Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Serious Questions over Censor's Position


Serious Questions over Deputy Chief Censor's Position

The Deputy Chief Censor, Ms Nicola McCully, continues to hold a vital statutory position in the Office of Film and Literature Classification, despite the fact that her position became vacant on 17 September 2005 when her three year term of office expired. The Society has called the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Hon. Rick Barker, to replace her.

It has yet to receive any explanation from the Minister explaining how Ms McCully can continue to legally hold office and draw a salary of about $150, 000 per annum, when her warrant has expired.

The Society is aware that there is no provision whatsoever in the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 ("the Act") to allow a statutory appointee to the the Office of Deputy Chief Censor, to continue to hold office when the appointee's term of office has expired.

The Society has called for the Minister to replace both the Chief Censor, Bill Hastings, whose term of office expires later this year (August 2006), and his Deputy, because of the failure of the Office to apply the Act to protect the public from the pandemic of obscene and sexually degrading publications that are being regularly cleared by the Office for adult 'entertainment" in public cinemas (e.g. Baise-Moi) and for home viewing.

The bulk of this "objectionable" material (DVDs and videos) that is classified R18 by the Office, is highly injurious to the public good and is being accessed by many under the age of 18 years of age. These publications contain highly degrading, demeaning and dehumanising sexual content in terms of the treatment of women participants. They gratuitously depict sexual violence, and at the very least tend to promote the marriage of graphic violence and voyeuristic depictions of explicit and degrading sex acts.

The nine minute brutal rape scene that provided "entertainment" for cinema goers who saw the film "Irreversible" and the four and a half minute explicit rape scene witnessed by those who saw "Baise-Moi", was made possible only because of the classification decisions issued under the authority of Bill Hastings and Nicola McCully who both viewed the films.

Copy of Society's Official Information Request to Minister of Internal Affairs Hon. Rick Barker (unanswered as yet).

Attention Hon. Rick Barker Minister of Internal Affairs

9 January 2006

Official Information Request

Dear Mr Barker

On behalf of the Society executive I am writing to request answers to the following questions that relate to one area of your many responsibilities: The Department of Internal Affairs.

1. For how many years was Ms Nicola McCully appointed to the statutory position of Deputy Chief Censor of Film and Literature? (Note: The appointment was made by the Governor-General on 17 September 2002 at the recommendation of your colleague the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. George Hawkins).

2. When did Ms McCully's term of office expire according to the notice gazetted by the Minister of Internal Affairs following her appointment - the same notice given to her by the Governor-General?

3. Is Ms McCully's position now vacant and if so, when and how did it become vacant?

4. Under what statute does Ms McCuly continue to hold office as Deputy Chief Censor?

5. Section 82 of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 - "Continuation in office after term expires" - was repealed on 25 January 2005.If Ms McCully's term of office has expired then the office is now vacant. In view of the repealing of s. 82 of the principal Act, there is now no legal basis for recognising Ms McCully as Deputy Chief Censor. In view of these facts, why has the Minister not advertised the vacant position of Deputy Chief Censor since it became vacant on 17 September 2005?

6. When does the Minister anticipate gazetting the vacant position of Deputy Chief Censor?

7. What are the Minister's reasons for chosing not to reappoint Ms McCully but instead allowing her position to become vacant?

8. When does the statutory positon of the Chief Censor Bill Hastings become vacant?

We look forward to your responses.

Yours sincerely

David Lane SPCS secretary

[On behalf of Society executive]



Method of appointment of members-

(1) A member of a statutory entity is appointed by-

(a) the responsible Minister, in the case of a member of a Crown agent or autonomous Crown entity; or

(b) the Governor-General, on the recommendation of the responsible Minister, in the case of a member of an independent Crown entity.

(2) The appointment must be made by written notice to the member (with a copy to the entity).

(3) The notice must-

(a) state the date on which the appointment takes effect which must not be earlier than the date on which the notice is received; and

(b) state the term of the appointment; and

(c) be published by the responsible Minister in the Gazette as soon as practicable after being given.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election