Office of Film and Literature Classification (New Zealand)
- For the Australian version of the OFLC, see Australian Classification Board.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) is the government agency in New Zealand that is responsible for classification of all films, videos, publications, and some video games in New Zealand. It was created by the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (FVPC Act) and is an independent Crown Entity in terms of the Crown Entities Act 2004. The head of the OFLC is called the Chief Censor, maintaining a title that has described the government officer in charge of censorship in New Zealand since 1916.
The FVPC Act gives the OFLC jurisdiction to classify "publications" which include films, videos, DVDs, computer games with restricted content, books, magazines, comics, manga, sound recordings, pictures, newspapers, photographs, photographic slides, "any print or writing", any "paper or other thing" that has images or words on it (including apparel, playing cards, greeting cards, art, store-fronts and billboards), and electronic digital image, text and sound computer files. The OFLC also approves film posters and slicks. Only computer games with restricted content, and all films, videos, and DVDs, must carry a label before being offered for supply or exhibited to the public.
Any person may submit any of the "publications" listed above for classification by the OFLC, with the permission of the Chief Censor. The Secretary for Internal Affairs, Comptroller of Customs, Commissioner of Police and the Film and Video Labelling Body may submit publications for classification without the Chief Censor's permission. The Courts have no jurisdiction to classify publications. If the classification of a publication becomes an issue in any civil or criminal proceeding, the Court must submit the publication to the OFLC. Any person who is dissatisfied with a decision of the OFLC may have the relevant publication, but not the OFLC decision, reviewed by the Film and Literature Board of Review.
The FVPC Act gives the OFLC the power to classify publications into three categories: unrestricted, restricted, and "objectionable" or banned. Unrestricted films are assigned a green or yellow rating label. Restricted films are assigned a red classification label.
New Zealand has used a colour-coded labeling system since 1987. The colours are intended to convey the messages conveyed by a traffic light: a green label means that nothing in the film, video or DVD should inhibit anyone viewing it; a yellow label means proceed with caution because the film, video or DVD may have content younger viewers should not see; and a red label means stop and ensure that no one outside of the restriction views the film, video, DVD or computer game. The New Zealand classification system currently uses the following labels:
Red labels have been available for non-film publications such as magazines since 2005.