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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.

Four of the fields that appear at the top of individual decisions – Channel/Station, ProgrammeStandards, Standards Breached – have links that call up other decisions with the same information.

Please note that you will need to select specific standard/s, as well as a broadcasting code, to return decision results.

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404 Results

Turver and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-032 (25 July 2016)

A Seven Sharp item discussed the upcoming flag referendum and featured an interview with an Australian advocate for changing the flag. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that presenter Mike Hosking ‘encouraged the New Zealand public to vote a certain way by reiterating his own prejudices and then using an Australian broadcaster to support his own views’. While Mr Hosking made his view in support of changing the flag known, the alternative view was adequately presented during the item. Given the widespread coverage of the flag referendum, viewers could also reasonably be expected to be aware of significant perspectives on the issue, and would not have been deceived or disadvantaged as a result of this item.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Responsible Programming

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Office of Film and Literature Classification and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-029 (22 August 2016)

An episode of Criminal Minds featured the murder of three restaurant workers during an armed robbery, prompting the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit to re-open a similar cold case that occurred six years earlier. The episode contained violence and drug use. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the episode breached broadcasting standards relating to responsible programming, children’s interests and law and order. The Authority found that while the episode contained challenging content, it was classified AO and was preceded by an adequate warning. The programme’s classification, pre-broadcast warning and established reputation as a crime drama enabled viewers to make an informed viewing decision. The programme did not contain visual acts of violence, and the drug use was not portrayed in an instructional or encouraging manner and was part of the episode’s narrative context.

Not Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests, Law and Order

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Seqirus (NZ) Ltd and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-015 (27 June 2016)

3D reported on the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, and the stories of several girls and their families who believed that they had suffered serious health problems after being vaccinated. It also reported on the as-yet-unexplained sudden deaths of two girls who had recently received the vaccine. The Authority did not uphold a complaint from the maker of Gardasil alleging that the programme misleadingly suggested that Gardasil was unsafe and thus deceived and disadvantaged the public when there was no evidential basis for doing so. The story was well-reported, was measured in its presentation and gave viewers a range of information, which enabled them to make up their own minds about the vaccine. The Authority emphasised the high public interest in the story and in giving a platform for minority voices to be heard.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Responsible Programming 

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Djurdjevic and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-004 (15 September 2016)

In an episode of The Block NZ: Villa Wars, the complainant was portrayed as a ‘temperamental European tiler’ who allegedly wanted to be paid in advance and went ‘AWOL’ when he was not paid. The Authority upheld a complaint that the complainant was treated unfairly and that key facts about his professional conduct were misrepresented. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the broadcast also breached a number of additional standards.

Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy

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

Order: Section 16(4) costs to the Crown $1,500

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Carlaw and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2016-002 (12 May 2016)

During an episode of Hooked in NZ, the host and others were shown not wearing lifejackets while on a fishing boat. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that it was irresponsible to broadcast footage of people fishing without wearing lifejackets. Although the Authority understood why certain parts of the footage shown in the programme were a cause of concern for the complainant regarding water safety, these issues were unable to be addressed under the responsible programming standard.

Not Upheld: Responsible Programming

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Hamblyn and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-084 (28 January 2016)

A promo for Aquarius, shown during Seven Sharp, included a brief shot of a partially clothed injured male character surrounded by female characters tending his wounds. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the ‘sexualised’ promo was inappropriate for a time when children could be watching television. The promo did not depict any sexual activity or full nudity, and the shot complained about was fleeting and indistinct. The content was consistent with expectations of a PGR classification and the host news and current affairs programme, and any child viewers would have likely been supervised by adults.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests 

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Govind and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-080 (28 January 2016)

An item on ONE News reported that an increasing number of beneficiaries were being banned from Work and Income offices due to heightened security as a result of the fatal shootings at a WINZ office in 2014. The reporter interviewed a beneficiary who said that this was ‘no surprise’ because dealing with WINZ is ‘frustrating’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the comments from the beneficiary were irresponsible and encouraged violence. The focus of the item was on security at WINZ offices and the beneficiary was relating his personal experience; the item did not advocate violence.

