This page has information for librarians including how to manage DVDs and restricted books, signing up to our libraries newsletter, and getting resources from the Classification Office.
If you need more information please feel free to contact our Information Unit.
Many public and tertiary libraries stock books, DVDs or music which hold a restricted classification. We have listed the main points on managing these items here:
If your library stocks DVDs it is important you know the rules about supplying them. Here are the basics:
Labels can be obtained from The Film and Video Labelling Body.
Films, DVDs and (restricted) games must be labelled with New Zealand film labels before they can be supplied in New Zealand. (There are a few exceptions to the labelling rule, for films such as unrestricted documentaries.)
Types of films exempted from labelling
Some types of films and games are exempted from labelling requirements. It is important to note that while some films may fall into one of the exempt categories (such as 'documentary') the exemption does not apply if the film contains material that is likely to be restricted.
The Classification Office and the Film and Video Labelling Body do not have power to grant an exemption from labelling. It is up to the person or organisation making the DVDs available to the public to determine whether they think the DVDs meet the exemption requirements under section 8 of the Classification Act. There's more info about exemptions in the Industry section.
For more information, contact our Information Unit.
Like all libraries, school libraries need to ensure that restricted items are not lent or shown to underage students. If your school library stocks DVDs, please make sure they are correctly labelled, that you display a label poster and that all staff are aware of the meaning of labels and legal restrictions.
Permission from a teacher or a parent does not override a restriction. If teachers want students to see a restricted film or graphic novel, they must apply to the Chief Censor for an exemption from the classification.
We produce an e-newsletter for libraries around 6 times a year. The newsletter has articles and a spreadsheet of restricted books and magazines that have been classified as restricted since 2005. (Note: this spreadsheet does not contain sexually explicit titles, as libraries are unlikely to stock these).
To subscribe to this newsletter, email our Information Unit with the words 'Subscribe to libraries newsletter' in the subject line.
If your library lends out DVDs you must display a label poster. These are available free of charge in either A3 or A2 format. The poster was redesigned in 2012. Your current poster should look like the one shown. To order a poster contact our Information Unit.
We have a number of other free resources your library might like to use:
A booklet outlining the censorship process and labelling, suitable as a school resource.
Contact our Information Unit to order copies of Censorship: The Basic Facts.
The new restricted movies flyer is a double-sided sheet informing people that it is illegal to supply restricted films or games to underage people. There is information on all the classification labels and what they mean on the back of the flyer.
Contact our Information Unit to order Red Means Restricted flyers (100 flyers per pad).
Our new DVD slick resource is designed to fit inside DVD display cases. Two PDFs are available: one is for films classified as restricted - such as R16 or R18 - and the other is for films with RP (parental accompaniment) classifications such as RP13 or RP16.
These slicks remind people that it is against the law to show or give restricted films to people under the age stated on the label and it is illegal to show or give films with an 'RP' classification to an underage person unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
These resources are designed for DVD retailers, libraries, and stores offering DVDs for hire. Please feel free to print copies of this resource for your DVD display cases.
Contact our Information Unit to order DVD slicks.
LIANZA is a great opportunity for us to talk to library staff from around the country, and allows us to answer a wide variety of questions about the classification system as people visit our stand throughout the conference.
In 2014 the Classification Office attended the LIANZA conference in Auckland and presented a paper entitled Opening the book on censorship: classification of literature in New Zealand. Classification Office staff also participated in a panel discussion with Auckland Libraries regarding the recent classification of a number of books.
In 2010 the Classification Office attended the centennial LIANZA conference in Dunedin and presented a paper entitled From The Butcher Shop to The Peaceful Pill: A history of book censorship in New Zealand.