[This summary does not form part of the decision.]
The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a RadioLIVE Drive show, which discussed the issue of property managers or landlords asking to see the bank statements of prospective tenants. The Authority found the broadcast did not breach any of the broadcasting standards raised by the complainant, noting the broadcast included a range of viewpoints from the hosts, interviewees and listeners who phoned into the programme. The broadcast discussed a legitimate issue and was in line with audience expectations for the programme and for talkback radio. The Authority therefore found no actual or potential harm that might have outweighed the important right to freedom of expression.
Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration, Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Privacy, Fairness
 During RadioLIVE’s Drive show on 8 August 2018, host Ryan Bridge and guest host Lynda Hallinan discussed the issue of property managers or landlords asking to see the bank statements of prospective tenants. This was prompted by a property manager’s comment to a Government committee that she routinely asked to see the bank statements of prospective tenants.
 This topic was discussed in the broadcast during interviews with representatives from the Property Investors’ Federation and Renters United, and in a panel discussion. A number of listeners also phoned in to the show and expressed a range of viewpoints on the issue.
 James Parlane complained the broadcast breached the balance, accuracy, law and order, discrimination and denigration, good taste and decency, programme information, violence, privacy and fairness standards of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice.
 Mr Parlane submitted:
 In response to the complaint, the broadcaster submitted:
 Mr Parlane raised a total of eight broadcasting standards in his complaint. When we assessed his complaint, we found the balance, accuracy and law and order standards to be the most relevant, so we have focused our decision on those standards. The remaining standards raised are addressed briefly at paragraph  below.
 The balance standard (Standard 8) aims to ensure that competing arguments are presented to enable viewers to form their own informed and reasoned opinion about controversial issues of public importance.
 The accuracy standard (Standard 9) states that broadcasters should make reasonable efforts to ensure that news, current affairs and factual programming is accurate in relation to all material points of fact, and does not mislead. Guideline 9d states that talkback programmes will not usually be subject to the accuracy standard.
 The intent behind the law and order standard (Standard 5) is to prevent broadcasts that encourage viewers to break the law, or otherwise promote, glamorise or condone criminal activity.
 Our starting point is that we recognise the importance of the right to freedom of expression, which includes both the broadcaster’s right to present information and ideas to the public, and the audience’s right to receive that information. We weigh the value of the broadcast item, as well as the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression, against the level of actual or potential harm that might be caused by the broadcast, either to an individual or to society or the audience generally.
 The discussion of property managers asking prospective tenants for their bank statements explored a legitimate issue and carried public interest. Across the broadcast as a whole the discussion was presented in a balanced manner and allowed a wide range of views to be aired. For the reasons outlined below, we have not identified any actual or potential harm arising from the broadcast which justifies restricting the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression.
 Mr Parlane’s primary concern under this standard is that Ms Hallinan depicted landlords in a negative light throughout the broadcast which made the broadcast unbalanced. Mr Parlane submitted ‘the problem is with delinquent tenants not paying rent’.
 We first asked ourselves whether this segment of the Drive show amounted to ‘news, current affairs or factual programming’, which triggered the requirements of the balance standard. In our view it did not fall within this category. The programme was clearly a talkback segment and was analogous to ‘programmes which are wholly based on opinions or ideas’, which are generally not considered news or current affairs.1 While the host and callers discussed topical issues, listeners would not have expected a balanced or authoritative examination of these issues, in the context of the robust, opinionated talkback environment.
 In any event, we note the broadcast contained a wide range of views on the issue of whether landlords should have access to prospective tenants’ bank statements, including comments that were supportive of landlords. For example:
 Accordingly we do not uphold the complaint under this standard.
 As noted above, talkback programmes will not usually be subject to the accuracy standard.2 This is because the very nature of a talkback show is that it largely comprises opinions shared by the hosts and callers, and opinions (as opposed to statements of fact) are not subject to the accuracy standard.3
 Listeners would not have expected the views shared as part of this broadcast to be authoritative or subject to standards of accuracy, and we find the accuracy standard did not apply here. Ms Hallinan’s comment that ‘every accommodation supplement that is not actually paid to a beneficiary, you know, that goes to the landlord…’ was one comment within a lengthy discussion focused primarily on the issue of prospective tenants providing bank statements. Her comment was unlikely to affect the audience’s understanding of the discussion of this topic as a whole.
 Therefore we do not uphold the complaint under this standard.
Law and Order
 The complainant’s concern under this standard is with Ms Hallinan’s comment, ‘[W]e were sort of thinking Photoshop, just quietly. Just Photoshop it up and make it look good,’ which he considered actively promoted illegal behaviour and encouraged audiences to falsify their bank statements.
 Ms Hallinan’s comment was a brief, tongue-in-cheek joke made in passing. It was prompted by a caller’s suggestion that prospective tenants asked to provide bank statements could request from the bank a statement showing only automatic payments for rent, rather than all of their outgoing expenses, which the hosts remarked was ‘very smart’. The comment did not exceed audience expectations of talkback radio and did not actively encourage listeners to break the law or promote criminal activity, in the context.
 We therefore do not uphold the law and order complaint.
Remaining standards raised
 We have summarised below our findings in relation to the other standards raised in Mr Parlane’s complaint, and the reasons these standards were either not applicable or not breached:
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority
Judge Bill Hastings
14 November 2018
The correspondence listed below was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:
1 James Parlane’s formal complaint – 11 August 2018
2 MediaWorks’ response to the complaint – 7 September 2018
3 Mr Parlane’s referral to the Authority – 10 September 2018
4 MediaWorks’ confirmation of no further comment – 21 September 2018
1 Guideline 9d
2 Guideline 9d
3 Guideline 9a