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Historical Records Database project

20 December 2010

Under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993, the classifications issued by the old Office of the Chief Censor of Films (CCF) - over a period of nearly 80 years - are legally binding unless superseded by a new decision from the Classification Office.

Classification decisions are a matter of public record, and the Classification Office wants to make them publically accessible. In a project begun in September 2009 the Classification Office has been adding and updating records from the registers of the CCF in order to achieve this aim. When this work is completed, New Zealand will have a complete censorship database dating back to the 1920s.

Archive shelving

Useful links

NZ Register searches

What does this mean for your NZ Register of Classification Decisions searches?

  1. The accessible number of historical records is growing - particularly titles from the '80s and early '90s. However, many thousands of records are still to be entered into the database - until this process is complete, the database should not be seen as a comprehensive list of classification decisions from the old Chief Censor's Office.
  2. Classifications by the CCF have been translated to their modern equivalent.
  3. In some cases an historical record may not indicate a running time, and will instead provide information about the length of the film in feet or in metres - we mostly translate this when we are sure of the format, e.g. 35mm or 16mm.

Until this process is complete, we advise anyone searching for older film titles to contact the Information Unit. Please also let us know if you are unsure about any of the information on the records that you find.