The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
An item on Sunday exposed the alleged mistreatment of bobby calves by some members of New Zealand’s dairy industry. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that the item was unfair to the complainant and breached his and his employee’s privacy, and that the item was inaccurate and lacked balance. Neither RZ nor his employee was identifiable during the footage and they were not participants, or referred to, in the item. The item was also sufficiently balanced, as the perspective of the dairy industry was given both within the item and within the period of current interest. Comments in the item that the complainant alleged were inaccurate were clearly opinion and analysis and thus not subject to the accuracy standard, and the item was not otherwise misleading.
Not Upheld: Privacy, Fairness, Controversial Issues, Accuracy
The 2015 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards featured numerous expletives, sexual references and other strong language. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging the ‘foul language’ and ‘crude humour’ used during the awards was offensive and unacceptable. The programme did contain strong adult content which would not have been to the liking of all viewers. However there were opportunities for viewers to make a different viewing choice or to exercise discretion, given the length of the broadcast (more than two hours) and that there was a pre-broadcast warning of sorts (although not of itself adequate). On balance the Authority found the broadcast did not reach the threshold for breaching the good taste and decency standard. Nevertheless, the Authority urged broadcasters to take care when broadcasting live material after 8.30pm that is likely to attract younger viewers.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency
During an episode of Hooked in NZ, the host and others were shown not wearing lifejackets while on a fishing boat. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that it was irresponsible to broadcast footage of people fishing without wearing lifejackets. Although the Authority understood why certain parts of the footage shown in the programme were a cause of concern for the complainant regarding water safety, these issues were unable to be addressed under the responsible programming standard.
Not Upheld: Responsible Programming
A Prime News item reported on the Conservative Party Annual General Meeting, which was the subject of a police call-out because a former Board member attempted to attend the meeting and was issued a trespass notice. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that the item lacked balance, was inaccurate and was unfair to the Conservative Party and its former leader Colin Craig. The item was a straightforward news report that was not unfair to the Conservative Party or Colin Craig, who as a public figure should expect to be subject to some criticism and scrutiny. The item did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance that required the presentation of other views and was not inaccurate.
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy, Fairness
An item on ONE News reported on concerns around a government-funded survey of health professionals and their views on voluntary euthanasia. It said that the survey was run by researchers who support assisted dying, and that it was alleged that the research was biased and flawed. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that the item was unfair to the researchers involved and to the university through which the research was run, as well as inaccurate and unbalanced. Comment was sought from the university and the researchers, whose position was presented in the university’s response and fairly reported in the item. The statements alleged to be inaccurate either had a reasonable basis, were clearly statements of opinion or were matters of editorial discretion.
Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Controversial Issues