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History of censorship - 1994

New classification system

The current classification system begins.

The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 established the Office of Film and Literature Classification, based in central Wellington. This is the censorship authority that we have today.

The new Act replaced all previous censorship Acts (the Films Act, The Indecent Publications Act and the Video Recordings Act) and all previous censorship bodies (the Chief Censor of Films, The Indecent Publications Tribunal and the Video Recordings Authority). All decisions of the old censorship bodies were carried on under the new Act and Office.

The first Chief Censor of Film and Literature was Kathryn Paterson. The Deputy Chief Censor was Lois Hutchinson who had been head of the Video Recordings Authority.

Kathryn Paterson was from Australia and had worked at the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, the Censorship Board and the Classification Office. When she was appointed Chief Censor, the opposition women's affairs spokesperson Elizabeth Tennet MP raised fears that Kathryn Paterson would import Australian 'macho cultural imperialism' into New Zealand.

Kathryn Paterson and Lois Hutchinson were Chief Censor and Deputy Chief Censor until 1998.

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