07 December 2017
Our Briefing to the Incoming Minister, the Honourable Tracey Martin, presents the key classification and online media challenges facing New Zealanders in this digital age, and our plans to address these through a radically revised approach. The Briefing outlines a plan that is rational, evidence-led and informed by New Zealanders.
Some important takeaways from the Briefing are below - including an outline of our plan for dealing with the challenges of media content online. Download the full Briefing for details.
We know this from our own research, from global research, and most importantly from talking directly to parents and teenagers nationwide. Young people are being impacted by what they see – and parents are desperate for guidance.
She's being exposed to a world I don't really want for her. But you're stuck, if I say no she'll be isolated from her friends and that's uncool.Parent (of a teen) - OFLC consultation
The OFLC is a trusted centre of expertise for New Zealanders. We provide recognised classifications, reliable warnings, and valued guidance to the public every day. Preserving New Zealanders’ rights to freedom of expression is integral to our decision-making. We also work with enforcement agencies on the ‘darker side’ to help reduce the impact of publications that promote such things as child exploitation, terrorism, and sexual violence. And we provide leading edge research that is recognised globally.
That’s why we know an important opportunity exists to make a real difference to the lives of parents and young people in New Zealand.
The time is now to make the changes that are needed.
We know that most New Zealanders (83 percent) would like to see a single classification system applied across all platforms. However, progress on this model – and other changes – have been hampered for over 10 years by disagreement between regulators and industry. The needs of New Zealanders and their families have taken a back seat. The OFLC advocates a different approach. We have reached out to industry, listened to their challenges, and found common ground.
We have taken a cooperative approach with online streaming services, such as Netflix, which has resulted in improved service and information that New Zealanders can rely on.
We have done this while awaiting regulatory reform to cover this area. Regulation will always lag behind new technologies in the media space. But this new model will build on shared goals and trust-based relationships.
Our engagement with the community is essential for doing our job today and designing a responsive service for tomorrow. The release of our research report, Young New Zealanders Viewing Sexual Violence generated high media interest.
My mum was watching Game of Thrones and I asked her what it was. She wouldn't tell me so I just sat there. She didn't tell me to get out. She let me sit there and watch, It disturbed me so I walked out and started playing my games. I didn't talk to my mum all week.Older teen male participating in OFLC research
We already know that New Zealanders are concerned because we hear from them every day. Our recent survey of 1,000 people revealed that more than 84 percent of parents have concerns about the effects of media on children and young people.
It makes sense to have a strategy to allow New Zealanders as much freedom as they want – while equipping them to deal with the risks. Our plan is rational, evidence-led, and informed by New Zealanders. They have told us what they need to look after themselves and their whānau.
We need to:
Our strategy is aimed at making the biggest difference for New Zealanders at minimal cost to government and industry, with low regulatory overheads. Find out more in the full Briefing to the Incoming Minister (PDF, 1.80MB).