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Decisions
Kumar and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-117
2014-117

An election advertisement for the National Party referred to ‘Labour, The Greens and Dotcom’ wanting to spend ‘more than 30 billion dollars’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the reference to ‘Dotcom’ was misleading because there was no ‘Dotcom Party’, and that the figure of 30 billion dollars was inaccurate. The advertisement did not explicitly refer to any ‘Dotcom Party’, Kim Dotcom has been a prominent figure in the election, and most listeners would have understood it to be a reference to the Internet Party, and that political party advertising is broadcast in the context of a robust political arena in the lead-up to a general election. The reference to other parties’ policy costs was analysis and interpretation by the National Party, and acceptable in this context.

Not Upheld: Election Programmes Subject to Other Standards (Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration), Denigration, Misleading Programmes

Decisions
McGuckian and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-088
2014-088

A Newstalk ZB news bulletin reported on the Pope meeting with victims of clerical sexual abuse. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the number of victims cited was inaccurate. The broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure the item’s accuracy by obtaining the figure from a United Nations report.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

Decisions
Du Fall and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-055
2014-055

On Newstalk ZB on 2 April 2014, in response to a news item reporting that the average New Zealand woman weighed 72 kilograms, the host Rachel Smalley could be heard, during an advertisement break, referring to these women as ‘heifers’ and ‘a bunch of lardos’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the action taken by the broadcaster was insufficient, or that the comments breached standards of good taste and decency. Size or weight is not one of the specified sections of the community under the discrimination and denigration standard, the comments were off the cuff and not intended for broadcast, and the host and the broadcaster both issued public apologies.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration (Action Taken)

Decisions
Kumar and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-057
2014-057

The host of the Larry Williams Drive Show and a political editor discussed a protest that had taken place in response to the release of the Government’s budget. The host expressed his disapproval of the protestors and made comments about how he thought they should be dealt with, for example saying fire trucks should corner them from either end of the street. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that his comments breached standards. The host was clearly expressing his personal opinion, and the political editor countered the comments, noting people living in a democracy are entitled to protest.

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

Decisions
Woodgate and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-051
2014-051

During the KPMG Early Edition, the female host was asked, in reference to her interview with Kim Dotcom at his mansion, ‘What room did you do him in?’ The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the comment breached standards of good taste and decency. It was in the nature of innuendo and was intended to be light-hearted and humorous rather than offensive or degrading to the host.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Decisions
Scarlett and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-059
2014-059

During Canterbury Mornings with Chris Lynch, the host expressed frustration with the length of time it had taken police to decide whether to proceed with criminal investigations in relation to the collapse of the CTV building in the Christchurch earthquake. He said, ‘for Christ’s sake, police, you can do better than this’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the use of the word ‘Christ’ breached standards. The use of ‘Christ’ as an exclamation to express surprise or dismay has become an accepted part of colloquial speech and would not have offended most listeners.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming

Decisions
Barratt-Boyes and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-043
2014-043

During the Classic Hits Breakfast Show the hosts played an audio clip from an American talk show, of a celebrity discussing his sex life before he got married. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that this breached standards of good taste and decency, taking into account the context, including the station’s target audience of 35 to 54-year-olds, and that the content was consistent with audience expectations of breakfast radio shows.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Decisions
Clark and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-018
2014-018

The hosts of the Dave and Guy Show on Classic Hits encouraged callers to phone in with stories about dealing with unwanted visitors at the front door. One caller joked that he had answered the door ‘stark naked’, surprised that the ‘god botherers’ were an elderly lady and a 16-year-old girl. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the caller’s comments about ‘indecent exposure’ breached standards. This was clearly intended to be a joke and most listeners would not have been offended taking into account the station’s and the programme’s target audience.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Decisions
Parlane and The Radio Network Ltd - 2014-014
2014-014

One of the hosts of talkback show, The Two, treated two callers in a way that the complainant considered to be unfair. The broadcaster upheld his complaint in relation to one of the callers. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the action taken by the broadcaster was insufficient, or that the broadcast otherwise breached standards. Talkback radio is recognised as a robust and opinionated forum in which hosts may sometimes behave rudely. The host in this case was expressing her opinion, and her comments did not go beyond what could reasonably be expected.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Fairness (Action Taken), Fairness, Accuracy

Decisions
Williamson and The Radio Network Ltd - 2013-088
2013-088

In a weekly interview segment on Mike Hosking Breakfast, Prime Minister John Key criticised the Labour Party while discussing a number of political topics. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the host displayed political bias and let the Prime Minister criticise other parties unchallenged, without them being offered any right of reply. This segment with the Prime Minister of the day has been running for 25 years, it was transparently political advocacy, and it did not purport to be a balanced or even-handed discussion of political issues. Other politicians were also interviewed on Newstalk ZB on a regular basis.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Fairness, Accuracy, Responsible Programming, Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
Clarke and The Radio Network Ltd - 2013-077
2013-077

During a panel discussion on the Mike Hosking Breakfast show about the government’s funding of America’s Cup campaigners, one of the panellists said ‘fucking’. She immediately apologised for the slip-up, and the other participants rebuked her in a light-hearted manner. The broadcaster upheld the complaint and counselled the panellist. The Authority found that the action taken by the broadcaster was sufficient. It noted the comment was made during a legitimate discussion about a matter of public interest, and all of the participants acknowledged at the time that the swearing was inappropriate.