Not Upheld: Law and Order, Violence, Controversial Issues, Accuracy, Responsible Programming 

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Brock and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-077 (28 January 2016)

An episode of Shortland Street showed the death of a 14-year-old character, Pixie. Pixie had apparently been undergoing chemotherapy and was hospitalised for pneumonia. At the end of the episode, Pixie’s condition rapidly deteriorated and she died. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item should have been preceded by a warning because children could have been disturbed and upset by the content. Shortland Street is rated PGR and frequently features adult themes. While the fictional depiction of a child’s death was potentially upsetting, it was not outside audience expectations and parents had an opportunity to exercise discretion.

Not Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests

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McLoon and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-071 (28 January 2016)

Turning Point featured a Christian sermon about the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the programme should have been classified PGR instead of G, and breached various other broadcasting standards. The programme did not contain any material which exceeded its G classification or which threatened broadcasting standards.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Controversial Issues, Accuracy, Fairness, Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests, Violence 

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Solanki and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-069 (1 December 2015)

During The Chase, a British quiz show, the host introduced one of the trivia experts as ‘“The Governess” Anne Hegerty – big brain, big bo…ots?’ to audience laughter. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that the host commented on Ms Hegerty’s ‘big boobs’ which was discriminatory against women, distasteful and unfair to Ms Hegerty, among other things. While the comment may have offended some viewers, it did not reach the threshold necessary to find a breach of broadcasting standards.

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

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Shaw and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-063 (1 December 2015)

A character in a promo for Puberty Blues broadcast during ONE News referred to a ‘69er’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that it was gratuitous and irresponsible to screen this promo before 8.30pm. The verbal reference to a ‘69er’ was fleeting and was not explained; inexplicit sexual material or innuendo is permissible during children’s normally accepted viewing times. Additionally, child viewers were likely to be supervised during the news. Overall the Authority found the broadcaster adequately considered the interests of child viewers and the promo did not require a higher classification than PGR.

Not Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests

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Williamson and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-061 (1 December 2015)

During ONE News at Midday, TVNZ’s sports presenter reported the New Zealand women’s hockey team’s loss in a World League semi-final match. She said, ‘The one consolation, though – Australia hasn’t progressed either’. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that this comment was ‘nasty’ and ‘spiteful’. It is common for sports reporting to refer to the long-standing trans-Tasman rivalry and most viewers would not have been offended in this context.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Controversial Issues, Responsible Programming

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Black and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-037

A promo for the movie No Strings Attached screened during The X Factor NZ which was rated G. The Authority upheld the complaint that explicit sexual references contained in the promo went beyond the boundaries of the G classification and consequently the broadcaster did not adequately consider the interests of younger viewers who were likely to be watching.

Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests

No Order 

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Insley & Soryl and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-028

A segment on Breakfast featured an interview with the chair of the Eating Disorders Association, who discussed that some individuals may mask eating disorders with particular ‘fad diets’. Although the chair did not specifically mention veganism, banners shown on-screen during the segment read, ‘Fears teens use veganism to restrict food intake’ and ‘Fears people use veganism to restrict food intake’. The Authority did not uphold complaints that the banners were misleading by suggesting veganism was an eating disorder and encouraged bullying of vegans. Viewers would not have been misled by the broadcast as a whole or encouraged to bully vegans. In any case, vegans are not a section of the community to which the discrimination and denigration standard applies.

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

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Trunk Property Ltd and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-025

3 News covered a story about Trunk Property Ltd, which allegedly was entering into unlawful subletting arrangements with tenants in Auckland. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the broadcast contained inaccurate, unfair and unbalanced information and breached the privacy of Trunk Property’s director. The item was materially accurate, was not unfair to Trunk Property or its director and did not breach the director’s privacy. Trunk Property was given a reasonable opportunity to comment on the story and its response was fairly presented in the item.

