The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
During the Port FM Breakfast Show the presenters allegedly mentioned ‘Jimmy from Omarama’. The Authority declined to determine a complaint from Jimmy Courtney that the broadcast breached his privacy, as the broadcaster was unable to provide a recording of the broadcast. The Authority however noted that on the basis of the information before it, it appeared unlikely the broadcast amounted to a breach of privacy. The Authority also recorded its expectation that broadcasters retain recordings of broadcasts for 35 days following the broadcast.
Declined to determine: Privacy
Sunday focused on an initiative by a road safety organisation which creates images of car crash victims as they would appear now. One of the families taking part in this initiative lost their seven-year-old boy, who was killed by drink-driving teenagers 17 years earlier. The incident was briefly recounted, showing footage of the driver of the car and of several passengers. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item breached the privacy of the young people involved in the crash. The crash was a sufficiently serious and well-known event that the facts about it and the individuals’ involvement had not become private again through the passage of time. The story carried high public interest and did not revisit the incident in a manner that would be considered highly offensive to an objective reasonable person.
Not Upheld: Privacy
An episode of Re-Think featured a panel discussion about how to encourage people to care about, and take action on, climate change. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item lacked balance because it did not present the view that climate change is natural and not caused by humans. The item was clearly framed from the outset as not delving into the controversial aspects of climate change or its causes, so viewers would not have expected a balanced debate about those issues. Rather, the programme brought the topic down to a community level and offered practical lifestyle tips.
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues
Voice of Islam broadcast a speech by a prominent Muslim speaker, in which she discussed the teachings of Islam. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the programme amounted to ‘hate speech’ and incited violence. The speech clearly comprised the speaker’s own interpretation of the teachings of the Qur’an, and did not contain anything which threatened broadcasting standards.
During Jeremy Wells’ ‘Like Mike’ skit on the Hauraki Breakfast show, in which he parodied radio and television presenter Mike Hosking, Mr Wells made various comments about Māori people and Stewart Islanders. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the comments were racist, offensive and degraded Māori and Stewart Islanders. The item was clearly satirical and intended to be humorous, and was consistent with audience expectations of the programme and the radio station. As satire, the item did not encourage discrimination against, or denigration of, Māori or Stewart Islanders and this form of speech is a legitimate and important exercise of the right to freedom of expression.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming