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Bishop’s book ban Bill bolstered by 2nd Reading

Bishop’s book ban Bill bolstered by 2nd Reading

Chris Bishop’s Member’s Bill to help avoid a repeat of the banning of author Ted Dawe’s award-winning novel Into the River has passed its second reading.

The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Interim Restriction Orders Classification) Amendment Bill was drawn from the Members’ Ballot last year and received its first reading in December.

It is Mr Bishop’s second member’s bill to be drawn after his Compensation for Live Organ Donors Act was passed into law last year.

“The unfortunate banning of Into the River for six weeks in 2015 revealed an anomaly in the law around ‘interim restriction orders’ made under the Film, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.

“The Bill provides the President of the Board of Review an expanded toolkit that can be used when considering whether to restrict a publication. The Bill will allow the President to restrict a publication based on age, or specified classes of people – the same powers available to the Classification Office and Board of Review.

“In the case of Into the River it would have meant the President could have reverted the book to its R14 status, rather than banning it outright, while the review was considered.

“It is quite plain that Into the River should not have been banned. This small but useful change will help ensure such a situation does not happen again.

ENDS

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