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Watkins and The RadioWorks Ltd - 2002-121–127

Dated

19th September 2002

Number

2002-121–€“127

Channel/Station

The Rock

Broadcaster

The RadioWorks Ltd


Complaint
The Rock a number of complaints – offensive language – offensive behaviour – broadcasts inconsistent with maintenance of law and order – broadcasts unsuitable for children

Findings
(1) s.11(a) – complaints not "frivolous, vexatious, or trivial"

(2) 22 November broadcast – 6.31am – Principle 1 – uphold

(3) 22 November broadcast – 6.39am – no uphold

(4) 23 November broadcast – 6.39am – Principle 1 – uphold

(5) 26 November broadcast – 7.40am – Principle 1 – uphold – Principle 7 and Guideline 7b – uphold

(6) 27 November broadcast – 6.35am – action taken insufficient – uphold

(7) 30 November broadcast – 6.36am – action taken insufficient – uphold

(8) 6 December broadcast – 6.19am – no uphold

Order
Total costs to the Crown in the sum of $3,000

Cross-references: 2001-071084; 2001-138204

This headnote does not form part of the decision.


Summary

[1] R K Watkins complained to The RadioWorks Ltd, the broadcaster, about morning broadcasts on The Rock on 22, 23, 26, 27 and 30 November 2001, and on 6 December 2001. She complained that aspects of each of the broadcasts breached standards relating to good taste and decency, the maintenance of law and order, and social responsibility.

[2] The RadioWorks upheld two of the seven complaints as breaches of broadcasting standards. It said The Rock had taken disciplinary action against the announcers concerned, by suspending them for two days. It declined to uphold the other five complaints as breaches of broadcasting standards.

[3] Dissatisfied with The RadioWorks’ decisions, R K Watkins referred the complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.

For the reasons given below, the Authority upholds some aspects of three of the complaints relating to breaches of Principles 1 and 7 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice. The Authority also upholds two of the complaints that the action taken by the broadcaster after it upheld those complaints was insufficient.

Decision

[4] The members of the Authority have listened to recordings of the items complained about. They have also read transcripts of each of the items complained about and the correspondence listed in the Appendix. The Authority determines these complaints without a formal hearing.

The Complaints

[5] R K Watkins complained to The RadioWorks Ltd, the broadcaster, about morning broadcasts on The Rock on 22, 23, 26, 27 and 30 November 2001, and on 6 December 2001.

[6] The aspects of the broadcasts Ms Watkins complained about were:

22 November at 6.31am – a DJ told the "Morning Shocker" joke, about a farmer who asked a pharmacist for condoms with pesticides on them. The pharmacist told the farmer he must mean condoms with spermicide. When the farmer insisted he meant pesticide, the pharmacist said, "Sir, pesticide is for killing insects, spermicide is for killing sperm, I’m sure that you mean spermicide instead of pesticide". The farmer replied, "Listen here, I want condoms with pesticide, pesticides on it – my wife’s got a bug up her arse, and I am going to kill it!"

22 November at 6.39am – an item about a website for men with large penises included reports from a DJ that, "One guy asked if any of his fellow stallions had enough ‘going on down there’ that they could ‘knock on their own back doors’, if you will," and, "Another guy said he’d once seen a talented young stud who stuffed his own danglies in his little old recty".

23 November at 6.39am – a DJ told the "Morning Shocker" about a "bloke" who was sitting in a bar when a stranger walked up to him and said, "If you woke up in the woods, went to scratch your arse and felt Vaseline all over it, would you tell anyone?" The DJ continued, "The bloke said, ‘Hell no.’ And the dirty old man said, ‘Well, if you felt further into your crack and pulled out a used condom, would you tell anyone then?’ The bloke said, ‘Of course not.’ This dirty old bastard said, ‘Mmm, do you want to go camping?’ "

26 November at 7.40am – use of the word "fuck" by a caller to the station.

27 November at 6.35am – a DJ told the "Morning Shocker" as follows: "This lady said to her husband, ‘I had the strangest dream last night. It was Christmas and our tree was decorated with all kinds of penises. There were white ones and black ones and circumcised and uncircumcised, big and small and on the top of the tree was the perfect penis.’ And her husband said, ‘I bet that was mine.’ And she said, ‘No, sorry it wasn’t.’ Her husband looked a bit miffed and he said, ‘You know, it’s weird, but I had almost the same dream – a Christmas tree decorated with pussies, shaved, unshaved, thin lips, thick lips, scented, unscented. The one on top of the tree was the perfect pussy.’ His wife said, ‘I suppose the one on top was mine.’ He said, ‘Nope, yours was holding up the tree.’ "

