Applying to have a classification decision reconsidered

A reconsideration is where the Classification Office re-examines a publication, and either alters or confirms the previous classification decision on the publication.

Applications for reconsideration of a classification decision are usually made for older decisions, ones where more than 3 years has passed since the classification was made.

Where less than 3 years have passed since the decision was made, the applicant will need to show that (in the case of a film), the film has been substantially altered since the decision; or the Chief Censor will need to be satisfied that there are special circumstances justifying a reconsideration of the decision.

Those with an automatic right to apply for a reconsideration

Owners, makers, or authorised distributors of a publication do not need to seek the leave of the Chief Censor to submit a publication for reconsideration. There are different fees depending on the medium of the publication.

The application should include:

  • A copy of the publication to be reconsidered.
  • A reconsideration submission application form.
  • The correct fee.
  • A covering letter (optional) outlining why you want the publication reconsidered.
  • If the three year time period has not elapsed you should explain either how the film has been altered; or any special circumstances justifying reconsideration.

Completed applications should be sent to

Members of the public and others

People who are not the owner, maker, or authorised distributor must seek the leave of the Chief Censor before they can submit a publication for reconsideration.

There are different fees depending on the medium of the publication and whether the applicant has a commercial/professional interest in having the publication classified.

If you are not sure whether a publication has been classified, or are unsure of the classification date, you can check the NZ Register of Classification Decisions, or contact our Information Unit.

To request a reconsideration, click here.

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