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Latest Decisions »

20 September 2010


Sundborn and TVWorks Ltd. Home and Away. Scene in G time-band involving couple kissing and beginning to undress, then woman straddling man. Upheld (children’s interests, responsible programming, and good taste and decency). No order.

West and TVNZ. Hung. Prolonged oral sex scene and display of female genital nudity. Upheld by majority (good taste and decency). No order.

Catran and Others and Kool FM. Interviewee made allegations of serious misconduct by members of local district council. Upheld (controversial issues and fairness). Subsumed (accuracy). Orders (broadcast statement, costs to complainants $2,000).

Gunasekara and TVNZ. 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.

Bennett and TVWorks Ltd. 3 News. Interlocutory decision concerning complaint about news items on 29 and 30 April 2010. Authority has jurisdiction to accept referral of complaint about 29 April item but not 30 April item.

Wrathall and TVNZ. Tagata Pasifika. Item about effects of climate change on Tuvalu. Not upheld (controversial issues).

Steel and TVNZ. One News. Item included poll results from Colmar Brunton survey. Decline to determine (accuracy).

Wyatt and TVWorks Ltd. Target. Hidden camera trial involving minors attempting to buy R18 game from video game retailers. Not upheld (accuracy).

Thomson-Ryan and TVNZ. Close Up promo. Contained the word “fugly” in reference to a film character’s appearance. Not upheld (good taste and decency).

Keane and TVNZ. One News. Two items relating to Israeli commando raid on a flotilla off Gaza. Not upheld (law and order, controversial issues, accuracy, fairness, and discrimination and denigration).

Keane and TVNZ. Sunday. Interviews with New Zealand aid worker and Israeli spokesperson about Israeli commando raid on a flotilla off Gaza. Not upheld (controversial issues, accuracy, fairness, and discrimination and denigration).

FIANZ and TVNZ. Sunday. Item investigating forced child marriages in New Zealand. Not upheld (accuracy, fairness, and discrimination and denigration).

Williamson and Williamson and TVWorks Ltd. Campbell Live. Item and follow-up item reporting on SPCA seizing neglected horses from complainant’s farm. Not upheld (accuracy and fairness).

Tucker and TVWorks Ltd. 3 News. Decline to determine (controversial issues, accuracy, fairness and responsible programming).

Guy and The Radio Network. Easy Mix. Host’s comments about smacking a child. Not upheld (law and order, and responsible programming).

Couper-Wain and TVWorks Ltd. Bones promo. Contained footage of spiders and skeletal remains. Not upheld (responsible programming and children’s interests).

For more information, please see full decisions or contact Dominic Sheehan on or 04 382 9508.


View all recent decisions...

Recent publications »

Watching the Watchers: What Children Watch on TV and How They Respond

July 2010

The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has today published Watching the Watchers: What Children Watch on TV and How They Respond.

In 2008 the BSA published Seen and Heard: Children's Media Use, Exposure and Response. This was the result of a nationwide, quantitative survey conducted with 604 children aged six to 13 years and one of their primary caregivers. In Seen and Heard we asked questions about how children interacted with media and how it affected them.
We then asked ourselves this question: did people actually do what they said they did? In order to get a clearer picture of actual, rather than reported, behaviour, we decided to observe behaviour in some of the households included in our original study.

This report, Watching the Watchers, details the findings of our observational study.

We chose to focus on television as it remains the central media device in the home. We also chose to focus on the dinnertime to bedtime period as that is when children are potentially most likely to view challenging content.
On the whole the findings in this report appear to back up what we learned in Seen and Heard. The report notes areas where there may be divergence between actual and reported behaviour

Download the Report

Children’s Interests: A Review of Broadcasting Standards Authority Child Complaints Decisions

May 2010

The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has today published Children’s Interests: A Review of Broadcasting Standards Authority Child Complaints Decisions 1999-2009. 
To ensure that its decision making is robust and relevant, the BSA regularly commissions critiques of its decisions.  Most recently it published an assessment of its privacy related decisions.
The new paper examines BSA decisions on complaints lodged regarding children as viewers of, and participants in, television broadcasts.
The paper was authored by Dr Sue Jackson of Victoria University, Wellington.  Dr Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and has a special research interest in issues pertaining to young people.
The BSA hopes that the questions raised in the report will prompt renewed consideration by broadcasters and the public about how we can best protect children in relation to broadcasting standards matters. 

Download the Report

Statement of Intent 2010-2013

July 2010
Download (198kb PDF)

What Not to Swear: The Acceptability of Words in Broadcasting

The findings of a national survey designed to measure how acceptable the public finds the use of swear words, blasphemies and other expletives in broadcasting. The survey was carried out among 1500 members of the general public aged 18 and over. A total of 31 words were presented to respondents across 10 different contexts. Results are compared to similar surveys carried out in 2005 and 1999. The key chart that ranks words in terms of unacceptability can be found on p14 of the full report or can be downloaded as a separate document.
Warning: this report contains offensive language.

Download the full report
Download the key chart (compares 2009, 2005 and 1999 findings)

pdf Free-to-air Classification Guide

pdf Pay TV Classification Guide

Some Content May Offend: Public Attitudes to Content Classifications and Warnings on Free-To-Air and Pay TV

Published February 2010.

An investigation of the public's understanding of classifications and warnings on both free-to-air and pay television. The report's findings are based on focus group sessions held in Auckland with 88 people, mainly parents and guardians of children aged between five and 17. Parents and guardians were chosen because this group makes the most use of classifications and warnings to decide what their families will watch.