The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
A repeat broadcast of an episode of Serious Crash Unit investigated a collision between two vehicles where one driver died. The Authority did not uphold the complaint from the surviving driver that the repeat broadcast, without his consent, breached his privacy. The complainant signed a consent form, and the timeline between the accident and the repeat broadcast more than four years later, in the absence of any further objections from him, suggested that he gave his consent freely, and not under duress.
Not Upheld: Privacy
On Newstalk ZB on 2 April 2014, in response to a news item reporting that the average New Zealand woman weighed 72 kilograms, the host Rachel Smalley could be heard, during an advertisement break, referring to these women as ‘heifers’ and ‘a bunch of lardos’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the action taken by the broadcaster was insufficient, or that the comments breached standards of good taste and decency. Size or weight is not one of the specified sections of the community under the discrimination and denigration standard, the comments were off the cuff and not intended for broadcast, and the host and the broadcaster both issued public apologies.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration (Action Taken)
A segment on The Paul Henry Show featured the two presenters discussing recent law changes in Russia that mean it is now illegal to misrepresent Russia’s involvement in World War II, and that people would be fined for swearing on television, in theatre or in films. Mr Henry gave examples of Russian swearwords. There was also a discussion about ‘butt plugs’ made in the likeness of Vladimir Putin and of Paul Henry. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the language, the references to Russia’s involvement in the war, and the discussion about ‘butt plugs’ were offensive. The segment was on late at night and targeted at adults, it was intended to be light-hearted and was consistent with expectations of the show and of Paul Henry.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming
The opening scenes of an episode of Rake included four instances of the word ‘fuck’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that this constituted strong adult material which screened too close to the Adults Only 8.30pm watershed. The language was not so frequent or offensive that it required a restriction to a later time, and was relevant to the narrative and to character development. The programme was also preceded by a clear warning for coarse language.
Not Upheld: Children’s Interests
At the end of an episode of Seven Sharp, presenter Mike Hosking made comments about the most recent report of the IPCC. The Authority did not uphold four complaints that his comments were misleading and irresponsible. The comments were clearly Mr Hosking’s opinion, and the right to freedom of speech explicitly protects expressions of opinion even if they are unpopular or incorrect. Mr Hosking is well known for this type of monologue where he offers his opinion on any number of issues, sometimes in a provocative manner.
Not Upheld: Accuracy