Current affairs shows are the most complained about on our screens - but popular soap Shortland Street crossed the line most in the past year.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority's latest report shows it received 162 complaints between July last year and June this year, 10 per cent up on the previous year. But it upheld only 25, or 17 per cent, compared with 29 per cent the year before.

As well as news and current affairs shows, others in the top 10 most complained about included Downsize Me, Target and Shortland Street.
One News topped the list with 24 complaints and two upheld, followed by 3 News with 13 and one upheld, Close Up with 12 and two upheld and Breakfast with 11 and one upheld.

"That's been the trend for a few years now," said authority chief executive Dominic Sheehan. "Balance, fairness and accuracy are obviously things that are concerning people."

TVNZ spokeswoman Megan Richards said the number of complaints was no cause for concern. "It's not surprising, because we have many more viewers than our competitive channels. Obviously we'd prefer not to have any 'upholds', but the Broadcasting Standards Authority is a mechanism that encourages robust debate."

TV3 director of news and current affairs Mark Jennings was also unsurprised. "Broadcasters get complaints all the time. Most of the time the complainers are just whingers. TV producers make very, very few mistakes."

Shortland Street had the worst score, with the authority upholding all four complaints it received, because of the show's 7pm timeslot. Three related to storylines portraying violence while the other showed a sexual encounter between two men.

Shortland Street management refused to comment. But authority legal manager Christina Sophocleous said it had met TVNZ officials and the show's producers "to discuss the importance of complying with broadcasting standards".