30 November at 6.36am – a DJ told the "Morning Shocker" about "Big Bubba", a man in Tennessee who decided it was time for his son, 14-year-old Billy-Bob to "learn the facts of life". The story continued: "So … he takes him to the local house of ill repute, which is fronted by a beauty parlour. And Bubba introduces Billy-Bob to the Madam and explains that it’s time for his introduction to sex. The Madam says, ‘Bubba, you’ve been such a good customer over the years I’m going to see to this personally.’ So the Madam takes Billy-Bob by the hand, leads him upstairs. Later on they’re downstairs and the Madam says, ‘Since this is your first time I’m going to see that you get the full treatment before you leave. I’m going to give you a manicure.’ Two weeks later Bubba and Billy-Bob run into the Madam on the main street and Billy-Bob is acting a little bit shy, so the Madam smiles and says, ‘Well Billy-Bob, don’t you remember me?’ Billy-Bob says, ‘Yes Maam, you’re the lady that gave me the crabs and then cut off my fingernails so I couldn’t scratch them.’ "

6 December at 6.19am – in a conversation between the DJs, one of the DJs described the members of the Broadcasting Standards Authority as "gin soaked old bastards" and "f-wits" who probably hadn’t listened to the radio in 20 years.

The Standards

[7] Ms Watkins requested that the broadcaster assess the complaints under Principles 1, 2 and 7 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice. Those principles and their relevant guidelines read:

Principle 1

In programmes and their presentation, broadcasters are required to maintain standards which are consistent with the observance of good taste and decency.

Guideline

1a  Broadcasters will take into consideration current norms of decency and good taste in language and behaviour bearing in mind the context in which any language or behaviour occurs and the wider context of the broadcast (eg time of day, target audience).

Principle 2

In programmes and their presentation, broadcasters are required to maintain standards which are consistent with the maintenance of law and order.

Guideline

2a  Care should be taken in broadcasting items which explain the technique of crime in a manner which invites imitation.

Principle 7

In programmes and their presentation, broadcasters are required to be socially responsible.

Guidelines

7a  Broadcasters will not portray people in a manner which encourages denigration of or discrimination against any section of the community on account of gender, race, age, disability, occupational status, sexual orientation; or as the consequence of legitimate expression of religious, cultural or political beliefs. This requirement does not extend to prevent the broadcast of material which is:

i) factual; or

ii) a genuine expression of serious comment, analysis or opinion; or

iii) by way of legitimate humour or satire.

7b  Broadcasters shall be mindful of the effect any programme may have on children during their normally accepted listening times.

7c  The time of transmission is an important consideration in the scheduling of programmes which contain violent themes.

7d  If a programme is likely to disturb, an appropriate warning should be broadcast.

The Broadcaster’s Response to the Complainant

[8] In relation to the broadcast on 22 November at 6.31am, The RadioWorks noted that Ms Watkins had incorrectly recorded the joke when she wrote that the farmer said he had "a horse with a bug up her arse". There was no reference to bestiality in the item, the broadcaster said. It declined to uphold the complaint, maintaining that the joke was intended to be humorous and was broadcast at a time of the morning when children would be unlikely to be listening.

[9] For the same reasons, The RadioWorks declined to uphold the complaint that the broadcast on 22 November at 6.39am breached broadcasting standards.

[10] In relation to the broadcast on 23 November at 6.39am, the broadcaster said listeners had been warned that it was a "shocker" of a joke, and it had been broadcast at a time when children would be unlikely to be listening. Accordingly, it declined to uphold the complaint.

[11] As to the broadcast on 26 November at 7.40am, The RadioWorks questioned whether the word "fuck" had actually been broadcast. In any event, it said the announcers had had "no opportunity to dump the call". In declining to uphold the complaint, the broadcaster wrote:

It should be appreciated that the actual broadcast situation is a great deal different, when compared to listening intently after the broadcast for any breeches [sic] that may have occurred.

[12] The broadcaster upheld the complaints about the broadcasts on 27 November at 6.35am and on 30 November at 6.36am as breaches of Principles 1 and 7. It said The Rock had taken disciplinary action against the announcers concerned, by suspending them from air for two days.

