In this Bulletin: Note from the Chief Executive, Congratulations to Patricia Windle, Latest Decisions, Media News  
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February 2016

Number 60
Note from the Chief Executive

Kia ora

Happy New Year! We wish all our Bulletin subscribers the best for 2016 and hope your year has started well. We’re looking at a productive year ahead and are hoping to make some announcements very soon on the release of our new Codebook.
In the meantime we released 10 new decisions last week – the first of the year. These are summarised below.
Enjoy the last month of summer.
Nga mihi

Karen Scott-Howman 
Congratulations to...
Patricia Windle
Legal Manager

Last week our Legal Manager, Patricia Windle celebrated eight years working at the BSA. Patricia started at the BSA in 2008 as a legal advisor, after completing a double degree, LLB/BA (Hons) in Film & Media Studies, at the University of Otago. From there she progressed to Senior Legal Advisor, and then to her current role in July 2011. In her role Patricia is responsible for overseeing the broadcasting standards complaint process, as well as contributing to the BSA’s overall organisational performance. She recently bought her first home in the beachy, eastern Wellington suburb of Lyall Bay, and dedicates her spare time to learning and competing in Ballroom and Latin American dancing.

Latest Decisions

Complaints about Free-to-Air TV Broadcasts
SW and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-030

An episode of Dog Squad showed dog handlers with the Department of Corrections searching visitors to a prison. The episode showed two occasions of the complainant (SW) being searched; firstly, her bag was searched when she was driving onto prison premises, and secondly, a sniffer dog identified that she was carrying contraband (tobacco) inside the prison and she was shown surrendering this to Corrections staff. In both instances her face was blurred. The Authority upheld SW’s complaint that broadcasting the footage breached her privacy. She was identifiable despite her face being blurred (by clothing, body type, voice, etc), and the disclosure of private facts about her, including prescription drugs she was taking, among other things, was highly offensive. SW did not give informed consent to the broadcast and the public interest message about prison protocol could have been communicated without identifying SW.

Upheld: Privacy

Order: Section 13(1)(d) $1,000 compensation for breach of privacy

Read our media release about this decision

McKenzie and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-055

A promo for Face Off, a reality competition show in which the contestants are special effects make-up artists, screened during the animated movie Chicken Run. The Authority upheld a complaint that the promo breached standards of good taste and decency. The promo’s images of gory and wounded prosthetic body parts went beyond audience expectations of a G-rated family movie and were likely to distress child viewers. The Authority however did not agree that the images showed ‘violence’ or violent acts as envisaged by the violence standard.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Not Upheld: Violence

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

Duncan and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-083

A promo for Step Dave, broadcast during The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, showed two female characters kissing and brief sexual innuendo. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that it was inappropriate to screen such an ‘overtly sexual’ promo during a children’s movie. The promo included low-level sexual innuendo which was unlikely to be understood by younger viewers, and unlikely to disturb or offend most viewers in the context of the PGR host programme.

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

Govind and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-080 

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   

Brock and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-077

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 

McLoon and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-071 

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 
Cleaver and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-079
In an item on Story, an actor approached four different real estate agencies (Ray White, LJ Hooker, Barfoot & Thompson and Harcourts) and asked agents to sell him properties for investment prior to auction and at a lower price, which it was alleged would be in breach of the industry code. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that one of the Story presenters had a conflict of interest because of her family connections to Barfoot & Thompson, which resulted in a breach of standards. The Authority is not in a position to determine whether such a conflict existed, but in any case, the alleged conflict did not manifest as a breach of the broadcasting standards nominated.

Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Controversial Issues
Jelavich and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-081

The Heat, a comedy/action film about a mismatched FBI agent and police officer working together to take down a drug lord, contained frequent coarse language. The Authority did not uphold a complaint about this language. As the film was classified Adults Only, was preceded by a comprehensive warning and broadcast at 8.30pm, the Authority found the broadcaster clearly informed viewers about the nature of the film and adequately considered the interests of children.

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

McDonald and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-073

Seven Sharp featured the story of a man who, due to delays in having minor surgery for a skin cancer cyst, suffered severe health problems. The man said that ‘[The cyst] went from less than a centimetre to 35 centimetres’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the description of the cyst as ‘35 centimetres’ was inaccurate. The exact measurement was not a material point of fact in the item, and it was clearly the man’s own recollection of his experience.

Not Upheld: Accuracy

Hamblyn and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2015-084

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 

White and SKY Network Television Ltd - 2015-066

An episode of Bullies, a three-part documentary series, discussed the issue of bullying in schools. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the documentary was unbalanced and misleading because it did not discuss the success of certain nationwide bullying prevention programmes. The documentary did discuss various anti-bullying programmes and was not otherwise misleading. Which anti-bullying initiatives to feature, and in what detail, was a matter of editorial discretion for the broadcaster.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy 

Complaint about Radio Broadcast

Tanner and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2015-085

During Paul Henry on Radio Live the presenters said ‘bloody’ and ‘bugger’ several times. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this language was unacceptable. These terms constituted low-level coarse language which would not have offended a significant number of listeners in the context of the broadcast. The language was within audience expectations of the presenters, the programme and the radio station.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Click here for all of the latest BSA decisions
Click here to search all BSA decisions

Media News

Each month we collect a few stories about media regulation and its environment, interesting research, media standards and comings and goings, both in New Zealand and in other jurisdictions. 

New Zealand 

Alexander Gillespie on the threats to public interest journalism 

John Drinnan on the year ahead in media

Bill Francis receives New Year's Honours 

Mediawatch on Newshub 

NZ On Air funding for new TV3 current affairs show 

60 Minutes will no longer feature local NZ content  

TVNZ's new male-skewed channel 


Bill Francis 


12% of adults concerned about Video on Demand content

Ofcom reviewing Crime section of Broadcasting Code

Young people spend more time online than watching TV

BBC rated most accurate and reliable TV news

Channel 4's push to increase representation of disabled people 

David Cameron criticises BBC's use of term 'Islamic State' 


The impact of Australia's media reforms on the regions 

Screen Australia's initiative to address gender imbalance 

ABC hires its first woman director  

ACMA's Chris Chapman's new role

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