The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
Native Affairs reported on ‘jailed Northland farmer, Allan Titford, and his fight with Te Roroa’, and his supporters. The Authority did not uphold Kerry Bolton’s complaint that the action taken by Māori TV, having upheld his complaint that it was inaccurate to accuse him of being a ‘Titford supporter’, was insufficient. This was a matter of interpretation and opinion that could not be conclusively assessed as accurate or inaccurate. The Authority also declined to uphold an additional complaint that the report was misleading and unfair. The report was based on the opinions of the interviewees and was legitimately presented from a Māori perspective. It was not necessary to present alternative views on Mr Titford’s guilt or innocence, and no participant was treated unfairly.
Not Upheld: Accuracy (Action Taken), Accuracy, Controversial Issues, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration, Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming, Violence
At the conclusion of an interview with a scientist on The Paul Henry Show, Mr Henry asked her, ‘Did you have sex with Richard Branson?’ The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the question was inappropriate and discriminated against women. It was a provocative remark that was not unduly surprising given Mr Henry’s well-known style. It was also relevant that the scientist herself was apparently not offended and was aware she might be questioned about Mr Branson.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration
During KPMG Early Edition, the host read out an opinion piece criticising Israel’s actions in the Israel-Hamas conflict. She referred to a recent bombing of a UN school which ‘killed everyone inside’. The Authority upheld the complaint that this was inaccurate, as in fact 16 out of 3,300 people sheltering in the school were killed. It did not uphold the complaint other statements were inaccurate, as they were clearly the host’s opinion. The Authority did not make any order, as publication of this decision is sufficient to correct the error.
The George FM Breakfast show contained a discussion about the complainant’s use of the dating application Tinder, during which derogatory comments were made about him. The broadcaster upheld the complaint this was unfair. However, the Authority found that the action taken by the broadcaster was insufficient, as the apology broadcast by the show’s hosts was insufficiently specific or formal to effectively remedy the breach. The Authority ordered a broadcast statement including an apology to the complainant.
Upheld: Fairness (Action Taken)
Not Upheld: Privacy, Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming
Order: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement including apology to the complainant
A Seven Sharp item reporting on a forecast increase in New Zealand’s rat, mice and stout population due to a beech mast event, contained footage of 1080 pellets and an aerial 1080 drop. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item was unbalanced because it did not present the anti-1080 viewpoint. The item’s focus was not the use of 1080 so it was not necessary to put forward views for and against its use, but in any case the broadcaster alluded to three earlier items on this specific beech mast event which did refer to alternative views.
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Fairness