The New Zealand feature film Matariki was the only film to be assigned the classification of RP13 in 2009. The RP13 classification means that if you are 13 or older you can see the film by yourself, but if you are under 13 you have to have a parent or guardian with you. The film was given this classification because the issues in it could be challenging for younger viewers.
Directed by Michael Bennett, the film is a drama set in Auckland. It involves separate groups of people whose lives intersect following a random act of violence. The film was released in New Zealand in November 2010 and had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010. Matariki was submitted to the Classification Office on DVD and classified on 3 December 2009.
Matariki is about people whose lives are unexpectedly interwoven. The film is a moving drama set in Auckland. It uses well-known New Zealand actors and is realistic and sometimes challenging. Matariki deals with issues such as societal violence and themes such as the roles of families. The film contains drug use, issues of sexual identity, racial issues and depictions of crime. The themes are shown through the stories of different people whose lives link up after Tama, a rugby league player, attempts to rescue a man, Gunge, who is being viciously attacked.
Matariki contains violence, drug use and offensive language.
Matariki was classified 'RP13: contains violence, drug use and offensive language'. In its reasons for making the film RP13, the Classification Office stated:
The [RP13] classification acknowledges the feature's likely appeal to a broad-based audience, though only if parental guidance is available for children. Weight is given to the fact that Matariki is a piece of New Zealand cinema featuring well-known local actors, and contains positive messages about the impact of violence on people's lives and the role of the family.Office of Film and Literature Classification, 2009
The Classification Office noted the offensive language and violence in the film meant adults should accompany younger children to the film to help them understand what was going on and why:
The pervasive use of highly offensive language and a scene of strong violence means that availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good unless it is restricted to persons who have attained the age of 13 years or who are accompanied by a parent or guardian. In this instance it is considered that parents or guardians can put the violence and offensive language into a context that younger children could understand and may benefit from.Office of Film and Literature Classification, 2009
Matariki has an RP13 classification. This is quite different to an R13 classification. An R13 classification means that the film can only be made available to people aged 13 and over. The R13 classification means the Classification Office has decided that making the film available to anyone under that age could injure the public good by having a negative impact on them or on society. If a teacher or a parent wanted to show the film to anyone under the age of 13 and not be breaking the law, they would need to seek special permission from the Chief Censor.
The RP classification is not assigned very often. The only two RP classifications that the Classification Office uses are RP13 and RP16. An RP13 (or RP16) is usually assigned where the potential injury or harm of showing the film to someone younger than 13 (or 16) is balanced out by the positive impact of having an older person to explain and discuss issues raised in the film.
The RP classification is generally used where a film presents ideas or issues that could challenge younger viewers but might still be valuable to them, if they have support in working through the issues in the film.
RP16: graphic content may disturb.
20th Century Fox Film Distribution disagreed with the 'R16 content that may disturb' classification given to the film by the Classification Office and applied to have the decision reviewed. Find out more about 127 Hours
R13: contains violence, offensive language, drug use, and sex scenes.
Initially classified as R16 due to the violent and sexual material, and the depictions of drug use. On appeal by United Pictures this was reviewed and re-classified by the Board of Review. Find out more about 8 Mile
M: contains content that may disturb.
Originally cross-rated PG, we received complaints from parents that their children were frightened by the film. They asked the Chief Censor for permission to have the film assessed using our criteria. Find out more about A Christmas Carol
PG: some scenes may scare very young children.
Originally cross-rated G, we received complaints from parents that their young children were frightened by the film. As a result, the Chief Censor called the film in to be examined by the Classification Office. Find out more about Happy Feet
M: contains offensive language and sexual references.
This film had received its PG rating through the cross-rating process. After complaints from the public, the Chief Censor called the film in to be classified. Find out more about Land of the Lost
R13: contains violence and offensive language (film).
RP16: contains graphic violence (video).
Different versions of the film have different classifications as the law changed between the release of the film and the subsequent video. Find out more about Once Were Warriors
R15: contains violence and content that may disturb.
The film is about the massacre of 13 people at Aramoana - a tragic event in New Zealand's history - and this depiction of real life events required special consideration by the Classification Office. Find out more about Out of the Blue
R16: contains horror scenes and offensive language.
Members of the public complained to the Classification Office about the film's unrestricted M rating. They felt that the film was very frightening and contained extremely disturbing themes. Find out more about Paranormal Activity
R13: contains violence, offensive language and sexual references.
The "highly offensive language, much of it sexual in nature" in the film contributed to the R13 classification, as did the film's "crassly homophobic sentiments". Find out more about Paul
R15: depicts graphic and realistic war scenes.
This film generated much debate and became a benchmark for NZ film classification. It contains depictions of serious physical harm which are lengthy, frequent, and of a very graphic nature. Find out more about Saving Private Ryan
R13: contains violence and offensive language (film).
R16: contains violence, offensive language and content that may disturb (Blu-ray).
The Blu-ray edition has a higher rating as it also includes a short film, Manjha, that has the theme of sexual abuse. Find out more about Slumdog Millionaire
R16: contains horror scenes.
Members of the public raised concerns about the M rating on the film as anyone, including young children, could potentially watch it. They felt an age restriction would be more appropriate. The Chief Censor called it in for examination. Find out more about The Grudge
R15: prolonged sequences of brutal violence, torture and cruelty.
The Office was inundated with letters of complaint and support over its R16 classification, which had included public consultation. On appeal, it was re-classified by the Board of Review. Find out more about The Passion of the Christ
...it achieves its modest ambitions with considerable assurance, delivering a touching series of intersecting stories about the fragility of life and the redeeming power of lovePeter Calder, New Zealand Herald