Film and Literature Classification, Office of
TE TARI WHAKARŌPŪ TUKUATA, TUHITUHINGA
The Office of Film and Literature Classification is an independent Crown entity established under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993. The statutory powers and functions of the Office of Film and Literature Classification are also established under the Act.
The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 is administered by the Ministry of Justice. The Classification Office is funded by appropriation under Vote Internal Affairs. The Office is accountable to the Minister of Internal Affairs through a Memorandum of Understanding.
The classification of publications is governed by the following legislation:
- Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993
- Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Regulations 1994
- Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Fees) Regulations 1994.
FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Office is responsible for the classification of publications that are may need to be restricted or banned. The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 empowers the Office to classify any written, recorded or stored information. This includes films, videos, DVDs, magazines, books, electronic games, computer files and images of all kinds. The Act does not cover broadcasting or live performances. The Office also carries out research and informs the public about censorship.
The Chief and Deputy Chief Censors of Film and Literature are appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister of Internal Affairs acting with the concurrence of the Minister of Women’s Affairs and the Minister of Justice. The Chief Censor is Chief Executive.
The Chief Censor and Deputy Chief Censor form the Board of the Office.
The Chief Censor is responsible for the overall administration of the Classification Office, and for the allocation of spheres of responsibility and delegation of powers within the Office.
The Information Unit Manager is responsible for the Information Unit, including its research, information, complaints and library services.
The Corporate Services Manager is responsible for human resources, admin-istrative and technical support, IT, and finance. The Corporate Services Manager is also the Chief Financial Officer.
The Registrar manages the Registry, which is part of the Classification Unit. The Registry is responsible for processing applications and maintaining the Register of Decisions.
The Senior Classification Officers each supervise a team of Classification Officers.
The Chief Censor, Deputy Chief Censor, Information Unit Manager, Corporate Services Manager and Registrar form the Office’s management team.
The Chief Censor has a statutory obligation to maintain a Register of Classification Decisions. This Register holds the classification of each publication examined by the Classification Office or the Film and Literature Board of Review. The Register is available for public inspection at the Office during normal business hours. The information contained in the Register is also available online through the New Zealand Censorship Database, which can be accessed through the Office’s website.
In accordance with Part 10 of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993, the classification decisions of past censorship bodies (the Chief Censor of Films, the Video Recordings Authority and the Indecent Publications Tribunal) form part of the Register of Classification Decisions held by the Classification Office.
The Classification Office is empowered to hold one copy of any film and accompanying soundtrack that it has examined.
The Classification Office is required by statute to publish a monthly List of Decisions no later than the tenth working day of every month. Each list contains the classification decision and particulars of every publication examined by the Classification Office during the month immediately preceding the month in which the list is produced.
The written decision for any publication classified by the Office is available upon request.
The Office has produced brochures explaining its work and how the public can participate in the classification process. These are available upon request.
The Office produces research reports on subjects related to censorship and these are available on the Office’s website.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification
4th Floor, BP House
20 Customhouse Quay
PO Box 1999
Phone: (04) 471 6770 or 0508 236 767
Fax: (04) 471 6781