The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
Hosts on The Morning Sound radio show discussed the news that the Tui Brewery at Mangatainoka had made a number of workers redundant. The hosts commented that the Brewery was where the ‘pretty’ and ‘hot girls’ worked and expressed their concern about them being ‘laid off’, making comments such as, ‘All the pretty girls are going…’, ‘I hope they don’t get rid of any of the hot girls’, and ‘I don’t know if I can drink the beer if it’s not had the ladies’ touch.’ The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this discussion was denigrating or discriminatory towards any female workers made redundant, or to women generally. The hosts were clearly referring to a series of satirical Tui television advertisements, which depicted the Mangatainoka Brewery as being run by women. In any event, any female workers who may have been made redundant were not a section of the community covered by the standard.
Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration
An episode of The Nation discussed whether colonial figures were still worthy of commemoration, particularly when their actions were re-evaluated against 21st century values. An edited version of the report also appeared on Newshub. Both items featured excerpts from an interview with historian, Dr Jock Phillips, who provided comments on a South Auckland memorial to Colonel Marmaduke Nixon. Dr Phillips described Colonel Nixon’s involvement in events that occurred at Rangiaowhia in 1864 as ‘an appalling act of genocide’ and ‘a terrible atrocity’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the items lacked balance and were inaccurate. The items did not purport to provide a comprehensive examination of what occurred at Rangiaowhia. Rather, this incident was used as one example in the context of a wider debate over whether New Zealand’s colonial figures were still deserving of such memorials, and alternative viewpoints on the incident were therefore not required. The Authority found that Dr Phillips’ comments could be distinguished from the rest of the item as statements of analysis, comment or opinion, rather than statements of fact that were required to be accurate.
Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy
During Overnight Talk on Newstalk ZB, the complainant had a conversation with the host about greyhound racing in which he defended the activity and the use of live bait. The host responded that the complainant was ‘pathetic’ and ‘a very sick person’, among other things. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the host had offended the complainant on the basis of his Australian Aboriginal culture. The host’s comments to the complainant had no relation to his culture, and were not otherwise unfair. The comments were typical of the robust and opinionated nature of talkback radio, where callers can reasonably expect hosts to disagree with their views, sometimes in a strong and confrontational manner. They were made in response to the complainant’s views on the use of live bait in greyhound racing, which he was given a fair opportunity to express during the conversation.
Not Upheld: Fairness
During The Edge’s Smash! 20 countdown show, a caller successfully answered a series of questions based on the songs in the countdown and won a prize. While taking the caller’s personal details, the announcer left the phone channel in ‘on-air’ mode and inadvertently broadcast the caller’s full name, address, school, date of birth and mobile number. The Authority upheld a complaint that the broadcast breached the caller’s privacy. The caller was clearly identifiable and disclosed a high level of personal detail on air, over which she had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The Authority acknowledged the caller’s disclosure was the result of an unfortunate technical error on the announcer’s part, and that the broadcaster took immediate actions to respond to the breach. The Authority did not make any order in these circumstances.
The complainant made a formal complaint about a programme broadcast on Radio Virsa. He also sent a second ‘updated complaint’ which referred to repeat broadcasts of the programme the following day. Radio Virsa declined to accept and consider the complaints on the basis the initial complaint was made outside of the 20-working-day timeframe for making a formal complaint, and the ‘updated complaint’ did not sufficiently convey that it related to repeat broadcasts the following day. The Authority found that a valid formal complaint was not made. Radio Virsa was therefore not required to accept and consider either complaint, and the Authority does not have jurisdiction to now accept and consider the matter.