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Code Review 2015

As a key part of its core functions, the BSA collaborates with broadcasters to develop codes of broadcasting practice that apply to all television and radio broadcasters in New Zealand. The BSA is currently undertaking a review of our three main codes of broadcasting practice – Free-to-Air Television, Pay Television and Radio. The BSA consulted with the public on the draft codes and invited submissions over a six-week period which closed on 31 August 2015. You can view the draft codebook we consulted on here.

The BSA received 21 submissions. Seventeen of these are available to view as PDF documents below. We very much appreciated the time and effort taken by submitters to contribute to our code review.

The BSA’s report on public consultation, which gives a general overview of the submissions received and the BSA’s response, is available here.  

We are currently working with broadcasters to finalise the draft codes of broadcasting practice. The code review is expected to be completed in early 2016. 

Note: The submissions which follow represent the views of the individual submitters. The submissions do not represent the views of the BSA. The BSA does not accept responsibility for accuracy of information contained in the submissions.

Sue Abel

Louise Chaney

Peter Green

Hawke's Bay District Health Board

Terry Kavanagh

John McCammon

Donald McDonald

Dr Nicole Moreham

National Council of Women of New Zealand

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Vincent Olsen-Reeder

John Terris on behalf of Media Matters in New Zealand

Dr Peter Thompson with the support of Coalition for Better Broadcasting

Moira Waddington

Wellington Community Justice Project

Brian Wilson

John Worthington


The broadcasting standards which apply to television and radio programmes are contained in the Codes of Broadcasting Practice. There are four Codes and these cover

The Codes all contain 'standards'. These outline what is required of broadcasters when they broadcast programmes in New Zealand. Each standard has a number of associated 'guidelines' which assist broadcasters and the public in interpreting the standards. It is the wording of the standard that is most important; even if a programme appears to breach a particular guideline, it still may not breach the overall standard depending on the circumstances.

To make a formal complaint, you need to choose the relevant Code and then nominate which standards you think were breached.

The Codes are reviewed every five years, or sooner if required. Broadcasters develop the Codes in consultation with the BSA. During the development process the public are given an opportunity to comment on the draft revised Code. If you would like specific information on the Code review timetable, please contact us.

All Codes can be downloaded from this website or you can obtain printed copies by contacting us.

You can download the Codes in Māori and other languages by going to the home page of each Code: Free-to-Air Television Code, Radio Code, Election Programmes Code.

The Pay Television Code is due for review and a translation into Māori will follow the review.

Download PDFs of the Codes of Broadcasting Practice:



free to air

Free-to-Air PDF (56 KB)

pay television

Pay Television PDF (56 KB)


Radio PDF (56 KB)

election programmes 2011 cover

Election Programmes PDF97 KB