The BSA was set up under the Broadcasting Act 1989 to oversee the broadcasting standards regime in New Zealand. We do this by deciding complaints that broadcasts have breached standards, by doing research, and also by providing information about broadcasting standards.
We come under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage, and our Minister is the Minister of Broadcasting, the Hon Craig Foss. However, we are an Independent Crown Entity, which means, among other things, that the government cannot direct us in our work.
The Authority board consists of four members who make the decisions about complaints and who govern the BSA itself. We have a small staff who provide support to the members and who run the day-to-day office services.
We are essentially an appeal body, which is why complaints generally go to the broadcaster first (with the exception of privacy issues and election advertisements). Our decisions can be appealed to the High Court.