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Bill to block child pornography loophole

Anne Tolley
Opposition Early Childhood Education Spokesperson
Opposition Women's Affairs Spokesperson

27 February 2000

Bill to block child pornography loophole

National MP Anne Tolley today lodged a Private Members Bill that will ban child pornography in any Films, Videos or Publications in New Zealand.

"This will stop lawyers finding loopholes to force judges to let this despicable material into our country. Parliament didn't want any child pornography in our community whatsoever when it passed the original law. We plan to block the loophole," Mrs Tolley said.

A recent Court of Appeal decision (Moonen v Film & Literature Board of Review) ruled that regard must be given to the right to freedom of expression as specified in the Bill of Rights when classifying an item as objectionable.

"I want to make it very clear that child pornography is not acceptable in New Zealand. My Bill draws a line in the sand and makes explicit what was the intention of Parliament when the original Act was passed - an outright ban of child pornography.

"Court decisions have muddied the waters about the interpretation of the original Act. I am concerned that this will mean censors are more likely to err on the side of freedom of expression and increase the amount of written objectionable material available, as it would take longer to review publications. The last thing we want is any form of child pornography in New Zealand - regardless of peoples' right to freedom of expression.

"Children should be protected from exploitation and I am determined, through my Private Members Bill, to ensure that child pornography, in any form, is deemed objectionable and banned from our country," Mrs Tolley said.

The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Prohibition of Child Pornography) Amendment Bill will give the Censor the power to disregard the right to freedom of expression as specified in the Bill of Rights when classifying an item deemed to depict, support or promote child pornography.

Ends


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