[13] The RadioWorks declined to uphold the complaint about the item broadcast on 6 December at 6.19am, stating that while the comments may have been "ill–directed" they were a "genuine expression of personal opinion".

[14] Finally, The RadioWorks noted that Ms Watkins’ complaints centred around the "programme element The Morning Shocker". It said:

As a sign of good faith, and a further attempt to work within the requirements of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice, The Rock have ceased broadcast of this programme element. This is after it has been broadcast over an eight period [sic].

We trust that you will give credence to the positive steps that have been taken.

The Referrals to the Authority

[15] Dissatisfied with the broadcaster’s response, Ms Watkins referred her complaints to the Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.

[16] She asked the Authority to note that in making the complaints she had taken into consideration The Rock’s broadcasting charter. All seven items complained about breached both the charter and the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice, she said.

[17] In relation to the item broadcast on 23 November at 6.39am, she said a "joke" about rape was of much concern, and The RadioWorks appeared "still unable to distinguish between legitimate humour and harm".

[18] In relation to the complaint about the word "fuck" being broadcast on 26 November at 7.40am, Ms Watkins said:

The station has been cautioned numerous times for not having precautionary measures in place to dump such language from going to air. It evidently has still not managed to achieve this requirement under the Code.

[19] Ms Watkins did not accept The RadioWorks’ statement that disciplinary action had been taken against two of the announcers as a result of the two upheld complaints. She said the suspensions were the result of fines imposed by the Authority against The Rock in relation to earlier upheld complaints. She said the suspensions were an "elaborate hoax" to encourage listeners to pledge their support and money to pay the latest fine. She continued:

Furthermore, had disciplinary action actually occurred, why did the same announcer repeat – quite deliberately and defiantly – item 7 of the complaint just two days after the "suspension" took place?

[20] In relation to The RadioWorks’ assurance that the "Morning Shocker" would no longer be broadcast, Ms Watkins referred the Authority to a taped item indicating that the claim was fabricated.

The Broadcaster’s Response to the Authority

[21] In its response to the Authority, the broadcaster said Ms Watkins’ complaints were "simply vexatious". It requested that the Authority use its power under s.11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 to decline to determine the complaints on the grounds that they were "frivolous, vexatious, or trivial." It also requested that the Authority use its power under s.16(1) of the Act to order the complainant to pay costs to The RadioWorks, and asked that the sum of $1,500 be awarded.

[22] It said the following factors were indicative of the vexatious nature of the complainant:

the total number of complaints by the complainant to The RadioWorks was now "well in excess of 100";

the complaints included complaints about criticism or opinions about the Authority, which was a statutory body, paid for by the public, performing a public function in public for the benefit of the public. It said: "It is axiomatic that comments about the Authority are not actionable by anyone. All members of the public, including The Rock’s announcers, are entitled to express their opinions about the Authority";

the complaints included complaints about broadcasts on The Rock of the Prime Minister’s Christmas Message and the Leader of the Opposition’s Christmas Message;

the complaints included complaints about the broadcast of strongly held opinions expressed by members of the public about the complainant.

[23] The RadioWorks said it was "self evidently the case that the complainant has completely lost any sense of reality". She had embarked on a "crusade" without any regard for the nature of The Rock’s audience, or the fact that it was happy with the content of The Rock’s broadcasts and critical of her.

[24] The broadcaster reiterated that it had taken "positive measures to overcome previous inconsistent interpretations of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice". It said it had stopped broadcasting a "longstanding programme element" on The Rock, the "Morning Shocker", in response to Ms Watkins’ complaints and previous decisions of the Authority.

[25] The broadcaster agreed with Ms Watkins that the suspension of the announcers was not related to her complaint. However, it said the suspension occurred "as a result of broadcast material including that to which Ms Watkins complained [sic]".

[26] The broadcaster asked the Authority to take into consideration that The Rock had taken steps to work towards a "positive self–governing situation".

The Complainant’s Final Comment

[27] In her final comment, the complainant said she regretted having to lodge further complaints against The Rock. However, despite recent Authority decisions upholding a number of her complaints against the broadcaster, The Rock announcers continued to broadcast material which "clearly transcends" the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice, she said.

[28] Ms Watkins referred the Authority to The Rock’s broadcasting charter, which the broadcaster had developed as a result of earlier penalties imposed against the station. She said she could not accept that the charter had ever been enforced, as "the very material that led to the complaints being laid in the first place is still continually being broadcast".

