The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
An item on Coast FM News reported that a medical document had been found suggesting there was ‘some truth in the old fable’ about Adolf Hitler having only one testicle. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that the item was distasteful. Taking into account contextual factors such as the adult target audience of Coast FM and that the item was a brief and straightforward report, the broadcast did not threaten current norms of good taste and decency.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency
Morning Report featured an interview with assisted dying campaigner Matt Vickers about recent legislative changes to permit physician-assisted dying in California and the desirability of law reform in New Zealand. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the interview was unbalanced and inaccurate because it allegedly advocated assisted dying and did not include alternative views on the issue. Both the interviewer and interviewee acknowledged different perspectives on assisted dying and listeners could reasonably be expected to be aware of significant viewpoints on the issue.
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy
An item on Story showed presenter Heather du Plessis-Allan purportedly exposing a loophole in New Zealand’s gun laws by falsifying a mail-order form and obtaining a firearm from a gun dealer without verifying that she held a gun licence. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that the broadcast encouraged viewers to break the law. The item carried public interest, it was clearly meant to discourage flouting of gun laws rather than encourage illegal activity and the Police Association commended Story for exposing the issue.
Not Upheld: Law and Order
A 3 News item reported on allegations of widespread doping amongst Russian athletes and included a reference to the disqualification of a Belarussian shot-putter at the London Olympics. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging the item was misleading, unbalanced and denigrated Russians by failing to differentiate between Belarus and Russia. The reporter accurately described the Belarussian athlete and the Russian Olympic team, and in the context of the item viewers would not have been misled into thinking Belarus and Russia were the same country. The item portrayed a range of significant viewpoints on the allegations of doping amongst Russian Olympic athletes and did not contain any material which discriminated against, or denigrated, Russians.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Controversial Issues, Discrimination and Denigration
An item on Story covered the ongoing story of presenter Heather du Plessis-Allan’s mail-order purchase of a firearm for an earlier item, and the subsequent police investigation and search of her house. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that the presenter’s reference to ‘legal loopholes’ within the mail-order firearm purchase system was inaccurate and unfair to the parties concerned because the firearm was procured illegally. The presenter used the term ‘loophole’ rather than ‘legal loophole’ and this was an accurate description of the mail-order system prior to police action. The item further did not unfairly represent the purchase process or otherwise result in unfairness to any individual or organisation referred to.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness