Media Release 24 June 2014
Family First is congratulating organisers and judges of the New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year for children and young adults for awarding books this year that were suitable and not offensive.
Last year, the family group called on NZ Post to withdraw their support and the award from Ted Dawe’s Into the River which won top prize in the awards. The book contained explicit sexual content, highly offensive language and other adult themes, and the President of the Film and Literature Board of Review supported Family First’s call for the book to be given an R18 rating. The Board’s decision was to restrict the book to those aged 14 and above, and required the book to display a ‘parental advisory explicit content’ warning.
“The standard has lifted in this year’s book awards and is to be commended. There is a great range of age appropriate children’s books which the whole family can enjoy together,” says Sue Reid, Spokesperson for Family First NZ.
“It’s great to see a new standard and that the concerns of families were heard during last year’s debacle. It was certainly worth us speaking up.”
“The judges have captured the various genres that appeal to the younger readers – unlike last year,” says Mrs Reid.
“Families will now be able to rely on the Awards as a suitable measure of what is suitable for their children.”