The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
An item on The Paul Henry Show featured a recent Police press release about a so-called tourist who had reportedly been driving with a kayak attached width-ways to the roof of his car. The presenter commented that the man was ‘a bloody twat’ and that his actions ‘pissed him off’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint about the presenter’s choice of language and his denigration of foreign tourists. In the context of a late-night programme and the presenter’s well-known style, the language did not threaten current norms of good taste and decency and ‘foreign tourists’ are not a section of the community to which the discrimination and denigration standard applies.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming, Controversial Issues, Fairness
APNA 990 broadcast a segment disclosing that a named company allegedly owed it money and asking for the director of that company to ‘contact us [as soon as possible] to sort out the account’. The Authority upheld the complaint that the broadcast breached the privacy of the company director because a debt is a private matter between the debtor and the person or company to whom the debt is owed. The disclosure was highly offensive as the complainant could reasonably expect the debt to remain private, and there was no public interest in disclosing it to the public at large.
Orders: Section 13(1)(d) $1,000 compensation to the complainant for breach of privacy; Section 16(4) $1,000 costs to the Crown
An item on ONE News and a later ONE News update showed a highly-ranked New Zealand mixed martial artist's loss in an Ultimate Fighting Championship match, in which he was kicked and punched repeatedly in the head. The Authority declined to uphold two complaints that the footage was excessively violent because the level of physicality was not unexpected and acceptable in the context of a sport news story covering a fight.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming, Children's Interests, Violence
An item on 3 News covered the state of the Labour Party leadership after the 2014 general election. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item contained multiple errors of fact and the political editor misrepresented David Cunliffe’s stated position. While errors were made in the broadcast (which were acknowledged by the broadcaster), they were technical in nature and not material to the focus of the item, which was the confusion surrounding the Labour Party leadership. The explanations given in the broadcast would not have misled viewers as to the general Labour Party process for leadership elections, and any misunderstanding around Mr Cunliffe’s position was due to his own contradictory statements.
Not Upheld: Accuracy
An item on Campbell Live featured the story of a terminally ill man who is an advocate for voluntary euthanasia. The introduction to the item referred to a proposed private member's bill that would legalise voluntary euthanasia in New Zealand. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item lacked balance because it failed to present other significant views on euthanasia. Although voluntary euthanasia is a controversial issue of public importance, the item did not 'discuss' this issue. The item was clearly focused on the interviewee's personal story and experiences, so it did not trigger the requirement for presenting alternative views.
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues