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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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144 Results

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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Wellington Palestine Group and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-101 (12 May 2016)

An item on ONE News reported on incidents of violence in Israel and Palestine. The newsreader said, ‘Road blocks are in place and thousands of police and soldiers are patrolling across Israel as it tries to stop a wave of violence’, and then crossed to a correspondent reporting from East Jerusalem. The item also went on to report on other incidents of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, including in Gaza. The Authority upheld a complaint that the item was inaccurate because East Jerusalem is internationally recognised as being part of Palestine, not Israel, and viewers would have been misled into thinking that much of the violence took place in Israel.

Upheld: Accuracy

No Order 

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Wilkinson and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-057 (1 December 2015)

Paul Henry featured an interview with the president of the Police Association about assaults on police and the debate about whether to arm front-line police officers with tasers. Towards the start of the interview, Mr Henry said, ‘The numbers are truly extraordinary, aren’t they? Violent attacks on police officers are definitely going up’. The Authority upheld a complaint that this comment was inaccurate, as the number of assaults on police officers was actually decreasing. However, it did not uphold a complaint that the item was unbalanced, as MediaWorks made reasonable efforts to provide balance on the issue of taser carriage by police within the period of current interest.

Upheld: Accuracy

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues

No Order

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Fisher and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-044 (1 March 2016)

An item on ONE News covered the quarrying of a Dunedin landmark, Saddle Hill, and featured interviews with three people opposed to the quarrying. The reporter stated that quarry owner Calvin Fisher did not respond to his request for an interview, although an offer had been made to ‘replace the hill once the rock has been taken away’. TVNZ upheld Mr Fisher’s complaint, finding that insufficient attempts were made to contact Mr Fisher and the reporter unfairly represented that he was not willing to comment. TVNZ apologised in writing to Mr Fisher, removed the story from its website and discussed the upheld complaint with the reporter and management. However the Authority upheld Mr Fisher’s complaint that this action was insufficient to remedy the breach. The nature of the breach required further action from the broadcaster, such as a public acknowledgement or apology or a follow-up broadcast that included comment from Mr Fisher and/or an alternative perspective in support of the quarry.

Upheld: Action Taken (Fairness, Accuracy, Controversial Issues)

Order: Section 16(4) $750 costs to the Crown 

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South Taranaki District Council and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-149

Campbell Live covered a story about an eader (a pit for raw milk waste) in the town of Eltham in Taranaki that was allegedly making local residents ill. The South Taranaki District Council complained that the item was inaccurate and unfair. The Authority found that this was an important story which carried high public interest and that much of it was accurate and well-reported. Nevertheless, a number of statements conveying the gravity of the problem with the eader did not have a sufficient basis and were overblown, which was misleading and unfair. Accordingly the Authority upheld some aspects of the complaint.

Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

No Order

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Insurance Council of New Zealand and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-146

Campbell Live marked the fourth anniversary of the first Canterbury earthquake with a live broadcast from a Christchurch school hall where an audience of local residents with unresolved insurance claims participated in the programme. The Authority upheld a complaint that the broadcast breached the controversial issues and accuracy standards because the programme did not include the insurance industry’s perspective and was misleading about the industry’s willingness to participate in the programme.

Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy

Order: Section 13(1)(a) – broadcast statement

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Ranfurly Village Hospital Limited and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-034

Campbell Live broadcast two items that were critical of Ranfurly Veterans Home and Hospital, relating to an incident in which a resident, Q, was found lying on the driveway after falling from his power chair. The Authority upheld one aspect of the accuracy complaint in relation to another incident involving a resident, F, and upheld the complaint that the items were unfair to Q, and to Ranfurly. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the residents’ privacy was breached. The Authority did not make any order as only limited aspects were upheld.

Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

Not Upheld: Privacy

No Order

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Pompallier Catholic College and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2012-122

Close Up reported on comments made by the Principal of Pompallier Catholic College in a school newsletter, objecting to gay marriage. The item claimed that the Principal suspended a teacher, who was interviewed by Close Up, and that students who opposed the comments were "threatened". A news ticker on Breakfast the following morning echoed the claims. The school argued the programmes were misleading and unfair, because the teacher was suspended for reasons other than his objection to the Principal's views, and no students were threatened. The Authority found that Close Up did not fairly present the reasons for the suspension, which created an unfairly negative impression of the Principal and the College, who were not given a fair chance to comment. It said the item should have couched the "threats" as allegations or the students' views, rather than unequivocal statements of fact. The Breakfast ticker was not material in the context of the programme.

Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

No Order

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Moore and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2012-107

An item on Fair Go, broadcast on TV One, included an interview with a group of Christchurch women who wanted to cancel their gym contracts due to temporary closure or relocation of premises following the February 2011 earthquake. The item’s focus was on two gyms in Christchurch and whether they were within their rights to enforce the contracts or were being unreasonable. The Authority upheld the complaint that the item breached the fairness and accuracy standards: it contained comments from two women which suggested their issues related solely to relocation, that the complainant’s gym refused to refund them and that they would be significantly out of pocket, but it omitted important information about the women’s individual circumstances relating to the contracts, creating a misleading impression which was not mitigated by the opportunity given to the complainant to respond. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

No Order

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William Aitken & Co Ltd and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2012-090

Fair Go carried out testing on imported and locally produced “extra virgin” olive oil, and reported that European imports had failed sensory and chemical tests. The story made references to the testing being “IOC accredited” (International Olive Oil Council). The Authority upheld the accuracy complaint as these references were not technically correct and gave greater status to the testing than was justified. Nevertheless, the complainant was given a reasonable opportunity to respond, and its response was adequately presented so the programme overall was not unfair. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Accuracy

No Order

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Whyte and Televison New Zealand Ltd - 2012-070

A One News item reported on a “skimming” scheme in which the accused allegedly “fleeced money from customers who used eftpos machines inside at least one Auckland business”. The item referred to and showed footage of the Brooklyn Bar in Auckland where, according to one customer, he had had his card “skimmed”. The Authority upheld the complaint that this breached the accuracy and fairness standards: the item wrongly singled out and identified the Brooklyn Bar as having been targeted by the fraud, which created the impression the business was unsafe; the complainant was not provided with a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment and correct the information; and the broadcaster failed to make proper inquiries. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

No Order

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Ashton and Payne and Māori Television - 2012-054

An item on Te Kāea, broadcast on Māori Television, reported on an Anglican deacon who was allegedly stood down after making a complaint about a man he alleged had been the subject of a sexual abuse inquiry. The Authority upheld the complaint that this breached the accuracy and fairness standards: it is not the Authority's role to determine the nature of the the alleged sexual abuse and its portrayal in the item; the item omitted other reasons for the deacon's suspension, which was misleading; the item was unfair to the church and the Bishop because the broadcaster did not have a sufficient foundation for broadcasting serious allegations and did not appear to take any steps to corroborate the essential facts of the broadcast; and given the seriousness of the allegations, the church was not provided with a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment. The Authority did not agree that the item breached the controversial issues standard as it did not discuss a controversial issue of public importance.
The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues

No Order

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Harkema and TVWorks Ltd - 2012-042

Five Campbell Live items featured the complainant, Margaret Harkema, a former director of the Valley Animal Research Centre, and investigated concerns that she was using TradeMe to rehome beagles that were bred or used for testing. The Authority upheld her complaints that the programmes were unfair, misleading and breached her privacy.

Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Privacy

Not Upheld: Law and Order

Orders: Section 13(1)(d) $2,000 compensation to the complainant for breach of privacy; Section 16(1) $12,000 legal costs to the complainant

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Signer and TVWorks Ltd - 2012-039

In a 3 News report on the trials of the ‘Urewera Four’, the reporter referred to the original Urewera terror raids of 2007 and repeated the incorrect information that “17 people were arrested and initially charged under the Terrorism Suppression Act”. The broadcaster upheld the complaint that this statement was inaccurate because no one had been charged under that Act. It acknowledged that Mr Signer had previously alerted it to this error, and while it had removed the erroneous material from its website some of the material had been overlooked which “caused a repeat of the incorrect statement”. The broadcaster apologised and said it had sent a “strongly worded email” to all 3 News centres around the country. The Authority upheld the complaint that the action taken by the broadcaster was insufficient because the broadcaster should have broadcast a correction at the earliest appropriate opportunity. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Accuracy (Action Taken)

No Order

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Beardsley and TVWorks Ltd - 2012-020

An item on 3 News, on the likely ban of guided heli-hunting on conservation land, contained file footage of commercial deer recovery that showed hunters shooting at deer from helicopters. The Authority upheld the complaint that this gave a misleading impression and breached the accuracy standard: commercial hunting is a completely different industry from guided heli-hunting and the footage should have been explained to ensure that viewers understood it related to commercial hunting. The Authority declined to uphold the fairness complaint on the grounds that the commercial hunting industry was not an “organisation” for the purposes of the standard. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Accuracy
Not Upheld: Fairness

