Film / television censorship in New Zealand

‘’The Office of Film & Literature Classification is the Government body responsible for classifying publications that may need to be restricted or banned in New Zealand’’(The OFLC). This was established under section 76 of the film and video and Publications Classification Act 1993 and been active since 1916.

How do they classify the content?

According to the public act 1993 No 94, date assent on 26 august 1993 commencement see section 1 .There are ten parts and over 177 sub points I’ll be just explain a few of them with the main key points from my understanding . I’ll to keep it as accurate as possible.

  • One of the main things would know what age group you are trying to target and what the purpose of the TV or movie
  • Does it include drugs, sex, action, offensive language, nudity and something that involve religious beliefs? (When you trying to add some of these category that I listed on the top you may also think about till what extend are your going to show all this and will it pass the censorship or will it be ban. Will if offend someone or someone’s beliefs and practices)?

Dose included clips of some other movie or TV show? Or music from an artist? (You’ll need permission to use it. If not taken proper rights it can lead to legal issues of copyrights act)

  • When you send your movie in for the OFLC to review and certify your film or TV show you’ll need to follow the procedure which takes time and for more information on this read the public act 1993 section 1 part 3 from point 12 to 46 it describes the process in detail .

The UMR (universal media reader) which is commissioned by the Classification Office carried out a survey 29/09/2016 on” New Zealanders want one classification system for movies, TV shows and games ’’. This is what the survey showed 


The doughnut chat shows a positive outcome about all the 3 mediums should have the same classification system. Over 1000 New Zealanders   who were did the survey we clear on having the same system and also applied it in cinemas, DVDs’ / Blue ray, online and TV. They would prefer it to see under the classifications which currently assigned under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act.

This shows survey that New Zealanders want their entertainment to be universal and if contains something offensive it would have been ‘beeped’ out or cut from the TV show or Movie. This helps promote save entertainment.

reference list

Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993

link :

The Office of Film & Literature Classification



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