vibrant democracy. We help build people’s trust in the information they receive – a cornerstone of how they interact with others, build and contribute their knowledge. 

Broadcasters play a crucial part in helping keep the public safe, providing them with life-saving information, shining a light on Government actions as well as delivering much-needed entertainment and distraction. 

The risk of damage to our democracy from other areas, which are not subject to some form of co-regulatory environment, remains ever present. While change needs to come, we will focus on providing a robust, highly responsible and efficient service which does its best to reflect New Zealand’s changing society. 

We will also continue adapting where we can within our existing remit. In particular, this SPE looks to refocus research spend on internal benchmarks, which have been very consistent over a long period of time, towards external engagement and education. We see this as a must given the continual shifts in the media market and audience habits. 

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