Search Rapua

Search Decisions
Broadcast Information
Codes and Standards
Date Range
Showing 1 - 20 of 89 results.
SORT BY
Decisions
Two Complainants and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-074 (26 February 2019)
2018-074

The Authority has not upheld complaints from two complainants, a Christian organisation and its director, about an episode of Sunday which investigated gay conversion therapy and whether this practice was happening in New Zealand. The director, ‘X’, was filmed covertly during the programme, appearing to offer gay conversion therapy to an undercover reporter, ‘Jay’, who posed as a young Christian ‘struggling with same sex attraction’. The Authority found that the broadcaster’s use of a hidden camera in this case represented a highly offensive intrusion upon X’s interest in seclusion and that, on its face, this broadcast breached their privacy. However, the Authority found that the high level of public interest, both in the programme as a whole and in the hidden camera footage, justified the broadcaster’s use of a hidden camera. Further, the broadcaster complied with its obligations under the fairness standard, providing the complainants with sufficient information about the nature of the broadcast and X’s participation, and a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment in response to the issues raised by the programme. Finally, the Authority found that the broadcast accurately and fairly portrayed the nature of the conversation between X and Jay, and the support and services being offered to him.

Not Upheld: Privacy, Fairness, Accuracy  

Decisions
Seven Complainants and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-049 (26 February 2019)
2018-049

The Authority has not upheld complaints from seven members of the public about an episode of Sunday, which investigated gay conversion therapy and whether this practice was happening in New Zealand. Three individuals were filmed covertly during the programme, appearing to offer gay conversion therapy to an undercover reporter, ‘Jay’, who posed as a young Christian ‘struggling with same sex attraction’. The Authority found that the broadcaster’s use of a hidden camera in this case represented a highly offensive intrusion upon the three individuals’ interest in seclusion. All three individuals were discussing a sensitive matter and could not have reasonably expected their one‑on-one conversation to be recorded in its entirety and broadcast. The Authority found that on its face the broadcast breached the privacy of these individuals. However, in this case the Authority recognised the legitimate public interest in the issue of gay conversion therapy in New Zealand, and the role of investigative journalism in disclosing issues such as this to the New Zealand public. The Authority found that the high level of public interest, both in the programme as a whole and in the hidden camera footage, justified the broadcaster’s use of a hidden camera and therefore did not uphold the privacy complaints.

Not Upheld: Privacy  

Decisions
Chapple and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-064 (26 February 2019)
2018-064

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an episode of Sunday, which investigated gay conversion therapy in New Zealand, was unbalanced and inaccurate. The Authority found the existence of differing viewpoints was pointed to throughout the programme, with balancing comments provided by those featured and in final comments from the presenter. The broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of the programme, relying on authoritative medical opinion from health experts regarding current views on gay conversion therapy and the potential harm that could be caused by the practice. In making these findings, the Authority recognised the high public interest in this story and found that upholding the complaint would represent an unjustified and unreasonable limit on the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression.

Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy   

Decisions
Chapple, Grieve & Shierlaw and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2018-085 (28 January 2019)
2018-085

The Authority did not uphold three complaints about an episode of Sunday that discussed freedom of expression and hate speech and which featured edited excerpts of an interview with Canadian commentators, Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern. The Authority found the broadcast was balanced, containing a wide range of perspectives on a controversial issue of public importance, being the exercise of the right to freedom of expression in New Zealand. The Authority also found that the interview with Mr Molyneux and Ms Southern was used to illustrate points relevant to the wider topic but was not in itself the central focus of the item. The pending visit of Mr Molyneux and Ms Southern was therefore used to frame the issues in the item. The Authority further determined that, while an interview of Mr Molyneux was heavily edited, the extract was unlikely to mislead viewers or result in any undue harm to the reputations of Mr Molyneux or Ms Southern. Finally, the Authority emphasised the importance of public discussion and discourse about the issues of freedom of expression and harmful speech and the important role broadcasts like this play in that discussion.

Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness

Decisions
Wyn-Harris and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2017-047 (4 September 2017)
2017-047

Following the issue of this decision, the Authority received new information from a third party refuting certain allegations made by the complainant about, and descriptions of, the dairy farm referred to in the decision owned by 'B'. The Authority wishes to note that the descriptions of the farm owned by B used in this decision have been disputed. 

An episode of Sunday, titled ‘The Price of Milk’, followed a reporter as he visited two dairy farms in the Hauraki Plains. The reporter spent time with two farmers, A and B, to hear their perspectives on their work and the issues facing the industry, such as the impact of dairy farming on New Zealand waterways, abuse of bobby calves and financial struggles. B operated a ‘low-intensive’ farm, with a focus on soil health and mixed pasture, while A used more traditional farming methods. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this item was misleading, unbalanced and treated one of the farmers, A, unfairly. The item was clearly approached from the narrow perspective of the two particular farmers, and was focused on hearing their views about the issues canvassed in the item. As such, viewers would not have expected the item to represent all farmers or farming styles. The Authority did not agree that the item made a direct comparison between the two farms, favouring one over the other, and considered that all participants were portrayed positively in the item. Given the item’s narrow perspective, it did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue of public importance, and was therefore not subject to the requirements of the balance standard.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Balance

Decisions
Webber and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2017-051 (4 September 2017)
2017-051

Following the issue of this decision, the Authority received new information from a third party refuting certain allegations made by the complainant about, and descriptions of, the dairy farm referred to in the decision owned by 'B'. The Authority wishes to note that the descriptions of the farm owned by B used in this decision have been disputed. 

