First film screening in New Zealand.
The first public film screening in New Zealand was in Auckland on October 13, 1896. Professors Hausmann and Gow introduced 'Edison's latest marvel, the Kinematograph', with which they showed a programme of short films – the first public film projection in New Zealand.
Extensive wartime censorship introduced. Censorship during the war extended to all aspects of information: newsreels and newspapers were censored as well as mail sent to troops and by troops. Teams of translators were employed to read any mail addressed to or sent by foreigners living in New Zealand.
Government intervenes over banning of the film Love on the Dole. New appeal board appointed which passes it.
Political censorship during waterfront strike.
The Wild One banned (banned 5 times before being classified as R16 in 1977).
Teenage sex revelations lead to Mazengarb Enquiry and tougher laws which allow the banning of comics and 'pulp' literature.
Rebel Without a Cause passed on appeal.
Nabokov's novel Lolita found indecent by Court of Appeal.
Television comes to New Zealand and the Broadcasting Act sets standards for TV and radio.
The Crimes Act outlaws 'indecent' performances.
Indecent Publications Act sets up Indecent Publications Tribunal (IPT) and redefines 'indecency'.
The film Ulysses is classified R18 but men and women were not allowed to sit together.
Patricia Bartlett forms the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards, a group which still exists today. Patricia Bartlett campaigned for stricter censorship of theatre, film and sexually explicit material. She was opposed to teenagers having access to sex-education material and the Homosexual Law Reform Bill.
The Little Red School-Book found not indecent after much controversy.
Germaine Greer convicted for saying 'bullshit'.
Musical Hair acquitted of obscenity charge.
Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange is classified R20 by the film censor despite public protest. The classification was lowered to R18 in 1984. The classification of the film and DVD is still 'R18: contains violence'.
Monty Python's Life of Brian is classified as R16 by Chief Censor of Films. This decision is hugely controversial with many people calling for the film to be banned.
Video Recordings Act sets up the Video Recordings Authority (VRA) to censor restricted and banned level videos intended for home use. Unrestricted level material to be cross-rated from Australia by the new Video Labelling Body.
Establishment of the Ministerial Committee of Inquiry into Pornography announced. The Committee's report is released in 1989 and leads to an overhaul of the censorship system.
Ministerial Committee of Inquiry into Pornography releases a report recommending reform of the censorship system (this led to the classification law we have today).
Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) opens (replaces all previous censorship bodies).
OFLC classifies four billboards on Karangahape Road in Auckland after they are 'submitted' by a member of the public. The OFLC consults with the City Council, the shop owners, Auckland Girls' Grammar School, and the Auckland Bus Company before making a decision that all of the billboards are objectionable (banned). The owners of two of the billboards appealed the decision.
Key court case: Living Word Distributors v Human Rights Action Group (Wellington)
The book Mihi: Collected Poems is classified as unrestricted after it is submitted by a member of the public concerned about sexual portrayals in the book.
Amendments to the Classification Act expand the definition of 'objectionable' to ensure nude pictures of children and young persons are included; allows restriction for highly offensive language and dangerous imitable conduct; and increases penalties for possession and distribution of objectionable publications. Many of these amendments are as a result of the Living Word case in 2000.
Underage Gaming Research Report commissioned by OFLC.
Chief Censor Bill Hastings resigns his position to become a District Court Judge. Bill Hastings was Chief Censor for 11 years and replaced Kathryn Paterson.