Stuff co.nz 13 September 2015
Complete freedom of expression is impossible in a society that also allows censorship, says the man who has singlehandedly shut down sales of teen novelInto the River.
Don Mathieson, president of the Film and Literature Board of Review, said an interim restriction order – which makes it a crime to supply, display or distribute the award-winning book – was “in the public interest”.
“I’m just applying an act of Parliament … It’s impossible to have complete 100% freedom of expression and any form of censorship of written materials and that’s the tension we all have to live with and if anybody hasn’t got the brains to see that, then, I’m sorry . . . ”
Mathieson, speaking publicly for the first time since he issued his restriction order, said he had read Into the River “sufficiently recently to have a detailed knowledge of it”.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF NZ BOOK BANS
In 2013, censors banned The Everything Marijuana Book. In 1997, Hitchhiking Pizza Boy was outlawed. In 1972, A Sea of Thighs and Big Boobs made it to the forbidden list. Records show that since 1963, some 1289 books have been banned for import, distribution, supply or possession – most because of sex or drug references. These are the most recent:
2013: The Everything Marijuana Book
2013: Here’s Steve
2013: Boys Are Boys
2010: Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture 8th Edition
2009: Pleasant Dripping with Sweat
2000: Holiday Snapshots
2000: Eros XXX Women
1999: Topping from Below
1999: Indoor Marijuana Horticulture
1999: Marijuana Botany