An episode of Sunday, titled ‘The Price of Milk’, followed a reporter as he visited two dairy farms in the Hauraki Plains. The reporter spent time with two farmers, A and B, to hear their perspectives on their work and the issues facing the industry. B operated a ‘low-intensive’ farm, with a focus on soil health and mixed pasture, while A used more traditional farming methods. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the two farms were not representative of dairy farms in New Zealand, which was misleading, unbalanced, and unfair to the farmers involved and to the wider industry. The item was clearly approached from the narrow perspective of the two featured farmers, who provided their views based on their own experiences. As such, viewers would not have expected their perspectives, or their farms or farming practices, to be representative of the industry as a whole. The Authority found that, while some aspects of the programme may have been challenging for viewers, this did not reflect negatively on those featured, or on the wider industry. Given the item’s narrow perspective, it did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue of pubic importance, and was therefore not subject to the requirements of the balance standard.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Balance

Decisions
Gibbs and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2016-091 (8 March 2017)
2016-091

An item on Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman, titled ‘Abortion and Civil Liberties – the Thames Stand-Off’, discussed ‘pro-life’ protestors, Voice for Life, and their longstanding protests outside Thames Hospital. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the presenter was biased and that his treatment of the ‘pro-life’ representative was negative, unfair and unbalanced in comparison to his treatment of the ‘pro-choice’ representative. The Authority found that Mr Chapman’s treatment of the interviewees did not result in an unbalanced broadcast, as both perspectives on the debate were adequately put forward during the programme. While Mr Chapman’s questioning of the ‘pro-life’ representative was robust, his criticisms related to the Voice for Life group as a whole, and he did not attack the interviewee personally or come across as abusive towards her, such that she was treated unfairly. The allegedly inaccurate statement made by Mr Chapman represented his interpretation of the issues discussed, and as such could be distinguished as analysis, comment or opinion, rather than a point of fact subject to the accuracy standard.

Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness, Accuracy 

Decisions
Evans and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2016-080 (19 January 2017)
2016-080

An item on Sunday Morning featured an interview with journalist Paula Penfold about the recently published book, Don’t Dream It’s Over: Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand. During the interview, Ms Penfold discussed the Stuff Circuit team’s investigation into the death of a teenage girl with Down Syndrome at the Gloriavale Christian community. Ms Penfold referred to the complainant’s documentary, Gloriavale: A Woman’s Place, saying, ‘And I know a little bit about how that works with Hopeful Christian, the leader at Gloriavale. You know, he will insist on editorial control’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that Ms Penfold’s statements were inaccurate. Ms Penfold’s statement represented her own analysis, comment or opinion, based on her experiences at Gloriavale, and so was not subject to the accuracy standard. While Ms Penfold spoke authoritatively, in the context of her full statement, and the item as a whole, the Authority did not consider that listeners would have interpreted her comments as fact.

Not Upheld: Accuracy 

 

Decisions
Knight and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-028 (22 August 2016)
2016-028

An item on Sunday exposed the alleged mistreatment of bobby calves by some members of the dairy industry in the Waikato region. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item was an unbalanced and inaccurate depiction of dairy farming, and breached a number of other broadcasting standards. The Authority found the item was sufficiently balanced, as the perspective of the dairy industry was given both within the item and within the period of current interest. The item was not inaccurate or misleading in the ways alleged by the complainant; rather, it focused on instances of bad practice within the dairy industry and did not suggest these were commonplace. Furthermore, the item did not breach the privacy of a local farming family, as they were not identifiable or otherwise referred to in the footage. The broadcaster exercised adequate care and discretion when showing footage of cruelty against bobby calves.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy, Privacy, Violence, Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness 

Decisions
RZ and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-011 (17 May 2016)
2016-011

An item on Sunday exposed the alleged mistreatment of bobby calves by some members of New Zealand’s dairy industry. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that the item was unfair to the complainant and breached his and his employee’s privacy, and that the item was inaccurate and lacked balance. Neither RZ nor his employee was identifiable during the footage and they were not participants, or referred to, in the item. The item was also sufficiently balanced, as the perspective of the dairy industry was given both within the item and within the period of current interest. Comments in the item that the complainant alleged were inaccurate were clearly opinion and analysis and thus not subject to the accuracy standard, and the item was not otherwise misleading.

