Majority of Kiwis think 'adults only' time band on TV should be pushed later, research finds

The majority of Kiwis feel the 'adults only' time band on TV should be pushed later, from a start time of 8.30pm to 9.30pm, new research released today by the Broadcasting Standards Authority has revealed.

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Broadcasting Standards Authority CEO Belinda Moffit discussed the agency’s findings on TVNZ1’s Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

In a survey of 500 adults, many also expressed concerns inappropriate nudity on screen could cause children to copy negative behaviour. It also found nudity was more accepted if it was depicted in a positive manner. 

Broadcasting Standards Authority CEO Belinda Moffit said the Authority discovered that context was important in adults' acceptance of nudity on TV screens.

"I think what that research also told us is that acceptability of nudity on screen in some contexts is increasing, but the acceptability of, I guess what we might call sexual media content, is still very much context-dependent and it's very much dependent on whether there’s good classifications that are being given, whether there's good warnings, and the information that’s been given about the programme, too," she told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning. 

Ms Mofit said there's very limited research about nudity on television.

"There is other bodies of research that looks at more sexual media content, and that's divided – some say no links, and others say there are some links to more risky behaviour and more permissive attitudes around sexual issues."

She said research found that "a lot of the influence" can come from peers, parents and the home environment, which can be mitigated through a supportive environment.

"What the research says is, 'How do you mitigate those harms?' It says for young people and children, provide them with a supportive environment where, if they see something … they're not expecting, you're there and you can have a conversation with them, in language that makes sense to them. To help them make meaning of it and helping them to understand, that's actually the most important mitigation."

Ms Mofit said media literacy is "really, really important" in monitoring children's media habits.

It comes after 75 per cent of survey participants admitted they didn't manage their children's viewing time with tools such as parental locks and time bands.

"There are parental locks – there's even parental locks on Freeview now, as well as Sky. There are filters for other online technologies, and then others is taking an interest in what the programme is about, what's the classification and seeing if there's a warning. Looking at online tools, online websites about what other people have said about the programme.

"(There are) lots of ways that parents can find out more about the content that their kids are looking at, and then also there's monitoring; there's thinking about what are the values you have in your house? What's the type of content you want your kids to look at? And having conversations with children about that and taking an interest and being involved in the conversations."

Ms Mofit also addressed concerns of when the adults only time band should start. 

"The 8.30pm watershed is a really well-known restriction on free-to-air television, and I do think New Zealanders do still rely upon that," she said. "Yes, there has been some suggestions that it should be pushed out later, but there is also indications from other parts of the community that they are becoming more accepting, they do acknowledge that it is up to the viewer to look at what the content is, and to make a decision about whether the content is good for them."