The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
Campbell Live investigated sales techniques used by Dead Sea Spa employees at kiosks and shopping malls throughout New Zealand, including alleged bullying and targeting vulnerable people. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the programme was ‘racist’ and unfair to Dead Sea Spa. The story carried high public interest, and Dead Sea Spa was given a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond.
Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness, Privacy, Accuracy, Controversial Issues, Responsible Programming, Good Taste and Decency, Law and Order
An item on 3rd Degree reported on the ‘turf war’ between two business owners in New Zealand’s adult entertainment industry. The item included footage of the complainant working in a strip club, serving drinks and talking to customers. The Authority upheld her complaint that this breached her privacy, as she had not consented to appearing in the programme.
Order: Section 13(1)(d) $1,500 compensation to the complainant for breach of privacy
The host of The Paul Henry Show and a TV3 reporter briefly discussed the future of Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter tram service, in a new segment titled ‘Council Watch’, and summarised the cost of the project to rate-payers. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the segment was one-sided and misled viewers about the reason the trams were not currently operating. It is legitimate and important for the expenditure of public money to be scrutinized and subject to robust criticism, and the focus of the item was the cost of the project; other reasons why the tram service was not running were peripheral to that focus, so viewers would not have been misled by omitting reference to those reasons.
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy, Fairness, Responsible Programming
An election advertisement for the National Party referred to ‘Labour, The Greens and Dotcom’ wanting to spend ‘more than 30 billion dollars’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the reference to ‘Dotcom’ was misleading because there was no ‘Dotcom Party’, and that the figure of 30 billion dollars was inaccurate. The advertisement did not explicitly refer to any ‘Dotcom Party’, Kim Dotcom has been a prominent figure in the election, and most listeners would have understood it to be a reference to the Internet Party, and that political party advertising is broadcast in the context of a robust political arena in the lead-up to a general election. The reference to other parties’ policy costs was analysis and interpretation by the National Party, and acceptable in this context.
Not Upheld: Election Programmes Subject to Other Standards (Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration), Denigration, Misleading Programmes
During The Paul Henry Show, Mr Henry read out a fan’s letter about her ‘lactating boobies’ and made sexually suggestive remarks about her. Later, he used the word ‘fucked’, and during a live cross a woman burst in front of the camera and said, ‘West side, fuck her in the pussy’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that these comments were unsuitable for broadcast. Taking into account relevant contextual factors, including the broadcaster’s limited control over live content, the material did not reach the high threshold necessary to breach standards of good taste and decency.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming