Taking control – New Zealand families using age ratings and content warnings

Dec. 7, 2022

New Zealand families value age ratings and content warnings, but many aren’t using parental controls on streaming services, new research from Te Mana Whakaatu – Classification Office shows.

Chief Censor Caroline Flora today released What we’re watching (Part 2): Views about the classification system which is based on a nationally representative survey conducted by Kantar Public. Part 1 of this research series was released in June.

“It’s really heartening that this research shows people value having New Zealand-specific ratings and warnings, and parents and caregivers are using that information to make the right decisions for their households”, Caroline Flora said.

“We also see an opportunity for people to use parental controls on streaming platforms. These can include features such as requiring passwords for some content, or having different profiles for children based on their age.

“We are launching a new webpage today to help whānau use these tools – they are a great way to support parents to protect their tamariki from watching inappropriate or harmful content”.

The key findings in the report include:

  • 84% thought age ratings were important when deciding what tamariki and rangatahi should watch, and most people understood them.
  • New Zealanders are seeing these on streaming services: a majority had seen official New Zealand ratings on Netflix (57%) and Disney (52%), the two most popular services.
  • Over half of parents and caregivers with tamariki and rangatahi at home (53%) said they or someone in their household uses parental controls for streaming services. Around a third of parents said they did not use parental controls, and 11% were unsure.

“Streaming services have been implementing new requirements to display New Zealand age ratings this year and New Zealanders are noticing them, including a majority of those using the most popular streaming services.

“New Zealanders can also use parental controls to give them peace of mind about what their kids are watching, and we have pulled together some guidance to help”.

Part 1 of the research found New Zealanders were concerned about tamariki and rangatahi seeing harmful content, and thought it was hard to protect tamariki online. It was common for people of all ages to see harmful content online, and New Zealanders supported regulation of harmful online content.

For media queries contact media@classificationoffice.govt.nz

Subscribe to our news

Stay up to date with news from the Classification Office.