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In this section of the website you can search all our decisions from 1989/90 to the present. The decisions appear in descending order.

Decisions from 1994 appear in HTML. Decisions from 1989/90 to 1993 are attached as PDFs.

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26 Results

Thomas and SKY Network Television Ltd - 2017-082 (27 October 2017)

A campaign advertisement for the Ban 1080 Party (an election programme for the purposes of the Election Programmes Code) was broadcast at 5.20pm on 9 September 2017 on Prime, during a G-classified fishing programme, Addicted to Fishing. The advertisement featured a voiceover discussing the purported use and effects of sodium fluoroacetate (1080 poison) on New Zealand’s fauna, in particular deer. The advertisement included a number of close-up images of dead deer allegedly poisoned by 1080, some of which appeared to be frothing at the mouth. A complaint was made that the broadcast of these images at a time when children may be watching was upsetting and inappropriate, in breach of the good taste and decency standard (which applies under Standard E1 of the Election Programmes Code). The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding that, while the images may be confronting for some viewers, they related to Ban 1080’s main political policy message, and in the context the high threshold necessary to find a breach of the good taste and decency standard was not met. The Authority emphasised the importance and value of political expression, particularly in the lead up to a general election.

Not Upheld: Election Programmes Subject to Other Codes, Good Taste and Decency

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Curtis and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2014-124

During the National Party’s closing address, footage was shown of Prime Minister John Key with US President Barack Obama and the Queen. The Authority declined to determine the complaint that the use of this footage was illegal and breached standards, on the basis the complaint was trivial and did not raise any broadcasting standards issues in the context of a political broadcast carrying high public interest.

Declined to determine: Election Programmes Subject to Other Codes 

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Kumar and The Radio Network Ltd - 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

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Pekepo and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2014-116

In an election advertisement for the National Party, John Key referred to ‘Labour, The Greens and Dotcom’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the reference to ‘Dotcom’ was misleading because there was no ‘Dotcom Party’. 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.

Not Upheld: Election Programmes Subject to Other Standards (Accuracy)

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Allen and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-106

In an election advertisement for the National Party, John Key stated, ‘we’ll start paying off debt’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that this was misleading. Election advertisements promoting party policies, by their nature, are not ‘factual’. Viewers understand that they are highly political, often hyperbolic vehicles for advocacy, and are able to form their own views about any particular policy. Viewers would not have been misled.

Not Upheld: Election Programmes Subject to Other Standards (Accuracy, Fairness, Responsible Programming), Distinguishing Factual Information from Opinion or Advocacy, Misleading Programmes

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Clark and RadioWorks Ltd - 2011-158

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.” Not upheld (election programmes subject to other Codes; responsible programming).

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Lloyd and TVWorks Ltd - 2011-152

Labour Party Election Advertisement. Statement that “John Key’s only answer is to sell our best assets”. Not upheld (accuracy).

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Stitt and The Radio Network Ltd - 2011-151

New Zealand First Election Advertisement. Statement that “only Winston and New Zealand First can save the foreshore and seabed for our family”. Not upheld (accuracy).

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Marshall and TVWorks Ltd - 2011-143

Labour Party Asset Sales Advertisement. Use of the word “damn”. Declined to determine (good taste and decency, election programmes subject to other Codes): complaint frivolous and trivial.

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Radley and Angus and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2011-142

Labour Party Asset Sales Advertisement. Contained comment, “vote National and kiss your assets goodbye”. Not upheld (accuracy).

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Reynolds and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2011-138

National Party Education Advertisement. National Party leader and Prime Minister John Key stated, “National is building a better education system, with school reports in plain English...” Not upheld (accuracy).

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Welsh and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2011-137

One News: New Zealand Labour Party Opening Address. Showed list of countries entitled “OECD countries with some form of tax capital” which included Singapore. Not upheld (accuracy).

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Wood and SKY Network Television Ltd - 2011-135

National Party Infrastructure Advertisement. Contained images of infrastructure that was allegedly planned, consented, funded and mostly completed under the previous Labour Government. Not upheld (accuracy and fairness).

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Bowman and RadioWorks Ltd - 2011-129

Prime Minister’s Hour. John Key hosted Radio Live for an hour on 30 September 2011, two months out from the General Election. Allegedly in breach of the Election Programmes Code. Not upheld (Standards E1 – election programmes subject to other Codes and E5 – opening and closing addresses).

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New Zealand Labour Party and RadioWorks Ltd - 2011-128

Prime Minister’s Hour. Prime Minister John Key hosted Radio Live for an hour on 30 September 2011, two months out from the General Election. Allegedly in breach of the Election Programmes Code. Not upheld (Standards E1- election programmes subject to other Codes, E3 – denigration, and E4 – misleading programmes).

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Boreham and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2008-118

Election programme. National Party advertisement featuring John Key in moving vehicle. Law and order, and children’s interests. Not upheld.

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The Māori Party and Raukawa FM - 2005-103

Election advertisement for Labour Party. Accuracy, and Standard E1 of the Election Programmes Code, upheld. Fairness, not upheld. No order,

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Spencer and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2002-088

Election programme. Labour Party advertisement that showed Prime Minister with New Zealanders in UN Peacekeeping Force in East Timor seen as implying support for East Timor. Not upheld (accuracy).

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Powell and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1999-219

ACT Party political advertisement. Promise about a final treaty settlement. Complaint that claim was incorrect, inaccurate, and designed to confuse. Not upheld (no breach of any standards).

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New Zealand Labour Party and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-134

National Party election advertisement. Focused on the tax policies of other parties. Not upheld (accuracy).

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Green Society and MAI FM Limited - 1996-129

Progressive Green Party advertisement. Radio Station said they would be able to get a list MP. Upheld (accuracy). No order.

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Middlemiss and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1996-128

Political advertisements on radio and television abbreviated name of ‘NZ National Party’. Complaint that this could be misleading for voters. Not upheld (accuracy).

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Burgess and TV3 Network Services Ltd - 1994-055

Countdown 93. Report on TV3 of outcome of that day's general election. Complaint about coverage of  Christian Heritage Party in campaign and in programme. Upheld: majority (balance, minor aspect about presentation of electorate results in programme). Not upheld (balance, substance of complaint; accuracy). No order.

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Timms and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1993-132

TV2 broadcast of a National Party advertisement. Complaint that the advertisement was factually inaccurate. Not upheld (accuracy).

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Flook (on behalf of the New Zealand National Party) and Television New Zealand Ltd - 1990-023

Labour Party advertisement concerning the National Party's health and defence policies. Complaint that created false impression. Not upheld (accuracy of election programme).

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