The Broadcasting Standards Authority has partly upheld a complaint about a music video depicting the drug rape of an underage girl.

Napier man Rod Valenta initially complained to TVNZ about the video for the song One Night in New York City, which depicts the drug rape of a 15-year-old girl under the influence of Ecstasy and contains indecent language.

He said the video, by the band the Horrorists and broadcast at 4.25am on February 10 on TV2's M2 all-night music show this year, breached standards of good taste and portrayed criminal sexual activity.

In his complaint to TVNZ, Mr Valenta said: "Surely this clip would not have been passed by the censors, and must have been an illegal screening by late-night staff."

He said the clip was "completely unacceptable for free-to-air television, especially during a weekend when children can view this damaging material".

TVNZ declined to accept the complaint, saying the video was a "cautionary tale directed at vulnerable young women going out on the town".

Mr Valenta then referred his complaint to the authority, enclosing a copy of his reply to TVNZ's decision not to accept his initial complaint.

In his response to TVNZ's decision, Mr Valenta said: "This was hardly a safety warning to young girls, more of a stimulant to misguided dregs of society. I sincerely hope there is no increase in drug rape due to this portrayal."

In its decision, the authority said the video contained "language and behaviour outside current norms of decency and taste" and that it came "at a time of increased societal concern about such potential criminal behaviour".

Consequently, the authority, in a majority decision, upheld Mr Valenta's complaint that the video was a breach of good taste and decency.

Mr Valenta's second complaint, under Standard 2 - that the video promoted anti-social behaviour - was not upheld.

The authority did not impose a penalty on TVNZ for breaching Standard 1.