BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

C and TV3 Network Services Ltd - 2001-090, 2001-091

  • P Cartwright (Chair)
  • B Hayward
  • J H McGregor
  • C

TV3 current affairs programme – breach of standards – breach of privacy

Privacy – decline to determine

Standards – decline to determine

This headnote does not form part of the decision.


C complained to TV3 Network Services Ltd, the broadcaster, that a current affairs programme broadcast on TV3 breached broadcasting standards. C also laid a privacy complaint about the programme with the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

The members of the Authority have viewed a tape of the broadcast complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix. The Authority arrives at its decision on these complaints without a formal hearing.

The Authority has carefully considered the matters raised in the material provided to it by the parties. Section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 gives the Authority power to decline to determine a complaint if it considers that, in all the circumstances of the complaint, it should not be determined by the Authority. In the Authority’s view, the circumstances of these complaints warrant it exercising its discretion under section 11(b).

The Authority reaches this view for the following reasons. First, the matters raised in the complaints are highly sensitive and personal. Second, the lengthy correspondence provided by the parties raises questions of fact which the Authority is not satisfied could be resolved, even with the benefit of a hearing. Given that the Authority may regulate its procedure in such manner as it thinks fit, any hearing to determine these complaints could be held in private. However, the Authority is required to give public notice of its decisions, which in turn are required to include the Authority’s reasons for its decisions. Given the likelihood of public disclosure of information highly sensitive to the complainant following issue of its decision, in the Authority’s view the process of determining the complaints has the potential to compound the harm which gave rise to the initial complaints.


For the reasons given, the Authority declines to determine the complaints under section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority


Peter Cartwright
2 August 2001

Appendix I

The following correspondence was received and considered by the Authority:

  1. C’s Privacy Complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority – 26 June 2000
  2. TV3’s initial response to the Complaint – 1 July 2000
  3. C’s Further Complaint to TV3 – 25 July 2000
  4. TV3’s Response to the Authority – 21 August 2000
  5. C’s Final Comment to the Authority (plus attachments) – 20 September 2000
  6. TV3’s Further Comment – 25 October 2000
  7. C’s Final Comment – 8 November 2000

Appendix II

The Standards Complaint

  1. C’s Complaint to the Authority (forwarded to TV3) – 26 June 2000
  2. C’s Complaint to TV3 Network Services Ltd – 25 July 2000
  3. TV3’s Response to the Formal Complaint – 21 August 2000
  4. C’s Referral to the Authority (plus attachments) – 20 September 2000
  5. TV3’s Response to the Authority – 25 October 2000
  6. C’s Final Comment – 8 November 2000