[29] Ms Watkins asserted that it was "simply untrue that RadioWorks management has taken any disciplinary action against the station". Furthermore, she said, the broadcaster’s operations manager had on many occasions "emphatically backed the station saying that The Rock’s target audience of 18–39 year old males [had] the right to a station with content that supports their ‘way of life’."

[30] Quoting from a newspaper article in which the operations manager was quoted as saying: "We’ve taken $24,500 worth of advice from the Broadcasting Standards Authority, so we need to look at our direction," Ms Watkins said his stance towards her was confusing. She said:

Had RadioWorks actually made any attempt to bring the station into line with the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice, it would not find itself still in a position of defending the station against further complaints from the public.

[31] In relation to the broadcaster’s request that the Authority award costs against her, Ms Watkins quoted from Decision Nos: 2001-071/084, dated 6 June 2002 in which the Authority said:

The Authority is of the opinion that none of the complaints made by Ms Watkins thus far are frivolous, vexatious or ought not to have been made. It declines to order costs against the complainant and reminds the broadcaster of its duty under the Act to receive and consider formal complaints, including those legitimately pursued by Ms Watkins.

[32] The complainant maintained that her current complaints were legitimate. Furthermore, she noted that the broadcaster had initially upheld two of the seven items complained about as breaches of broadcasting standards.

[33] Ms Watkins asked the Authority to take into consideration that the two–day suspension was unrelated to the two upheld complaints, but was the result of a previous penalty imposed by the Authority.

The Authority’s Determination

[34] As a preliminary procedural matter, the Authority is required to consider the broadcaster’s request that it decline to determine the complaints on the basis that they are vexatious. The broadcaster argued that the complaints were vexatious for a number of reasons, including the fact the complainant had made "well in excess of 100" complaints about the Rock. In relation to this argument, the Authority notes that its jurisdiction under s.11(a) of the Broadcasting Act allows it to decline to determine complaints on the basis that they are "frivolous, vexatious, or trivial". The issue is not whether the complaint was made vexatiously, but whether it is a vexatious complaint. Both the number of complaints made by the complainant and the fact that she may have been the only person to have complained about a particular broadcast are irrelevant.

[35] Section 11(a) of the Act requires the Authority to consider separately whether each of the complaints made by the complainant can be considered "frivolous, vexatious, or trivial". The Authority notes that, independently, the broadcaster upheld two of the seven complaints. In relation to those complaints, this serves as a very clear indication that the broadcaster itself cannot have considered that the complaints were vexatious.

[36] Having considered the nature of each of the broadcasts to which these complaints relate, the Authority does not consider the complaints were vexatious, and declines to exercise its discretion under s.11(a) of the Act. In the Authority’s opinion, the complaints were legitimately made on the basis that the complainant considered that certain broadcasting standards had been breached.

[37] For a complaint to be considered "frivolous, vexatious, or trivial" under s.11(a) of the Act, the Authority considers that it would usually have to be satisfied that such a complaint was made with the knowledge that there was no reasonable prospect of it being upheld. Factors indicative of a vexatious complaint might be the inclusion of extravagant and unfounded claims, a pattern of complex, prolix, and sometimes incomprehensible correspondence, the Authority’s assessment that the complaint does not raise any issues of broadcasting standards, or the fact that a complaint, in essence, replicates earlier complaints which the Authority has declined to uphold.1 The Authority considers that the high threshold required for it to exercise its discretion under s.11(a) is not met in relation to these complaints.

[38] Turning now to the substance of the complaints, the Authority must consider whether each of the seven separate items complained about breached broadcasting standards. As it is required to do, the Authority has considered each of the complaints separately, against the standards nominated by the complainant.

22 November broadcast at 6.31am

[39] The Authority upholds the complaint about the 22 November broadcast at 6.31am as a breach of Principle 1. In this broadcast, a joke was told about a farmer who asked a pharmacist for condoms with pesticide because, he said, "my wife’s got a bug up her arse, and I am going to kill it". Particularly in the context of a "joke" which alludes to anal sex with a woman, using crude language and implying that it does not matter whether or not she consents, the Authority finds the broadcast breaches the requirement for broadcasters to maintain standards consistent with the observance of good taste and decency.

[40] The Authority does not uphold any other aspect of this complaint. It does not consider that the broadcaster breached Principle 2 or Principle 7. In relation to Guideline 7b to Principle 7, the Authority notes that it would have been inclined to find that the broadcaster breached its obligation to be mindful of the effect of the broadcast on children had it been broadcast at a time which the Authority considers to be in children’s "normally accepted listening time".

