Films supplied to the public in New Zealand must display NZ classification information.
Classification information is displayed in cinemas, on DVDs and Blu-rays, on film advertising material and trailers, and on services providing movies and TV shows for streaming or download. Physical things like DVDs have to have classification labels like the ones below displayed on their cases, but websites or apps sometimes display the classification symbol and descriptive note in different ways. A classification on a movie, TV series or game means the same thing wherever you see it.
Classification symbols are colour coded like traffic lights.
In addition to a classification symbol there is usually a descriptive note briefly explaining the nature of content that might concern viewers, for example, whether a movie, TV series or game contains violence or sex.
Learn what kinds of publications we classify and which ones need to carry labels.
A movie, TV series or game with an unrestricted classification can be made available to anyone - and the different classification symbols give people an idea of the suitability of content for different age groups.
Anyone can be shown or sold this. Movies, TV shows and games classified G should have very low levels of things like frightening scenes. However, not all G titles are intended for family audiences so it is always a good idea to look at reviews and plot information.
Movies, TV shows and games with a PG classification can be sold, hired, or shown to anyone. It's important to remember that PG titles can be aimed at an adult audience.
Movies, TV shows and games with an M classification can be sold, hired, or shown to anyone. When considering whether to let a child watch or play something classified M it's a good idea to find out what the title is about - and to always remember to check the descriptive note.
The Classification Office can classify according to age or purpose, or restrict a film or game's availability to a particular audience. The following classifications are common:
Information explaining the meaning of classifications must be displayed in places where movies or games are supplied or exhibited to the public.
We provide posters with this information on request, and you can see them or something like them in stores and cinemas across New Zealand.