Censorship

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Censorship
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New Zealand is a multicultural country which mostly practices Christianity. Its official languages are English and Maori.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) is the government agency that is currently responsible for classification of all films, videos, publications, and some video games in New Zealand. It was created by the aforementioned Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 and is an independent Crown entity. The head of the OFLC is called the Chief Censor, maintaining a title that has described the government officer in charge of censorship in New Zealand since 1916.


General censorship[]

New Zealand is a community-minded nation. Thus, any material that is likely to be injurious to the public good gets classified as objectionable (meaning that certain publications are banned effectively. This means possession, distribution, importation or ownership of that material could be confiscated either by New Zealand Customs, Department of Internal Affairs, New Zealand Police or by the OFLC and therefore it is illegal to possess, import, own or distribute objectionable material that is banned by NZ authorities could land you a prison sentence of 10 years for possession or 14 years for distribution).

  • Suicide is rather a sensitive subject matter in New Zealand because of the high statistical rates of young New Zealanders taking their own lives without proper help.
  • Also a very sensitive subject matter in New Zealand is child exploitation and sexualisation of a minor. This issue is rather concerning. Publications containing that sort (mostly in some Anime in which the NZ censors takes issue with) are banned.
  • Following the 2019 Mosque Attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand amping up its censorship laws by making possession of extremist material illegal. Therefore anyone possess the extremist material (or in this case possession of objectionable material)could be sentenced to 10 years in jail and a fine of $50,000. But that’s not all. Distribution of objectionable material could send someone up to 14 years in jail.

TV censorship[]

  • The Simpsons - All the scenes showing Itchy and Scratchy cartoons were cut on TVNZ.
  • Puni Puni Moemy - this anime was classified as "objectional material" on the grounds of depiction of sexualisation of minors.
  • High School DxD - the anime adaptation of this manga was banned for the same reasons. The OFLC stated in their report publications were banned if containing what the board felt was "to reinforce the notion that young persons are sexually desirable and available".
  • Maken-ki! - the second season of this anime was banned in New Zealand due to what the rating described as a "loose narrative" used as a vehicle for sexual exploitation of minors.
  • Power Rangers - After the first season, this show was banned from television due to complaints from parents whose children were injured themselves trying to emulate the show's fight scenes. Interstingly enough, the seasons from Ninja Storm onward were filmed in New Zealand, with local actors and actresses. By the time of Power Rangers Samurai, the ban on the show has been lifted since.
  • Ikki Tousen: Dragon Destiny - this anime is banned due to the series' violent and sexual scenes. Due to the reaction from New Zealand film authorities, distributor Madman Entertainment chose not to release the remaining volumes there.

Book censorship[]

  • The Great Replacement - This text, which was the manifesto of Brenton Tarrant, the man behind the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, has been banned by the Chief Censor of New Zealand as "objectionable material".
  • The Peaceful Pill Handbook - this book about euthanasia was banned in New Zealand on the grounds of being an "objectionable publication". A short time later the book was republished in redacted form and is available only if sealed and an indication of the censorship classification is displayed.
  • Into the River - this book was banned due to "highly offensive and gratuitous language, adult themes and graphic sexual content".
  • Twenty Five Years of an Artist - this artbook by David Hamilton was banned for sexualizing children and young persons.
  • Holiday Snapshots - this artbook, also by David Hamilton was banned due to depiction of nude adolescent girls.
  • Pleasant Dripping With Sweat - this manga was banned due to encouraging readers "to view children and young persons as valid objects of sexual desire who are physically and emotionally available for sexual activity, and therefore promotes their exploitation by adults".
  • Natsu no Maboroshi - this manga was banned due to "Its purpose being to sexually arouse those with a interest in children and it encourages adults to regard children as appropriate subjects for sexual fantasy."


Internet censorship[]

While there are many types of objectionable content under New Zealand law, the filter specifically targets content depicting the sexual abuse or exploitation of children and young persons. The Department of Internal Affairs runs the filtering system, dubbed the Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System (DCEFS). It is voluntary for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to join.

  • 4chan, 8chan, and LiveLeak were banned due to disseminating footage of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Film censorship[]

Under New Zealand law, any films that has been classified already in either Australia or the United Kingdom will be classified with an NZ equivalent rating.

  • Mad Max - This film was initially banned in 1979 by the Chief Censor due to "violence and anti-social behaviour" as well to general portrayal of gangs (which are still an issue in New Zealand) and violence for four years, which meant that was shown later than its sequel, The Road Warrior, due to sensivities (according to submissions from the Police and the Ministry of Maori Affairs) over a real-life gang incident not long before the film came out, where "rampaging youths" burned a police officer in a car the previous year, which supposedly bore "an uncanny resemblance" to the "Goose is cooked" (the scene where Goose is burnt alive inside of his car) scene. However, in 1983, after the success of The Road Warrior, the first film was unbanned and rated R18.
  • The remake of Maniac!, which starred Elijah Wood, was banned due to its filming of the murders from the killer's point of view. which the OFLC claimed was "potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong person".
  • A Serbian Film - banned due to its extreme violence
  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom - this film was banned on its initial release, but lifted after 17 years.
  • Vase de Noces - banned due to "promoting and supporting bestiality".
  • Last Tango in Paris, Faces of Death, Cannibal Holocaust and Andy Warhol's Bad were banned on their initial release.
  • The Bridge - this documentary is banned in New Zealand due to objectionable content (in this case, the film is about, and shows scenes, of people jumping from the Golden Bridge as a method of suicide)
  • Bloody Mama - this film was banned in the country at one point due to high levels of violence. Its novelisation was also banned, and the ban was not lifted until 2012, more than four decades after its release.
  • Tarzoon: Shame of the Jungle - this film was banned due to content that would be contrary to public decency and undesirable to public interest.

Video game censorship[]

  • Manhunt - banned in New Zealand by the OFLC due to being "excessive gory"
  • Postal 2 - banned by the OLFC due to "extreme gore"
  • Gal*Gun: Double Peace - banned on account the sexual exploitation of young persons and the use of coercion to compel someone to submit to sexual contact.
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