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Hefty fine for Auckland Video Store

Media release 2 October 2014

Hefty fine for Auckland Video Store

An Auckland based video store has been fined $5000 for the sale of non-compliant, unlabelled DVDs.

The manager, Bikhabhai Desai of Shree Rhythm Video & Internet Café in Otahuhu, pleaded guilty to the charges at the Manukau District Court on 1 October 2014. An order was also made for the destruction of all of the seized items.

Internal Affairs’ Community Safety Manager Steve O’Brien said the prosecution came about as a result of a consistent refusal by Shree NZ Ltd & Desai to adhere to the requirement of the Classification Act and Regulations.

“The defendants in this case had two sets of previous warnings in 2007 and 2010 and had also been served with a written warning by the Department of Internal Affairs in May 2013.

“We want to protect those retailers who abide with the New Zealand classification requirements and support a system providing informative consumer notification, “ said Mr O’Brien.

Mr O’Brien said that a joint initiative between the Film and Video Labelling Body and the Department of Internal Affairs has resulted in a number of prosecutions to address the problem of non-compliance by store operators.

“Prosecutions such as this will serve as a deterrent for people in the industry,” he said.

Last week another Otahuhu store, Bollywood Entertainment Bazaar Ltd, was prosecuted and fined for the sale of non-compliant, unlabelled DVDs .

Background

Rating, classification, and censorship of films, computer games and other publications in New Zealand is governed by the Films, Videos, andPublications Classification Act 1993.

Prior to films being screened or sold in New Zealand, they must be classified and receive a rating label, such as “G” or "R18". It is an offence under the Classification Act to offer to supply to the public a film that has not been issued with a label. It is also an offence to offer to supply to the public a filmwithout the correct rating label displayed.

Ratings and classification of films and games is carried out in New Zealand mainly by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. Labels are thenissued by the Film and Video Labelling Body. The Film and Video Labelling Body is the Statutory Regulatory Authority, operating under a Government Warrant, responsible for the rating of all unrestricted films. They also keep records of restricted films classified by the Office of the Chief Censor.

Ends


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