Media Release 1 October 2015
Family First NZ says it is ironic that Auckland Libraries are expressing horror at an interim restriction on the book “Into the River” while it is reviewed and are arguing that no book should have a restriction, when they themselves submitted a book for classification, and then happily accepted the R18 restriction placed on that book.
“Auckland Libraries correctly asked for a classification of the book “Lost Girls” because of its sexually explicit content. They then happily accepted and coped with the R18 restriction when issuing books. Where was the furore then? Did they apply for this R18 restriction to be lifted? No they didn’t, which shows that they share Family First’s view that there is a place for age appropriate censorship,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Into the River has been restricted R14 since December 2013. There was no furore then because it was an appropriate decision by the Board of Review – one which Auckland Libraries initially accepted, just as they have accepted the R18 on Lost Girls,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“There is a consensus amongst the public of New Zealand that children and young people should not be exposed to explicit sexual material intended for adults until they reach a level of maturity and experience that would allow them to cope with such material. In particular, young readers should not be exposed to images and text that they would be likely to find extremely shocking and disturbing.”
“Those are not our words. Those are the words of the Chief Censor when giving Lost Girls an R18 rating. We agree with the approach. The debate is where we draw the line in terms of what we expose our young people to – irrespective of the intention of the publication which may be simply seeking to push the boundaries,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Some may see Auckland Libraries as being hypocritical. We think they simply share our view that there should be age appropriate censorship rules to protect our young people.”