The Classification Office is an organisation of approximately 30 staff. Roughly half of these positions are classification officers appointed to assist the Chief Censor with classifying publications, and the remainder work in the Information Unit or provide technical and administrative support.
The Chief Censor is responsible for administering the Classification Office. The Chief Censor is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Internal Affairs, with the agreement of the Minister of Women's Affairs and the Minister of Justice.
Bill Hastings is a lawyer and was appointed Chief Censor in October 1999, having been Deputy Chief Censor since December 1998. Prior to this, he was Deputy President of the Film and Literature Board of Review.
Bill has a strong background in both censorship and legal issues. He moved to New Zealand from Canada in 1985 and joined the Law Faculty of Victoria University, becoming a senior lecturer and the Deputy Dean of Law. During this time, Bill was also a member of the Indecent Publications Tribunal and an examiner for the Video Recordings Authority.
The Deputy Chief Censor is appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Internal Affairs, with the agreement of the Minister of Women’s Affairs and the Minister of Justice.
Nicola McCully was appointed Deputy Chief Censor in September 2002. Nicola brings eight years of censorship experience to this role. Prior to this appointment, Nicola was manager of the Office’s Classification Unit and had previously been an examiner for the Video Recordings Authority.
Nicola has recently completed the Advanced Management Programme at Mt Eliza Business School in Melbourne.
Prior to working in censorship Nicola worked with special needs children in a Christchurch primary school following her completion of a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and education.
Classification Officers are appointed to assist the Chief Censor in assessing and classifying publications. Approximately half of the staff of the Classification Office are classification officers.
Public participation is an important part of the censorship process. The Information Unit deals with inquiries, complaints and information requests from the public, and can advise you on your options if you are concerned about a censorship issue.
The Information Unit is also responsible for:
Speakers and presentations on censorship
The Information Unit organises public presentations on censorship in New Zealand. If you are interested in a presentation for your school or community group, please contact the Information Unit who will be able to assist you, subject to availability of speakers.
Censor for A Day Programme
Every year, the Classification Office invites senior high school students from a different region in New Zealand to view a film before it is released and work through a mock classification exercise with the help of the
Chief Censor and other Classification Unit staff.