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New Zealand Censorship Database

Classifications made by New Zealand censors, including some historical ones. Last updated 2021-01-09.
This collection is meant to be accessible, but it's unofficial and not authoritative. The official source is the Register of Classification Decisions. If want certainty about current classifications, you can use the Register or contact the OFLC.


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DESCRIPTION
Classifications made by New Zealand censors, including some historical ones.

This collection is meant to be accessible, but it's unofficial and not authoritative. Everything in this collection is publicly available information sourced from the OFLC's Register of Classification Decisions: https://register.classificationoffice.govt.nz. If want certainty about current classifications, you can use the Register or contact the OFLC.

The first New Zealand legislation banning indecent material was enacted in 1892, and since then various government agencies have been created for the purpose of censoring publications. This collection exists to make censorship decisions more accessible and searchable.

There are eight different bodies in the official censorship database that have classified publications:
  • Chief Censor of Films (1916–1994)
  • Films Board of Review (1916–1994)
  • Indecent Publications Tribunal (1964–1994)
  • Video Recordings Authority (1987–1994)
  • Video Recordings Board of Review (1987–1994)
  • Office of Film and Literature Classification (1994–)
  • Film & Literature Board of Review (1994–)
  • Court of Appeal of New Zealand (1862–)

Limitations of this collection
This collection is not complete. It contains most decisions made by the OFLC, a limited number of decisions made by the CCF, and no decisions made by the IPT or the VRA.

About half of the decisions in the official censorship database don't have any associated documents, and at the moment those decisions aren't included in this collection.

The items in this collection should correspond one-to-one with entries in the official censorship database, the only exception being decisions made by the Chief Censor of Films. Those entries from the official database are grouped here so that one item corresponds to one film (e.g. the film Emmanuelle has eight separate entries in the official database, but just one item page here).

Custom metadata fields
All items have four custom metadata fields:

publication-number
medium
submission-channel
highest-restriction
  • The highest level of restriction the publication has had: one of unrestricted, age-restricted, restricted, and banned
  • These are categories that exist to make searching this collection easier; they aren't actual classifications. See the examples below.
  • e.g. unrestricted, age-restricted, restricted, banned

Searching
Custom metadata allows for the collection to searched easier. To perform a search, go to the advanced search page and enter what you want to search for. You can search by the metadata given above using the custom fields on the page. The collection field has to be "new-zealand-censorship" to search this collection. If you want to do a more complicated search, you have to submit the query manually.

Any search with an "or" condition in it must be done manually, for example "banned games or Blu-ray discs". The query for that search would be "collection:new-zealand-censorship highest-restriction:banned (medium:game OR medium:Blu-ray)".

Example searches:

Custom metadata values
There are 153 values of the medium field. See here for a full list of declared media. The most common values are approximately distributed like this:
  • 28% DVD
  • 12% Video Recording VHS/PAL
  • 9% Slick
  • 8% Video Slick
  • 7% Image File
  • 6% DVD Slick
  • 4% Online Film
  • 2% Film 35mm
  • 2% Video File
  • 2% Image File Printout
  • 2% Console Game
  • 2% Film (online)
  • 2% Magazine
  • 2% Film
  • 2% Blu-ray disc
  • 1% Video VHS/NTSC
  • 0.8% Computer Printout
  • 0.6% Film Poster
  • 0.6% Computer Game
  • 0.5% Magazine - Periodical
  • 0.4% Photograph
  • 0.4% Text file
  • 0.4% Book
  • 0.3% Video Case
  • 0.3% DVD Advertising (specify)
  • 0.3% Console Game Slick
There are 22 declared submission channels. See here for the plain list. They're approximately distributed like this:
  • 49% Submission channel not held
  • 38% Section 12(1) - Labelling Body
  • 3% Section 29(1) - Courts
  • 3% Section 15 of the Video Recordings Act 1987
  • 3% Section 13(1)(ab) - Commissioner of Police
  • 2% Section 13(1)(a) - Comptroller of Customs
  • 2% Section 13(1)(b) - Secretary for Internal Affairs
  • 1% Section 13(1)(c) - Chief Censor Grants Leave
  • 0.3% Regulation 27(4) - Film Poster Approval (Labelling Body Declined)
  • 0.1% Section 20(1) of the Video Recordings Act 1987
  • 0.1% Section 13(3) - Chief Censor's Own Motion
  • 0.1% Section 42(1) - Reconsideration (over 3 years any person)
  • 0.03% Transitional provisions
  • 0.02% Section 19(2) of the Video Recordings Act 1987
  • 0.02% Section 42(3) - Reconsideration (less than 3 years)
  • 0.02% Section 19(3) of the Video Recordings Act 1987
  • 0.01% Section 36 of the Video Recordings Act 1987
  • 0.01% Section 41(3) - Reconsiderations (Courts)
  • 0.01% Regulation 27(3) - Film Poster Approval (Others)
  • 0.01% Section 42(2) - Reconsideration (over 3 years commercial)
  • 0.01% Section 19(1) of the Video Recordings Act 1987
  • 0.001% Section 30(3) of the Video Recordings Act 1987

ACTIVITY

Created on
June 20
2019
smarlon
Archivist
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