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Statistics and corporate documents from the Classification Office

This page outlines some key classification statistics from the past financial year. You can also download copies of official documents such as our Annual Reports and Statements of Intent.

The Classification Office is accountable to the New Zealand public as a provider of an important public service. The following corporate documents contain detailed information about our operation, performance, and outlook for the years ahead.

A high level of transparency and engagement with the New Zealand public is essential to our work. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the information and documents we have provided.

Annual Report 2019 cover

Useful links

Submission on FVPC (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill

The Classification Office made a written submission on the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill

Submission on FVPC Urgent Interim & Online Harm Amendment Bill (PDF, 928KB)

Annual Reports (2011-2020)

Annual Reports for a financial year (July 1 - June 30) are available in November each year, once they have been tabled in Parliament.

Statements of Intent (2013-15, 2014-18, 2017-21)

Briefing to the Incoming Minister of Internal Affairs (2020)

When a new Minister of Internal Affairs is appointed, the Classification Office provides a briefing which outlines who we are and what we do, how we have been operating, and other important information of use to the Minister. In 2020, we created six documents to cover the different aspects of the work our Office does:

Submission to the 2004 Inquiry into Hate Speech

As part of an Inquiry into Hate Speech in 2004, the Classification Office submitted that 'current New Zealand legislation does not specifically or effectively address "hate speech"', and that 'the extent to which a publication is hate speech should be a matter that is relevant to [a film, game, or other publication's] classification if Parliament decides that legislation providing for civil or criminal remedies is necessary or desirable.'

Submission to the 2004 Inquiry into Hate Speech (PDF, 274KB)

Responses to Official Information Act requests

This section is where the Classification Office proactively releases our responses to Official Information Act requests.

Lockdown Expenditure Official Information Request (July 2020)

This is a request for official information under the Official Information Act 1982 relating to sensitive expenditure incurred in the lead-up to and during the Level 4 Lockdown.

We request the following information:
1. All staff credit and purchase card statements for your agency from the 1st of March 2020 until the 30th of May 2020.
2. A list of items of expenditure pertaining to entertainment, staff expenses, travel, furniture, telecommunications and computer peripherals purchased or paid for between the 1st of March 2020 and 30th of May 2020.
3. A list of all staff reimbursements made within the same period.

We do not wish to cause unnecessary expense or burden on your agency. If clarification of any of our requests is needed, please call or email. Likewise, if a request proves unnecessarily burdensome in form and we are likely to be able to adjust it to be more specific or better suited to your information systems without losing the benefit of what is sought, please also get in touch. If there is likely to be a delay in being able to assemble or provide some of the information requested, please provide the rest of the information as it becomes available.

The relevant documents are as follows:

  1. Response (XLSX, 25.22 KB)
  2. Visa Statements February_Redacted (PDF, 1.82 MB)
  3. Visa Statements March_Redacted (PDF. 1.47 MB)
  4. Visa Statement April_Redacted (PDF 5.83 MB)
  5. Visa Statement May_Redacted (PDF, 1.30 MB)


Banned Books List Official Information Request (December 2020)

This was an Official Information Act request asking Could you please attach a complete list of banned books in New Zealand. Please note that I don't want any film or other media, just books and/or manuscripts and/or pamphlets.

We responded by email, which had the following spreadsheets attached:

Please note that this response was made in December 2020. As such, these spreadsheets reflect the list at the time of response and may not be an accurate reflection of the current banned books list. Please contact the Information Unit if you would like a copy of the list.

Our response to this request is reproduced below:

I have attached two spreadsheets which together include all banned books in New Zealand. Note that the Classification Office started operating in 1994, and replaced the previous Indecent Publications Tribunal as the authority responsible for classifying text-based publications such as books. In most cases, decisions by the Indecent Publications Tribunal are still in force today.

  • The IPT banned books 1964-1994 spreadsheet includes all books banned by the former Indecent Publications Tribunal. These are still in force unless otherwise indicated in the spreadsheet.
  • The OFLC banned books to 19 November 2020 spreadsheet includes all books banned by the Classification Office since opening in 1994.

No pamphlets have been banned by the Classification Office. The IPT banned two pamphlets:

IPT83-1070 (6 of 7) - Centurians Sales Pamphlet - 23/06/1983
IPT83-1070 (7 of 7) - Centurians Video Tape Sales Pamphlet - 23/06/1983

There are no publications listed as ‘manuscripts’. We are not aware of any manuscripts being classified or banned, but there is a chance that manuscripts would have been categorised as ‘books’ in which case they would be captured by the lists provided.

I hope this information is useful. If you are concerned that your request under the Official Information Act has not been dealt with appropriately you have the right to complain to the Office of the Ombudsman:

Freephone 0800 802 602

Pornography Working Party - Joint Briefing to Ministers

Formed in May 2018, the inter-agency Pornography Working Party (PWP) has been investigating the impacts of online pornography, coordinating work and advice between agencies and providing a centre of knowledge for government on the subject and advice on potential policy responses.

The PWP is chaired by Chief Censor David Shanks of the Classification Office, and includes representatives from the Classification Office, Netsafe, Ministry of Health, Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), Ministry for Women, Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Ministry of Education, ACC, and New Zealand Police.

The following Briefings provided updates to Ministers about:

  • The current environment and its challenges
  • The relevance of this work to wider government priorities
  • Progress to date on key issues and responses
  • High-level recommendations
  • Individual agency responses

The relevant documents are as follows: