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More on Shipton Tape Classification

Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc.

P.O. Box 13.683 Johnsoncville

Press Release 28 March 2007

More on Shipton Tape Classification

Under s. 13(1)(c) of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act (1993) any person "may submit a publication to the Classification Office for a decision on that publication's classification".

The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc. (SPCS) recently submitted a sexually explicit video featuring mock police officers using mock police batons on women as penetrative 'sex toys' (dildos). That video was submitted by the Society to the Chief Censor Bill Hastings under s. 42 of the Act for a reassessment of its classification, as his Office had passed it for adult viewing (R18) in 2004 and found nothing objectionable about the expoitative, degrading, demeaning, and dehumanising group sex acts involving batons, double penetrations, hand cuffs etc. The Society has neither viewed the video or ever obtained a copy of it. However, it did obtain a copy of the Classification Office's classification report on the video. The censors described the sexual content as "humorous". The application has been accepted. (This application has been reported on by the Sunday Star Times).

Hasting's Office has cleared hundreds of videos containing much more sexually degrading and exploitative videos and DVDs than the Shipton video. Literally hundreds of them. All are viewed by censors, some of whom, like Hastings and his Deputy Nicola McCully, have been viewing hardcore porn professionally for over 10 years.

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The one-hour sex video featuring convicted rapist Brad Shipton has been viewed by the editor of the Sunday News Chris Baldock and a lawyer (as Baldock stated on TV One's Morning Report). Its contents have been reported on extensively in the media. Colour still-frames (partly censored) have been published in the Sunday News and on the internet. The fact that the video was recorded, as claimed, for private purposes only, is not essentially relevant to the Act. If it was picked up by a police officer from a "private residence" during a routine search for drugs, for example, and found to contain material that could be "objectionable" the Commissioner of Police is able to submit it to the Chief Censor's Office for classification. The Police regularly submit videos recorded for private purposes that they have picked up in the course of investigating criminal matters - to the Classification Office. They do this under s. 13(1)(ab) of the Act.

If the person making the submission for classification does not possess a copy of the publication (video, DVD etc), as in the case of the Society's application re the Shipton sex video; that does not invalidate the application. The application form makes this clear. The applicant is asked to indicate where the publication can be sourced. In the case of the Shipton sex tape it can be sourced from Sunday News editor who says he intends to publish more revelations on its content this weekend. If he will not assist the Classification Office the Chief Censor can use his extraordinary powers under the law to obtain a copy.

Under s. 13 (3) of the Act "The Chief Censor, on his or her own motion, determine that any publication should be received for examination by the Classification Office. In any such case the Chief Censor shall, by notice in writing, direct the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service or the Secretary [of Internal Affairs] to take all reasonable steps to obtain a copy of the publication and submit it to the Classification Office...."

The Society is seeking to have the sick, sordid and expolitative sex tape featuring Shipton, banned by the Classification Office


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