22 November broadcast at 6.39am

[41] The Authority declines to uphold the complaint about the 22 November broadcast at 6.39am. While the Authority acknowledges that some members of the community might find the broadcast offensive, in the Authority’s view, although in questionable taste, the broadcast was not sufficiently offensive as to constitute a breach of currently accepted standards of good taste and decency. Furthermore, in its view, none of the items demonstrated a lack of respect for principles of law or for social responsibility on the part of the broadcaster to the degree required for a breach of Principles 2 and 7.

23 November broadcast at 6.39am

 [42] The Authority upholds the complaint about the 23 November broadcast as a breach of Principle 1. The so-called "joke" features the questioning of a man about his potential level of awareness of being sodomised. Implicit in the exchange is incitement to commit acts of sodomy. The tasteless vulgarity and gratuitous offensiveness of this item violates the boundary that maintains community standards of good taste and decency. The broadcast of this item was a serious breach of Principle 1.

[43] The Authority does not uphold any other aspect of this complaint. It does not consider that the broadcaster breached Principle 2 or Principle 7. In relation to Guideline 7b to Principle 7, the Authority notes that it would have been inclined to find that the broadcast breached its obligation to be mindful of the effect of the broadcast on children, had it been broadcast at a time which the Authority considers to be in children’s "normally accepted listening time".

26 November broadcast at 7.40am

[44] The Authority upholds the complaint about the 26 November broadcast as a breach of Principle 1 and Guideline 7b to Principle 7. In the Authority’s view, the use of the word "fuck" at breakfast time breaches the requirement for broadcasters to maintain standards consistent with the observance of good taste and decency, given the nature of the language, and the fact it was broadcast at a time when children could reasonably be expected to have been part of the listening audience. Furthermore, as the Authority considers that 7.40am falls within normally accepted listening time for children during weekday mornings, the Authority also considers that the broadcaster breached its obligation to be mindful of the effect of the broadcast on children.

[45] The Authority does not uphold any other aspect of this complaint.

27 November broadcast at 6.35am and 30 November broadcast at 6.36am

[46] The Authority notes that the broadcaster upheld the complaints that the 27 and 30 November broadcasts breached Principles 1 and 7. In her referral to the Authority, Ms Watkins said she did not accept the broadcaster’s claims about the action which it said it had taken as a result of upholding these complaints. The broadcaster informed the complainant that it had taken disciplinary action against the DJs concerned, by suspending them for two days. It also said that "as a sign of good faith" it had ceased broadcasting the "Morning Shocker", which it said was the programme element around which Ms Watkins’ complaints centred.

[47] The Authority’s task is to determine whether the action taken by the broadcaster in relation to the upheld complaint was sufficient. In its correspondence to the complainant the broadcaster stated that, in upholding the complaint, disciplinary action had been taken against the announcers concerned by suspending them for two days. However, in her correspondence with the Authority, the complainant states that her formal complaint was dated the same day as the media announced the suspensions. The complainant suggested that this proved that the broadcaster had decided to act on the suspension prior to her complaint and for a different reason. In subsequent correspondence with the Authority the broadcaster stated:

She is correct that her complaint did not lead to the suspension but the suspension occurred as a result of the broadcast material including that to which Ms Watkins complained. The date of the letter is not the important issue, rather it is the content of the broadcast.

[48] The Authority considers the action taken by the broadcaster was insufficient. It determines that the timing of the suspension indicates that the suspension was not action taken in relation to the upheld complaint and was therefore insufficient given the gravity of the breaches. Both broadcasts were strongly anti-women and, (in relation to the second item) in conjunction with the themes of sexual disease, prostitution and sex with a minor, the breaches of broadcasting standards were of sufficient magnitude to require specific action to have been taken by the broadcaster.

6 December broadcast at 6.19am

[49] Finally, in relation to the 6 December broadcast, the Authority declines to uphold the complaint. The Authority considers that the comment made about the Authority members to be ill-advised, but insufficiently offensive as to constitute a breach of Principle 1. Furthermore, in its view the broadcast of the item did not demonstrate a lack of social responsibility on the part of the broadcaster to the degree required for a breach of Principle 7.

