“No Wrong Door” To Deal With Election And Referendum Complaints
Advertising Standards Authority, Broadcasting Standards Authority, NZ Media Council and Electoral Commission offer “no wrong door” to deal with election and referendum complaints
In the lead up to the 17 October 2020 General Election and referendums, the public is reminded of New Zealand’s standards for election and referendum broadcasts, advertising, and publisher content. This is supported by a free and accessible complaints system designed to support a fair and democratic election process.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA), NZ Media Council and the Electoral Commission oversee this regulatory framework. They offer a “no wrong door” approach to complainants and undertake to ensure that people making a complaint to any agency will be directed to the right organisation.
Representatives of the four organisations say, “We are collectively focused on supporting a free and democratic process. We seek to support broadcasters, publishers, advertisers, commentators, political parties, candidates and other promoters to meet the standards expected.”
“Political speech, which includes robust political debate and the scrutiny of politicians, policies, and referendum issues, is valued highly and is a vital component of the right to freedom of expression.”
Parties, candidates and other promoters campaigning across media are required to meet standards detailed by the ASA, BSA, NZ Media Council and the Electoral Commission. Listeners, viewers and readers can complain under various standards about:
- Election and referendum advertisements,
- broadcasts, including advertising, on TV and radio,
- paid digital and print advertisements, paid communications on social media platforms, addressed and unaddressed mail, cinema and outdoor (out of home) advertising,
- news articles in print and online news sites,
- opinion pieces in print and on news websites.
“Given the abundance of information available at election time, it is important that voters seek out information from a variety of reputable sources, and consider it critically.”