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What does RP mean?

Posted on 8 March 2016 by Henry (updated post)

RP labels aren't used very often, so why do we use them and what do they mean?

Occasionally the Classification Office will assign an RP13 or RP16 classification to a film. This classification is different from R13 or R16, where it is an offence to supply the film or DVD to any person who is under the specified age.

An RP classification means that someone under the specified age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when seeing the film. A guardian is considered to be a responsible adult (18 years and over), for example a family member or teacher who can provide guidance. If a person under the age specified in the classification is not accompanied by a parent or guardian they cannot view an RP film.

The RP labels

RP13 classification label


It is illegal to show or sell this to someone under 13 years of age unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The RP13 label


It is illegal to show or sell this to someone under 16 years of age unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Guidance for parents and guardians

Films with an RP label will contain storylines and subject matter that is targeted at a mature audience.

If you are accompanying a younger person to a film with an RP classification, your role is to help them understand the context, themes and material presented in the film - giving them an opportunity to think about and discuss any issues the film has raised for them. Your guidance and support will mitigate the potential harm of the child or teenager seeing the film, which may contain challenging content.

As with all film classifications, it is a good idea to read the descriptive note which accompanies the classification. This will give you an idea of the content in a film that might be challenging, disturbing or offensive. Content in an RP film may include things like violence, sexual references, offensive language, drug use and suicide. Written classification decisions on RP films are available upon request from the Classification Office. Please contact the Information Unit if you would like to obtain a copy of a classification decision.

Recent films and games classified RP13 or RP16

  • Hero - RP13: violence
  • The Mermaid - RP13: violence, sexual references and content that may disturb
  • Son Of Saul - RP16: vViolence, cruelty and content may disturb
  • Orphans And Kingdoms - RP16: violence, offensive language, nudity, drug use and suicide

For more information about the classification system, contact our Information Unit.

Henry works in the Information Unit at the NZ Office of Film and Literature Classification. His views do not represent those of the Chief Censor or of the Classification Office. The Information Unit provides information to other staff, to the public, and to industry members - they are not involved in assigning classifications. Keep up with our blog posts by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Film poster advertising for the film Son of Saul
The film Son of Saul is classified RP16 with the descriptive note "Violence, cruelty and content may disturb"


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