The London Connection, a documentary hosted by Gary McCormick, was re-broadcast on TV One on 31 October beginning at 11.35pm, having been first broadcast on 16 August 1999.
Simon Boyce complained to Television New Zealand Ltd that the broadcast of a sequence in which inebriated young women danced topless was a deceptive programme practice because it objectified the young women without identifying them.
TVNZ refused to accept the complaint on the grounds that it had already dealt with a complaint about the programme from the same complainant and, having made a proper investigation, had found no breach of broadcasting standards.
Mr Boyce referred the matter to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989. He argued that the sequence he complained about was not a legitimate subject for a documentary since the women were not identified.
TVNZ’s response to the Authority was that Mr Boyce was misusing the statutory complaints procedure. It suggested that the complaint be dismissed on the grounds that it was both frivolous and vexatious.
In his final comment, Mr Boyce complained about TVNZ’s re-broadcast of the documentary before his first complaint had been determined. He repeated that the sequence of the young women was not connected to the rest of the documentary since they were not identified.
The Authority notes that the complaint relates to the programme maker’s editorial decisions about the documentary’s content. In its view, it raises a matter of viewer preference, which s.5(c) of the Broadcasting Act makes clear cannot be resolved by the formal complaints process. Pursuant to its powers under s.11 of the Act, the Authority declines to determine the complaint on the grounds that it does not raise any issues of broadcasting standards.
For the reasons set forth above, the Authority declines to determine the complaint.
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority
9 December 1999
The following correspondence was received and considered when the Authority determined this complaint:
1. Simon Boyce’s Complaint to Television New Zealand Ltd – 1 November 1999
2. TVNZ’s Response to the Complaint – 3 November 1999
3. Mr Boyce’s Referral to the Broadcasting Standards Authority – 6 November 1999
4. TVNZ’s Response to the Authority – 11 November 1999
5. Mr Boyce’s Final Comment – 12 November 1999