No Order

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Simpson and TVWorks Ltd - 2012-019

A 3 News item reporting on an overnight series of aftershocks in Christchurch was introduced with the statement: “it’s just what Christchurch does not want to hear, warnings that a big one, seven on the Richter scale, is probably coming”. The item included extracts from an interview with a geologist interspersed with voiceover comments from the reporter. The Authority upheld the complaint that the item breached the standards relating to accuracy and responsible programming. The introductory statement inaccurately summarised the geologist’s opinion and overstated the prediction of a magnitude seven earthquake, and the statement was unnecessarily alarmist and was likely to have caused undue distress for Christchurch residents. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Accuracy, Responsible Programming

No Order

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Hodson and TVWorks Ltd - 2012-012

Campbell Live reported on a woman who, after she miscarried, unsuccessfully sought a refund for baby items purchased from the complainant’s business. The reporter door-stepped the complainant and her co-owner, and footage of this was broadcast. The Authority upheld that the broadcast breached the fairness, accuracy and privacy standards. No previous attempts had been made to obtain comment before door-stepping the shop owners; covert filming and recording of the conversation meant that the owners were not properly informed of the nature of their participation; the owners specifically stated that they did not want to be filmed or recorded; and the tone of programme was negative towards the owners and their position was not adequately presented. The owners were identifiable, and the item disclosed private facts. The Authority ordered payment of $500 to the complainant for breach of privacy and payment of $750 legal costs to the complainant.

Upheld: Privacy, Fairness, Accuracy

Order: $500 compensation to complainant for breach of privacy, $750 legal costs to complainant

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Bay of Plenty District Health Board and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2011-154

An item on Te Karere reported that Whakatane Hospital’s Microbiology Department would be closing, with all microbiology services moving to Tauranga. The Authority upheld the complaint that the item was inaccurate and misleading in creating this impression since urgent services would continue to be provided on-site. The broadcaster had not made reasonable efforts to ensure the item’s accuracy. The Authority made no order.

Upheld: Accuracy

No Order

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Wang and TVWorks Ltd - 2011-133

Campbell Live featured a story about a tenant whose family allegedly suffered health problems as a result of living on a property that contained traces of methamphetamine. The Authority upheld the complaint that the item breached the accuracy and fairness standards: it overstated evidence, creating the impression that a ‘P’ lab had existed when the contamination was marginal and could have been caused by smoking, and it failed to include a report which found no trace of methamphetamine. The misleading impression as to the source, location and quantity of methamphetamine contamination, as well as the implication the complainant had done nothing to remediate the problem, resulted in an unfairly negative representation of the complainant, and the complainant’s comments as included were insufficient to counterbalance the damaging implications made about him. The Authority did not uphold the complaint about discrimination and denigration, as the standard does not apply to individuals. The Authority ordered TV3 to pay $1,400 towards the complainant’s legal costs.

Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness
Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration
|
Order: $1,400 costs to complainant

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Clayton and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2011-077

One News. Item stated that MP Hone Harawira “racked up a $35,000 travel bill... that’s almost $4000 more than the Māori Party’s total travel bill”. Upheld (accuracy). No order. Not upheld (fairness).

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Nova Limited and TVWorks Ltd - 2010-170

Campbell Live. Item claimed that modelling agency was refusing to put forward a model work because of her hip measurements. Upheld (accuracy, fairness). Not upheld (controversial issues). No order.

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Paper Reclaim Ltd and TVWorks Ltd and RadioWorks Ltd - 2010-133

Campbell Live and promos. Inaccurately reported that striking workers from recycling company Paper Reclaim worked in “dirty, unsanitary conditions” and that there was a rat problem at Paper Reclaim’s plant. Upheld (accuracy and fairness). Not upheld (privacy). Orders (broadcast statement, $13,742.20 costs to complainant, $3,000 costs to Crown).

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Gunasekara and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2010-075

One News. Reporter’s statements about Iran’s nuclear programme and New Zealand delegation’s previous walkout during speech by Iranian president. Upheld (accuracy). No order.

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Bush and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2010-036

Fair Go. Inaccurately claimed that woman had taken a photo which the complainant was displaying on his website as his own work. Upheld (accuracy, fairness). Not upheld (privacy, responsible programming). Order ($1,000 costs to Crown).

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Tahere and Māori Television - 2010-005

Te Kaea. News item reported that colostrum from cows’ milk could cure a variety of illnesses. Upheld (controversial issues and accuracy). Orders (broadcast of statement, $1,000 costs to the Crown).

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