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History of censorship - 1996

Auckland billboards classified

The billboards advertised local 'adult' shops and strip shows: Kinks, The New Venus Shop, The Vegas Girl, and The Pleasure Chest. The Classification Office classified all four billboards as objectionable.

The following is an excerpt from the Classification Office's reasons for classifying The Vegas Girl sign as objectionable:

In arriving at the classification for this sign, significant weight under the appropriate criteria has been given to the widespread public concern about the effect of the sign on schoolchildren associated with the sign, and especially the students of Auckland Girls' Grammar School. This is because of their close proximity to the sign, the negative effects of the sign on them, and the fact that they have little choice but to be exposed to the sign's negative effects.

Weighting has also been given to the effect on other people in the area involuntarily exposed to the sign and consequent negative effects. The fact that representatives of the Auckland City Council, who are in a position to assess the well-being of the wider community that they represent, have identified widespread concern within that community regarding the sign, has also been taken into account.

The Classification Office recognises that the sign's owner benefits from its presence and would be affected adversely by its absence. It also notes his belief that the publication has artistic and cultural merit, and notes that other groups recognise that the publication may have an icon status. However, the Classification Office is of the opinion that the likely injury to the good of the other groups of the public mentioned above, and in particular of the pupils of local schools, from the availability of the sign, outweighs any benefit to the public good that such availability might hold. Given the likely injury to the public good, the Classification Office is of the view that the publication is objectionable.

The owners of two of the signs, The Vegas Girl and The Pleasure Chest, appealed the classification decisions to the Board of Review. The majority of the Board classified the The Vegas Girl and The Pleasure Chest billboards as 'unrestricted'.

Read the Register Page which outlines the Board's decision (PDF, 67KB)

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The K-Road Vegas Girl billboard
The K-Road Vegas Girl billboard