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1. The Film & Video Labelling Body

All films supplied to the public must be submitted to the Labelling Body.

The Labelling Body:

  • Rates unrestricted films.
  • Cross-rates unrestricted films that have been rated in Australia or the UK.
  • Issues the labels that must be affixed to films before they can be supplied to the public.

Labels can only be affixed to films once they have been rated or classified.

How the Labelling Body rates films
The Labelling Body can rate a film and issue a label if:
The film has been previously rated or classified in New Zealand prior to the creation of the Classification Office. If so, the Labelling Body can assign an equivalent label under the current Act.
The film has been given an unrestricted rating by the Australian OFLC or UK BBFC. On viewing the film, the Labelling Body assesses the content as unrestricted.
The Labelling Body will submit a film to the Classification Office if:

  • The film has been classified as restricted in Australia or the UK.
  • The film has been refused approval for supply and exhibition in Australia or the UK.
  • The film is likely to be classified as restricted or objectionable by the Classification Office.
  • The Labelling Body is having difficulty deciding the appropriate rating for the film.

The Labelling Body acts as the agent for distributors when films are submitted to the Office of Film & Literature Classification. Questions about films in the process of being classified should be addressed to the Labelling Body rather than the Office.

This FLOWCHART illustrates the process that the Labelling Body must follow.



2. The Office of Film and Literature Classification

The Classification Office is responsible for classifying all films submitted to it.
Films can be submitted to the Classification Office by:

  • The Film and Video Labelling Body;
  • The Censorship Compliance Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs;
  • New Zealand Customs;
  • The Police; or members of the public (The permission of the Chief Censor is required).

The Classification Office can ban or restrict the availability of a film, impose display conditions on a restricted publication, or assign it an unrestricted classification. Restrictions imposed by the Classification Office are legally enforceable.

For further information on the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 and the functions of the Office of Film & Literature Classification, please consult their website www.censorship.govt.nz.