Not Upheld (Action Taken): Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming

Decisions
McCammon and The Radio Network Ltd - 2013-061
2013-061

The host of talkback programme Canterbury Mornings expressed the view that parking wardens in Christchurch were ‘scum’ for ticketing people in the central city, after everything they had been through with the earthquakes. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the host’s comments were unacceptable, irresponsible and denigrated parking wardens. The comments related to a legitimate issue and were well within the host’s right to free speech, especially given that talkback radio is recognised as a robust and opinionated environment. A caller also challenged the host, so listeners were given a countering perspective.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming

Decisions
Clark and The Radio Network Ltd - 2013-063
2013-063

During a segment called ‘The Huddle’ on the Larry Williams Drive Show, involving a discussion about the candidates for the Labour Party leadership, one of the panellists commented that a candidate ‘enjoys being stabbed from behind’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the comment was offensive and ‘disgusting’ because it allegedly referred to a gay candidate and amounted to ‘double entendre’. The comment was quick and open to more than one interpretation, and even if double entendre of a sexual nature was intended, this was well within the panellist’s right to free speech, and was permissible in the context of a discussion about a legitimate issue, aimed at an adult target audience.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Decisions
Hastie and The Radio Network Ltd - 2013-060
2013-060

The hosts of the Jase and Dave Drive Show on Classic Hits joked about a ‘sex drive-in’ in Switzerland and made humorous comparisons with a fast food drive-through. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the use of sexual innuendo was inappropriate for broadcast. No coarse language was used and inexplicit sexual innuendo is permissible during children’s listening times. The host also indicated the topic may be unsuitable for younger listeners, giving parents and caregivers an opportunity to exercise discretion.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming

Decisions
Macnaughtan and The Radio Network Ltd - 2013-016
2013-016

During Overnight Talkback with Bruce Russell, the host and a caller discussed a meteorite exploding over central Russia and causing a shock that injured many people. The host made comments to the effect he would rather it happened in Russia than in New Zealand. The Authority did not uphold the good taste and decency complaint, as the host’s comments were expressed in a light-hearted and flippant manner and would not have offended or distressed most listeners in context.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Decisions
Otago Casinos Ltd and The Radio Network Ltd - 2013-004
2013-004

During the Farming Show, broadcast on NewstalkZB, the host told a short anecdote about his recent experience at a bar in Queenstown, claiming he was refused service after having a “couple of beers” and commenting that it was “poor form” on the part of the bar. The Authority upheld the complaint that this breached the fairness standard: the host’s comments were inappropriate, and he abused his position by airing a personal grievance and naming the bar on air in retaliation, which had the potential to detrimentally affect the complainant’s business and commercial interests. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Fairness

No Order

Decisions
Burford and The Radio Network Ltd - 2012-124
2012-124

A guest host on the Paul Holmes Show on Newstalk ZB read out a text message which used the phrase "pre-op tranny", and the phrase was repeated by a listener who called the show. The broadcaster upheld the complaint that this breached the discrimination and denigration standard. The Authority found that the action taken by the broadcaster was sufficient.

Not Upheld (Action Taken): Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
McClung and The Radio Network Ltd - 2012-067
2012-067

At approximately 9.11pm during Kerre Woodham Talkback, the host said, “You fricken moron”, in response to a caller’s comment that having a disability was the result of “inbreeding”. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the host’s comment breached the good taste and decency and responsible programming standards: the comment was broadcast after 9pm during a talkback programme targeted at adults, it would not have surprised or offended most listeners, and its broadcast in this context was not socially irresponsible.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming

Decisions
Simpson and The Radio Network Ltd - 2012-064
2012-064

During a discussion about gay marriage on Newstalk ZB’s Overnight Talkback, the host described the complainant, a caller, as “incredibly rude”. The host read out a fax from the complainant and repeated the word “homophobic” while spelling out “faggot”. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the host’s comments breached the fairness and discrimination and denigration standards: while it was clear that the host disagreed with the complainant’s views, he did allow the complainant an opportunity to present his perspective and he was not abusive towards him; and the host’s use of the word “homophobic” and spelling out of “faggot” did not encourage the denigration of, or discrimination against, any section of the community.

Not Upheld: Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
Heerdegen and The Radio Network Ltd - 2012-043
2012-043

During the Leighton Smith Show on Newstalk ZB, the host discussed verdicts in the Urewera Four case. The complainant phoned the programme and the host subsequently made comments about “nut bars” in New Zealand. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that this breached the discrimination and denigration standard: the standard only applies to sections of the community and not to individuals; it was unclear which section of the community the complainant considered was denigrated or discriminated against; and the host’s comments were clearly his personal opinion and were not specifically directed at the complainant.

Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

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