Censorship reform discussions begin

Posted Tuesday 06 Apr 2010

Government officials have been meeting key stakeholders and industry bodies to gather submissions for a review of New Zealand's censorship laws.  The Film, Video and Publications Classification Act 1993 evolved from the Video Recordings Act 1987, prior to the rise of the internet, pay TV, DVDs, podcasts, on-demand video, and computer games.  It has been described as unwieldy, expensive, and badly out of step with technology, reports The Press.  New Zealand's chief censor, Bill Hastings, agrees with Wellington's Aro Video owner, Andrew Armitage, who last year launched an online campaign (lumiere.net.nz/censorship-reform) to change the laws that, he argues, unfairly disadvantage the medium of DVD. Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs officials apparently hope to have censorship reforms in place by 2011, but Hastings is sceptical that these complicated changes will happen so easily.