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The broadcasting standards which apply to television and radio programmes are found in the four codes of broadcasting practice. Three of the codes have recently been reviewed and the new codes take effect from 1 April 2016. They are contained in the Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook and cover (click on the link below for more information about each code):

The fourth code covers election programmes (in an election period).

The new codes apply to all programmes broadcast on or after 1 April 2016. The old codes apply to all programmes broadcast before 1 April 2016. You can view the old codes here:

If you would like more information on the relationship between the old and new codes of broadcasting practice, and on what has changed in the new codes, please see this guidance note135.36 KB

The codes all contain 'standards'. These outline what is required of broadcasters when they broadcast programmes in New Zealand. Each standard has a number of associated 'guidelines' which assist broadcasters and the public in interpreting the standards.

The new Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook also contains:

  • Introductory sections setting out the framework and environment that the codes of broadcasting practice operate in
  • Commentary on each of the standards and how they are applied, which should be read alongside the codes
  • Definitions of frequently used terms and phrases
  • Updated guidance on the complaints process, privacy, distinguishing fact and opinion, the BSA’s powers to decline to determine a complaint and costs awards.

All codes can be downloaded from this website or you can obtain printed copies by contacting us.

Do you want to make a formal complaint?

To make a formal complaint, you need to choose the relevant code and then nominate the standards you think were breached. See Making a Complaint.


Code Review 2015

As a key part of its core functions, the BSA collaborated with broadcasters to develop codes of broadcasting practice that apply to all television and radio broadcasters in New Zealand. In 2015 the BSA undertook a review of our three main codes of broadcasting practice – Free-to-Air Television, Pay Television and Radio. The BSA consulted with the public on the draft codes and invited submissions over a six-week period which closed on 31 August 2015. You can view the draft codebook we consulted on here.

The BSA received 21 submissions. Seventeen of these are available to view as PDF documents below. We very much appreciated the time and effort taken by submitters to contribute to our code review.

The BSA’s report on public consultation, which gives a general overview of the submissions received and the BSA’s response, is available here.  

The new Broadcasting Standards in New Zealand Codebook, which takes effect from 1 April 2016, reflects the submissions we received during public consultation. 

Note: The submissions which follow represent the views of the individual submitters. The submissions do not represent the views of the BSA. The BSA does not accept responsibility for accuracy of information contained in the submissions.

Sue Abel

Louise Chaney

Peter Green

Hawke's Bay District Health Board

Terry Kavanagh

John McCammon

Donald McDonald

Dr Nicole Moreham

National Council of Women of New Zealand

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Vincent Olsen-Reeder

John Terris on behalf of Media Matters in New Zealand

Dr Peter Thompson with the support of Coalition for Better Broadcasting

Moira Waddington

Wellington Community Justice Project

Brian Wilson

John Worthington