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Today we released decisions on three complaints, none of which were upheld. All three complaints related to an item on Seven Sharp in May 2016 about outgoing New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd, who said he was not seeking re-election due to the backlash from his campaign to increase Māori representation on the New Plymouth District Council.

Two of the complaints alleged that statements made during the item were inaccurate, including the reporter’s statement that ’83 per cent of New Plymouth voters voted “no” to any Māori at the Council table’.  The Authority found that while these statements were careless and loose, they were made as part of a longer explanation by the reporter about Mr Judd’s proposed Māori ward and subsequent referendum, so viewers would not have been misled into thinking the reporter was referring to Māori representation generally.  

The third complaint related to presenter Mike Hosking’s comments at the end of the item, including that Mr Judd was ‘completely out of touch with middle New Zealand’ in relation to the referendum. The Authority found that, while Mr Hosking’s comments were ‘dismissive of a valid issue in New Zealand’, the right to freedom of expression allows individuals to express their opinion, even if it is unpopular or incorrect. 

You can read our media release on these decisions here or by clicking on the Media Releases button below.

You can read more about these decisions by clicking on the link below.

Today we released decisions on eight complaints, one of which was upheld by the Authority.

One of the complaints, which was not upheld, related to items featured on The Nation and Newshub, which were inspired by the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ protest movement. The items discussed whether various colonial figures in New Zealand were still worthy of commemoration by statue or memorial, particularly when their actions were re-evaluated against 21st century values. The items featured excerpts from a historian, who provided comments on a South Auckland memorial to Colonel Marmaduke Nixon, saying that his involvement in events at Rangiaowhia in 1864 amounted to ‘an appalling act of genocide’ and ‘a terrible atrocity’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the items were inaccurate and lacked balance. It found that the historian’s comments amounted to his opinion, based on his interpretation of a historical event, and the programme carried high public interest by raising legitimate questions about the way we view New Zealand’s past.

The upheld complaint related to a radio privacy breach that was the result of a radio caller's details being inadvertently broadcast. The complaint was upheld but no order was made in light of the broadcaster's immediate acceptance of the breach, which resulted from a technical error, and the immediate actions taken by the broadcaster to respond to the incident.

You can read our media release on The Nation and Newshub decision here or by clicking on the Media Releases button below.

You can read more about these decisions by clicking on the link below.

Today we released four new decisions, one of which was upheld.

The Authority upheld a fairness complaint from a tiler who was featured in an episode of The Block NZ: Villa Wars. The Authority ordered broadcaster MediaWorks to pay costs to the Crown of $1,500, for breaches of fairness and accuracy, and emphasised the importance of ensuring all participants in reality television are treated fairly, especially where the individual has made it clear they do not want to be shown in the programme. The Authority found that the show created an unfairly negative impression of Mr Djurdjevic, when it described him as a ‘temperamental European tiler’ who allegedly wanted to be paid in advance and went ‘AWOL’ when he was not paid, and misrepresented his worth ethic. It also found that Mr Djurdjevic was not adequately informed of the nature of his participation in the programme and was not given a reasonable opportunity to comment on how he was portrayed.

You can read our media release on this decision here or by clicking on the on the Media Releases button below.

You can read more about these decisions by clicking on the link below.

Today we released decisions on ten complaints, two of which were upheld by the Authority. 

One of the upheld complaints related to a radio stunt on The Rock Morning Rumble which alluded to prison rape. The Authority considered the stunt trivialised sexual violence and would have offended many people. The Authority ordered broadcaster MediaWorks to pay $1,000 in costs to the Crown and make a statement on air.

Another complaint, which was not upheld, related to a Sunday item that exposed the alleged mistreatment of bobby calves by some members of New Zealand’s dairy industry. The Authority found the item was an important current affairs item which carried high public interest and did not breach broadcasting standards.

You can read our media releases on these two decisions here or by clicking on the Media Releases button below.

You can read more about these decisions by clicking on the link below. 

Today we released decisions on nine complaints, none of which were upheld by the Authority.

Eight of the complaints related to free-to-air television broadcasts and one complaint related to a radio broadcast.

Two of the television broadcasts complained about were separate Seven Sharp items on the New Zealand flag referendum. The complainants alleged that these items were unbalanced. The Authority did not uphold the complaints and found that alternative views on the flag debate received considerable media coverage over a significant period of time and generated robust and widespread discussion among New Zealanders. In light of this the Authority found that it was reasonable to expect viewers were aware of the different points of view on the flag issue by the time of these two broadcasts.

You can read our media release on these two decisions here or by clicking on the Media Releases button below. 

You can read more about these decisions by clicking on the link below.