Clark and RadioWorks Ltd - 2011-158
- Peter Radich (Chair)
- Leigh Pearson
- Mary Anne Shanahan
- Jolene Clark
ProgrammeNew Zealand First Election Advertisement
Te Raumawhitu Kupenga declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the determination of this complaint.
Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
New Zealand First Election Advertisement – child stated, “My mum and dad are voting for New Zealand First. They say that Winston will give us a fair go” – allegedly in breach of responsible programming standard
Standard E1 (election programmes subject to other Codes) – Standard 8 (responsible programming) of the Radio Code – advertisement broadcast in robust political environment during lead-up to the election – reasonable listeners would understand that children are under the legal age to vote – complaint does not raise any issues of broadcasting standards which warrant our consideration – complaint frivolous and trivial – decline to determine under section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
This headnote does not form part of the decision.
 An advertisement for New Zealand First was broadcast on The Rock at approximately 1pm on 25 November 2011. The advertisement stated:
Child’s voice: My mum and dad are voting for New Zealand First. They say that Winston
will give us a fair go.
Winston Peters: If you want a fair go, party vote New Zealand First.
 Jolene Clark made a formal complaint alleging that the advertisement was irresponsible because, in her view, it consisted of “a child endorsing a political party based on what his parents said”, which she considered to be inappropriate given that “children don’t vote and don’t understand the complexities of the electoral system”.
 The issue is whether the advertisement breached Standard E1 (election programmes subject to other Codes) of the Election Programmes Code, and Standard 8 (responsible programming) of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice.
 The members of the Authority have reviewed the content of the broadcast complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.
Did the advertisement breach broadcasting standards?
 Standard 8 of the Radio Code requires broadcasters to ensure programme information and content is socially responsible, for example, considering the interests of child listeners, taking care when scheduling programmes containing violent themes, and broadcasting appropriate warnings where necessary.
 In our view, reasonable listeners would have been aware that children are not permitted to vote in our electoral system, and would have understood that the purpose of the advertisement was to promote New Zealand First. The broadcast of the advertisement in a robust political environment leading up to the General Election does not, in our view, raise any issues of broadcasting standards of a level which warrants our consideration.
 Section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 allows the Authority to decline to determine a complaint which it considers to be frivolous, vexatious, or trivial. Pursuant to this section, we decline to determine Ms Clark’s complaint on the grounds that it was frivolous and trivial.
For the above reasons the Authority declines to determine the complaint.
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority
20 December 2011
The following correspondence was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:
1 Jolene Clark’s formal complaint – 25 November 2011
2 RadioWorks’ response to the complaint – 2 December 2011
3 New Zealand First’s response to the complaint – 8 December 2011