The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
An item on One News reported on overseas studies showing that even low levels of air pollution can be harmful. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the comment that ‘the European Union’s recommended standard… is even more stringent than the standard here’, and the accompanying graphic, were inaccurate. Taken in the context of the whole item, the statement was sufficiently clarified so viewers would not have been misled. The key message was that air pollution is a serious problem impacting on public health, so New Zealand should consider adopting standards applied in other countries, not currently applied here.
Not Upheld: Accuracy
Radio New Zealand National broadcast an interview with the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which provides reproductive health and education services in the United States. The Authority did not uphold two complaints that the interview was unbalanced. The interview was clearly focused on the views and experiences of one woman, and the US political landscape as it relates to these health issues is not of public importance in New Zealand so balancing viewpoints were not required.
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy, Fairness
A panel discussion on Afternoons with Jim Mora suggested that fraud in the ‘Māori sector’ is often treated differently to other fraud. The Authority declined to determine the complaint that the programme breached standards because the panellists should have made reference to the ‘2004 Feltex IPO fraud’ as an example of ‘non-Māori fraud’. The complainant’s concerns were matters of personal preference and editorial discretion, and the Authority’s decisions on previous complaints should have put him notice of the likely outcome of this complaint.
Declined to Determine: Accuracy
During a segment on Nine to Noon, titled ‘Science with Simon Pollard’, science commentator Simon Pollard spoke about ‘the science of conspiracy theories’. The Authority did not uphold two complaints that the host allowed Mr Pollard to make one-sided, inaccurate comments that were highly critical of conspiracy theorists. This was clearly an opinion piece on a topic of human interest, so Mr Pollard’s comments were not subject to standards of accuracy, and the broadcaster was not required to present other significant viewpoints.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Controversial Issues, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration
Two items on Fair Go investigated complaints against a medal conservator and dealer, Owen Gough. The Authority did not uphold complaints from Mr Gough that the people interviewed made false claims about him, that his response was not fairly presented, and that the programmes breached his privacy. The broadcasts carried a high level of public interest, the claims made by those interviewed were clearly framed as their personal opinions and experiences, and the Authority was satisfied that the broadcaster had sufficient basis for the story. Mr Gough was not treated unfairly.
Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Privacy