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

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Davies and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-004

A 3 News item covered a high-profile New Zealand equestrian’s reportedly controversial exclusion from Equestrian Sports New Zealand’s high performance squad. It included an interview with the head of ESNZ, and briefly showed a copy of the equestrian magazine Show Circuit on his desk. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that the broadcast breached standards because it wrongly associated Show Circuit with ESNZ. The inclusion of the shot of the magazine was incidental to the story and did not suggest that Show Circuit supported ESNZ, as alleged.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Responsible Programming

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Peet and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-001

An item on The Paul Henry Show featured a recent Police press release about a so-called tourist who had reportedly been driving with a kayak attached width-ways to the roof of his car. The presenter commented that the man was ‘a bloody twat’ and that his actions ‘pissed him off’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint about the presenter’s choice of language and his denigration of foreign tourists. In the context of a late-night programme and the presenter’s well-known style, the language did not threaten current norms of good taste and decency and ‘foreign tourists’ are not a section of the community to which the discrimination and denigration standard applies.

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

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Moffat and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2014-161

At the end of an episode of Seven Sharp, presenter Mike Hosking read out a letter from a disgruntled viewer about comments he had made during an earlier episode about music group One Direction. The letter contained numerous expletives which were ‘beeped’ out during the broadcast. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the ‘disgusting’ language was contrary to good taste and decency and children’s interests. Beeping is a commonly employed broadcasting technique to mask potentially offensive language. While most viewers would have discerned what the words were, in the context of an unclassified current affairs programme targeted at adults, which is known for being humorous and at times provocative, the segment did not threaten standards.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Responsible Programming

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Henderson and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-156

A promo for The Night Shift briefly showing a male and female passionately kissing screened during Shrek Forever After, which was classified G. The Authority upheld the complaint that the promo breached the responsible programming and children’s interests standards, as the promo contained sexual material more properly falling within the PGR classification. The Authority did not make any order.

Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests

No Order

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Malone & Sadd and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2014-155

An item on ONE News and a later ONE News update showed a highly-ranked New Zealand mixed martial artist's loss in an Ultimate Fighting Championship match, in which he was kicked and punched repeatedly in the head. The Authority declined to uphold two complaints that the footage was excessively violent because the level of physicality was not unexpected and acceptable in the context of a sport news story covering a fight.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming, Children's Interests, Violence

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Larsen and SKY Network Television Ltd - 2014-153

An episode of the murder mystery series Midsomer Murders depicted several murders, including a man being shot with a bow and arrow and a woman being shot with a gun. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the murder scenes showed realistic violence likely to disturb children. The murder scenes were relatively innocuous in context and did not exceed the programme’s PGR classification.

Not Upheld: Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests

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Feral and MediaWorks TV Ltd and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2014-143

The Authority declined to uphold complaints that three broadcasts showing fishing and hunting were barbaric and cruel. As the Authority has noted in previous decisions on similar complaints from the complainant, killing and preparing animals to eat is a fact of life and her concerns are based primarily on personal lifestyle preferences, not broadcasting standards issues.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Law and Order, Controversial Issues, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests, Violence

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Feral and Choice TV Ltd - 2014-121

The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that a number of cooking and fishing programmes ‘perpetuate the exploitation, abuse, torture and murder of 63 million animals… per year’. Killing and preparing animals to eat is a fact of life, and the complaint was based primarily on personal preferences, not broadcasting standards issues.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Law and Order, Controversial Issues, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming, Children’s Interests, Violence

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DD and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2014-110

Fair Go reported on an elderly man who had difficulties with his dentures and explored his legal rights. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint from the dentist who made the dentures, finding that he was only identifiable to a very limited group of people, no private facts were disclosed about him and the disclosure was not highly offensive as he was not portrayed in an overly negative light.

Not Upheld: Fairness, Privacy, Controversial Issues, Responsible Programming 

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Edwards and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2014-109

A ONE News item showed security footage of a violent attack on a liquor store worker by four men to assist police in identifying and apprehending the attackers. Two explicit warnings were given prior to the footage. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the violence shown was gratuitous. It was an important news story aimed at identifying and catching the attackers and was accompanied by clear warnings from the broadcaster.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Responsible Programming

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