- Censorship Compliance
- How to Make a Complaint
- Amendment Act 2005
- Censorship and the Internet
- Child Safety Online
- Internet and Website Filter (known as the Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System)
- What is 'Objectionable'?
- How to Review Internet Activity
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Services › Censorship Compliance
- Overview of Censorship in New Zealand
- Our Role in Censorship Regulation
- Other Bodies Associated with Censorship Regulation
- Copyright Law and Piracy
Overview of Censorship in New Zealand
- Censorship Legislation
- Objectionable Publications
- Make a Complaint or Express Your Concern
- Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System
Censorship LegislationNew Zealand's censorship regime is governed by the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993, which was amended by the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Amendment Act 2005.
One of our roles is to make sure that New Zealand's censorship legislation is enforced, and so help protect people from material that is injurious to the public good.
Objectionable PublicationsThe Act makes it an offence to possess or trade in objectionable publications.
Individuals convicted of knowingly trading in objectionable material can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Convictions for knowingly possessing objectionable material can result in a fine up to $50,000 or a five year term of imprisonment.
Make a Complaint or Express Your ConcernIf you are concerned that something you have seen may be objectionable under the terms of the Film, Videos and Publication Classification Act 1993, please complete our online Content Complaint Form or contact an Inspector of Publications.
Note: If you are concerned that something you have seen should be classified, then you should contact the Office of Film and Literature Classification. If you would like to lodge a complaint about spam (unsolicited electronic messages), please complete the Spam Complaint Form.
Digital Child Exploitation Filtering SystemAn internet and website filtering system to block websites that host child sexual abuse images is available voluntarily to New Zealand Internet Service Providers.
The Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System focuses solely on websites offering clearly objectionable images of child sexual abuse, which is a serious offence for anyone in New Zealand to access.
Our Role in Censorship Regulation
Enforcing the ActThe Department of Internal Affairs' Censorship Compliance Unit is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.
The Censorship Compliance Unit:
- helps to ensure that publications considered to be objectionable are not made available to members of the public;
- helps to ensure that the decisions of the Office of Film and Literature Classification are adhered to by the film and video industry, magazine distributors, and shops; and
- investigates complaints.
Prosecuting OffendersInspectors of Publications can prosecute people for offences which relate to the labelling of publications and their display, and the manufacture, supply, distribution, advertising and exhibition of objectionable or restricted publications. press releases contain information about our results.
Approach to Compliance and EnforcementThe Department's approach to compliance and enforcement in this area is set out in the document:
Submissions on Classification of PublicationsUnder delegation from the Secretary for Internal Affairs, Inspectors of Publications may submit unclassified publications to the Office of Film and Literature Classification, when they have cause to believe it may be objectionable in terms of the Act, or needs to be restricted in some way.
If a publication has been submitted to the Office, the owner has the right to make submissions on the classification of the publication.
Other Bodies Associated with Censorship Regulation
- New Zealand Police
- New Zealand Customs Service
- The Film and Video Labelling Body
- The Office of Film and Literature Classification
- Film and Literature Board of Review
- Ministry of Justice
All Police are Inspectors of Publications.
New Zealand Customs ServiceCustoms is the first line of defence against objectionable publications entering New Zealand.
The Film and Video Labelling BodyUnlabelled films and videos first pass though the hands of the Film and Video Labelling Body.
Made up of industry and community representatives, the Labelling Body is guided by the classifications given elsewhere in the world.
Under the regulations, Australian classifications are used as a guide, with some lesser use made of British classifications. Those films and videos which the Labelling Body believes warrant a restricted classification (the most common restrictions are R16 and R18) are passed on to the Office of Film and Literature Classification.
The Office of Film and Literature ClassificationThe Office of Film and Literature Classification classifies films, videos, and publications. This may include cutting films and videos.
If you are concerned that something you have seen should be classified, then you should contact the Office of Film and Literature Classification.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification provides online information for people who do not speak English as their first language. Information in 20 languages and scripts is now available. Film and Literature Board of ReviewIf the person who originally submitted the film, video or publication for classification disagrees with the classification, then he or she can appeal to the Film and Literature Board of Review.
Similarly, any member of the public who disagrees with a classification can ask the Secretary for Internal Affairs for leave to submit the publication to the Film and Literature Board of Review for re-examination.
Ministry of JusticeThe Ministry of Justice administers the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993, while the Department of Internal Affairs enforces it.
The Ministry also provides strategic and policy advice across the justice sector.
'Protecting Our Innocence' ReportA report published by the Ministry of Justice in February 2002, provides a comprehensive examination of the four main activities that exploit children for their commercial value: child prostitution, child pornography, child sex tourism and child trafficking for sexual purposes. It also details some of the laws, social policies, administrative measures and programmes that have been developed to respond to child abuse and exploitation in general.
- Protecting Our Innocence: New Zealand's National Plan of Action Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
Copyright Law and PiracyCopyright law is the responsibility of the Ministry of Economic Development.
The law is clear about what can and can't be copied, but many people are not familiar with the rules.