Refer a Complaint to the BSA

Referring a complaint is when you ask the BSA to investigate and review a complaint you have made to a broadcaster because you are not happy with the broadcaster's decision or the action they have taken.

Referral to the BSA

Choose this option ONLY if you have already made a formal complaint to a broadcaster and have received a decision from them that you are not happy with, or have not received a decision within the time allowed for a reply – which is 20 working days from the time they receive your formal complaint.

If you have received a decision from the broadcaster and are unhappy with it, you will need to refer your complaint to the BSA within 20 working days of receiving the broadcaster's decision.

If you have NOT received a decision, you must refer your complaint to the BSA within 60 working days of the broadcast.

What should I say in my referral?

The best thing is to explain as clearly as you can exactly why you were unhappy with the broadcaster's decision.  However, what you choose to say will depend on why you are referring the complaint to us for review.

  • If the broadcaster did not decide there had been a breach of standards, or did not uphold the complaint, then you should say why you thought the complaint should have been upheld.
  • If the broadcaster decided there was a breach, but not against all the standards you raised, you may choose to say why you thought the complaint should have been upheld against those standards.
  • If the broadcaster decided there was a breach and did or did not take action, you should say why you thought they should have taken action or why they should have taken different action.


You can refer your complaint in writing or online (see below) or you can email the BSA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Attention: Legal Manager, explaining that you would like to refer a complaint to the BSA for review.

  • Referring your complaint in writing

    You can refer your complaint by writing to us.

    It is most useful if you can send us:

    • a copy of your original complaint
    • a copy of the broadcaster's reply (if there is one)
    • reasons why you want to refer the complaint to us

    Post it to the BSA, Attention: Legal Manager, PO Box 9213, Marion Square, Wellington 6141.

  • Referring your complaint online

    You can refer your complaint online, using the form below.

    * denotes required field

    About You

    We need your details so that we can address your complaint effectively.

    Programme Details
    Decision Details