TVNZ has been fined and ordered to apologise for showing sexually explicit clips from porn movies on its flagship current affairs programme Close Up.

The article on August 11 last year was about porn star Nina Hartley's thoughts on feminism and sexuality.

It showed Ms Hartley posing in only a push-up bra and g-string for photo shoots and acting in porn moves.

One scene showed her rubbing her bottom against a man's face while wearing a garter-belt and no underwear, with her pubic hair visible.

A decision released today by the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) said those images represented an "egregious breach" of good taste and decency and children's interest rules.

It ordered TVNZ to air a comprehensive summary of its breaches on Close Up within a month and issued a $3000 fine.

"We consider that screening these clips from pornographic movies on free-to-air television and in the PGR time-band, amounted to an egregious breach of broadcasting standards. The fact that this item was broadcast, in our view, reflects a significant lapse in judgment by the broadcaster," the decision states.

A formal complaint about the article was initially taken to TVNZ last year by Robyn and Bert Jackson.

TVNZ accepted the article had breached good taste and decency and children's interests standards under the New Zealand Code of Broadcasting.

It apologised to the Jacksons for any offence caused and said it would talk to Close Up staff to make sure the breach was not repeated.

The complainants were not satisfied with that response and took action with the BSA.

Its decision backed their view, saying TVNZ's action was insufficient for the magnitude of the article's broadcasting standards breaches.

"In our view, the item contained raunchy and sexually explicit images. These were not just a 'few images', as contended by TVNZ, but were prolonged and sustained. We agree with TVNZ that it did not properly consider the interests of child viewers, and that the images would have offended a significant number of viewers in the context of a current affairs programme screened at 7pm.

"We find that an apology to the complainants and a discussion about processes was clearly insufficient given the serious nature of the breach."

Close Up is rated PGR, or suitable for children to view if they have parental guidance.

The article on Ms Hartley was preceded by a warning saying it would contain adult content and viewer discretion was advised.

Lobby group Family First has welcomed the BSA decision.

Its national director Bob McCoskrie said the sexualisation of news and current affairs was "disturbing".

He said the article promoted the porn industry under the guise of news.

"Parents are sick and tired of lunging for the remote to protect children from offensive and inappropriate content during family viewing hours and family movies," he said.

Mr McCoskrie took credit for helping rally together an "unprecedented" number of complaints over the article.