Bill of Rights

[50] The social objective of regulating broadcasting standards is to guard against broadcasters behaving unfairly, offensively, or otherwise excessively. The Broadcasting Act clearly limits freedom of expression. Section 5 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act provides that the right to freedom of expression may be limited by "such reasonable limits which are prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society". For the reasons given in Decision Nos. 2002-071/072, dated 6 July 2002, the Authority is firmly of the opinion that the limits in the Broadcasting Act are reasonable and demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. The Authority records that it has given full weight to the provisions of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 when exercising its powers under the Broadcasting Act on this occasion.

[51] For the reasons explained in this decision, the Authority considers that the exercise of its powers on this occasion in relation to the aspects of the complaints which it has upheld is consistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. In reaching this conclusion, the Authority has taken into account all the circumstances of these complaints, including the nature of the complaints.

[52] In relation to the aspects of the complaints which the Authority has not upheld, the Authority observes that to find a breach of broadcasting standards on this occasion would be to apply the Broadcasting Act in such a way as to limit freedom of expression in a manner which is not reasonable or demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society (s.5 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act). As required by s.6 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, the Authority adopts an interpretation of the relevant standards and applies them in a manner which it considers is consistent with the provisions of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

 

For the reasons given, the Authority upholds the complaints that:

a broadcast on The Rock on 22 November at 6.31am breached Principle 1 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice

a broadcast on The Rock on 23 November at 6.39am breached Principle 1 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice

a broadcast on The Rock on 26 November at 7.40am breached Principle 1 and Principle 7 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice

the action taken by The RadioWorks after upholding complaints about broadcasts on 27 November at 6.35am and 30 November at 6.36am was insufficient.

The Authority declines to uphold any other aspect of the complaints.

[53] Having upheld a complaint, the Authority may impose orders under ss. 13 and 16 of the Broadcasting Act 1989. It invited submissions from the parties.

[54] Ms Watkins suggested as an appropriate order either an advertising ban or an order directing the broadcaster to refrain from broadcasting for a period of up to 24 hours. She also asked that the Authority order the broadcaster to pay the "maximum penalty of $5,000" for each of the breaches of standards.

[55] The RadioWorks asked the Authority to take into consideration the suspension of the two announcers and the withdrawal of the "Morning Shocker" segment from its morning broadcasts. It also asked the Authority to consider the "major steps of improvement" that had been taken by The Rock in an attempt to change the style of broadcast, changes which it said had been made as a result of decisions and recommendations made by the Authority in relation to previous complaints.

[56] The Authority has given due consideration to both parties’ submissions. In past decisions (Decision Nos: 2001-071/084, dated 19 July 2001 and Decision Nos: 2001-138/204, dated 22 November 2001) the Authority warned that broadcasters who persist in breaching broadcasting standards might expect progressively higher awards of costs. However, on this occasion, it acknowledges the broadcaster’s assurances relating to improvements in broadcasting standards since the date of the Authority’s last decision. Accordingly, the level of costs imposed for the present breaches reflects the Authority’s assessment of the seriousness of those breaches only, and no account has been taken to reflect persistency of breach of broadcasting standards.

[57] The Authority makes the following order:

Order

Pursuant to section 16(4) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 the Authority orders The RadioWorks Ltd to pay, within one month of the date of this Decision, the sum of $3,000 in costs to the Crown. That sum comprises an award of costs of:

$750 in relation to the broadcast on 22 November at 6.31am

$750 in relation to the broadcast on 23 November at 6.39am

$500 in relation to the broadcast on 26 November at 7.40am

$500 in relation to the broadcast on 27 November at 6.35am

$500 in relation to the broadcast on 30 November at 6.36am.

This order shall be enforceable in the Wellington District Court.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Peter Cartwright
Chair
19 September 2002

Appendix

The following correspondence was received and considered by the Authority when it determined these complaints:

  1. R K Watkins’ Formal Complaint to The RadioWorks Ltd – 8 December 2001
  2. The RadioWorks’ Response to the Formal Complaint – 24 December 2001
  3. R K Watkins’ Referral to the Broadcasting Standards Authority – 30 December 2001
  4. The RadioWorks’ Response to the Broadcasting Standards Authority – 25 February 2002
  5. R K Watkins’ Final Comment – 18 March 2002
  6. The RadioWorks’ Submission on Orders – 30 July 2002
  7. R K Watkins’ Submission on Orders – 5 August 2002

1See Attorney General v Hill (1993) 7 PRNZ 20.