BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Pearson and CanWest RadioWorks Ltd - 2005-110

  • Joanne Morris (Chair)
  • Diane Musgrave
  • Tapu Misa
  • Paul France
  • Owen Pearson
Solid Gold Radio
Solid Gold FM

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
Solid Gold Radio – announcement that station going off-air due to “atmospheric conditions” – allegedly inaccurate

Principle 5 (accuracy) – accuracy principle does not apply – not upheld

This headnote does not form part of the decision.


[1] On 8 September 2005 at 11.40am, Solid Gold FM advised listeners that programmes would be interrupted at midday due to “atmospheric conditions”.


[2] Mr Pearson complained that the event causing the interruption was a “sun transit”, and the announcement was inaccurate.


[3] CanWest did not assess the complaint with reference to the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice.

Broadcaster's Response to the Complainant

[4] CanWest asserted that the announcer was simply acknowledging the interruption to the programme. It maintained that there was no need for the announcer to give a more detailed description.

Referral to the Authority

[5] Mr Pearson referred the matter to the Authority, stating that the announcer had made a definite statement that atmospheric conditions were responsible, “even though the announcer was not really sure what it was about”.

Authority's Determination

[6] The members of the Authority have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix. The Authority determines the complaint without a formal hearing.

[7] The Authority notes that the complaint was referred under Principle 5 (accuracy). Principle 5 applies only to news, current affairs and factual programmes. The Authority notes that the subject of the complaint was an administrative announcement, and thus does not fall under Principle 5.


For the above reasons the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority


Joanne Morris
1 November 2005


The following correspondence was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:

  1. Owen Pearson’s formal complaint to Solid Gold FM – 11 September 2005
  2. Solid Gold FM’s response to the formal complaint – 13 September 2005
  3. Mr Pearson’s referral to the Authority – 13 September 2005