Rejoinder to @TVNZ reply to @BSA_NZ complaint

My rejoinder is TVNZ is so sloppy with the facts that it is spent most of its reply on the exemption in cases of where paternity is uncertain or disputed. That has nothing to do with my complaint about their failure to mention in their broadcast the exemption in the case of threats of violence.

To support their reply, TVNZ attached a rambling paper from Auckland action against poverty and a Herald op-ed about the need to have a lawyer’s letter. TVNZ misread the rambling Auckland action for poverty document with talks about needing a lawyer to get the exemption lifted. This is different to when first applying for the benefit. The New Zealand Herald op-ed is unclear about which exemption is under discussion: for threats of violence or for disputed paternity.

TVNZ interviewed the minister about the exemption but put none of the activist allegations to her according to the attached official information response of TVNZ. An opportunity lost for balance.

I put the allegation that a lawyer is required to apply for the exemption in case of threats of violence through official information requests to the Minister and her ministry. Both the Minister and the ministry said that was not so: a lawyer is not required to apply for the exemption. The Ministry also explained that benefit applicants are interviewed by the case manager and briefed on their options.

TVNZ included the link

I clicked on the link Exempting section 70A reductions and then clicked on Risk of Violence link and then clicked on Carer required to provide proof of risk of violence link

The above screenshot lists all the 3rd parties who are credible witnesses. TVNZ had to go through these links to find the link Carer unable to provide written proof of the risk of violence at

Sole parent beneficiary applicants are not asked for a letter from a lawyer as claimed by TVNZ. The link supplied in the TVNZ reply says applicants are advised to speak to a family violence coordinator or a service centre manager at WINZ. TVNZ is convicted by the information it supplied to the BSA.

In summary, TVNZ never mentioned the exemption on air. When I complained, it relied on allegations from activists that were never put to the Minister or her ministry despite opportunities to do so in an interview with the Minister. In the reply to the complaint, TVNZ provided written proof to the BSA from WINZ that applicants are advised to speak a family violence coordinator or a WINZ service centre manager if they are having trouble documenting the threats or abuse. The link provided by TVNZ shows there is no requirement for a letter from a lawyer. The exemption was never mentioned on air nor its purported shortcomings. The claim that TVNZ did not need to mention the exemption because it was unworkable because of the need to hire a lawyer has no foundation in fact and was never put to the minister or WINZ for comment and balance.


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