Not Upheld: Privacy, Fairness, Controversial Issues, Accuracy 

Decisions
Thomson and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-060 (1 December 2015)
2015-060

An item on Sunday discussed AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd’s alleged unsafe sex practices with escorts. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item breached Mr Rudd’s privacy. The information disclosed during the item was already in the public domain and widely broadcast, so did not constitute private facts. The item also did not disclose any personal details about Mr Rudd for the purposes of encouraging harassment.

Not Upheld: Privacy 

Decisions
Devereux and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-027
2015-027

Sunday focused on an initiative by a road safety organisation which creates images of car crash victims as they would appear now. One of the families taking part in this initiative lost their seven-year-old boy, who was killed by drink-driving teenagers 17 years earlier. The incident was briefly recounted, showing footage of the driver of the car and of several passengers. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item breached the privacy of the young people involved in the crash. The crash was a sufficiently serious and well-known event that the facts about it and the individuals’ involvement had not become private again through the passage of time. The story carried high public interest and did not revisit the incident in a manner that would be considered highly offensive to an objective reasonable person.

Not Upheld: Privacy 

Decisions
Maasland & Others and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2014-118
2014-118

Sunday Morning contained two items on the historical relationship between Israel and apartheid South Africa: Counterpoint contained a discussion of the relationship between Israel and South Africa and of Israel’s arms industry; and an interview with an anti-apartheid activist discussed this topic as well as modern-day Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The Authority upheld complaints that the broadcast breached the controversial issues standard, as no alternative perspective was presented either within the broadcast, in any proximate broadcast or in other media. The Authority declined to uphold the remainder of the complaints because: the statements complained of were either expressions of opinion or matters the Authority cannot determine and therefore were not subject to the accuracy standard; the statements did not reach the high threshold necessary to encourage discrimination or denigration; and the programme did not treat any individual or organisation unfairly.

Upheld: Controversial Issues

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration, Fairness

No Order

Decisions
Lace and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2014-111
2014-111

The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning coverage of ‘Dirty Politics issues’, was unbalanced, irresponsible and unfair. The broadcast covered a range of topics including Dirty Politics, and as the book was one of the political ‘hot topics’ in the lead-up to the 2014 general election and widely reported on, listeners could reasonably be expected to be aware of other views.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Fairness, Responsible Programming

Decisions
Schwabe and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2014-011
2014-011

During Arts on Sunday an audio clip from a movie being reviewed was broadcast, in which a character from the movie said ‘frigging’. The Authority declined to uphold the complaint that this low level language breached standards of good taste and decency. It was fleeting and innocuous and broadcast as part of a movie review targeted at adults.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Decisions
Quayle and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2013-072
2013-072

An item on Sunday reported on a proposal by PHARMAC to decline funding for a drug needed to treat a rare blood disorder. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item was unbalanced and portrayed PHARMAC as ‘irresponsible and heartless’. The item was transparently an advocacy piece presented from the perspective of people who opposed PHARMAC’s proposal, in particular a New Zealand man suffering from the disorder who desperately needed the drug. The item emphasised that the high cost of the drug was the main reason behind PHARMAC’s proposal, and it contained a fair summary of a statement provided by PHARMAC to the programme.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues

Decisions
Moore and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2013-093
2013-093

An item on Sunday reported on an incident in which an innocent civilian was attacked by a police dog when a police dog handler failed to follow correct protocol. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the broadcast of footage of the dog handler, taken from another programme series, breached his privacy. A combination of factors meant that Mr Moore did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy with regard to the footage, including that it was filmed in a public place, and he had already consented to its release into the public domain as part of a reality television series.

Not Upheld: Privacy      

Decisions
Golden and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2013-028
2013-028

In an interview with a successful New Zealand businessman on Sunday Morning with Chris Laidlaw, the businessman made a very brief reference to a trustee of one of his projects. The Authority declined to determine the complaint that this breached the accuracy, fairness and responsible programming standards: the complaint was trivial and it was bordering on vexatious for the complainant to continue referring similar complaints following the Authority's previous rulings.

Declined to Determine: Accuracy, Fairness, Responsible Programming

Decisions
Tan and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2013-027
2013-027

An item on Sunday profiled a New Zealand businessman and his experience in a Chinese prison, including his claims about forced prison labour and the exportation of prison products to the West.  The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item breached standards relating to good taste and decency, law and order, controversial issues, accuracy, fairness, discrimination and denigration, and responsible programming: the item focused on the experience of one man and did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance; the information the complainant was concerned about was conveyed as the interviewee’s personal opinion and interpretation of events; no individual or organisation was treated unfairly; and the story did not encourage the denigration of China or Chinese people.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Law and Order, Controversial Issues, Accuracy, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming

Decisions
Bolot, Finlay and Gautier and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2013-008
2013-008

Five items reporting on an episode of escalating violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip were broadcast on Radio New Zealand National. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that they breached the balance standard because they were biased towards the Palestinian position. The broadcaster had clearly made reasonable efforts to present significant viewpoints, including the Israeli perspective, across more than 250 news bulletins and programmes within the period of current interest.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues

1 2 3 ... 5