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About the Classification Office


Image of the Office of Film and Literature Classification logo

The Classification Office is an independent Crown entity established under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993

The Classification Office has two primary functions:

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The Classification Office operates independently from central government

Image of the New Zealand Parliament buildings
New Zealand's Parliament and the
Beehive in Wellington

The Classification Office is an independent Crown entity under the Crown Entities Act 2004, and so it performs its functions at 'arms length' from central government.

As a Crown entity the Classification Office is accountable to the New Zealand public — it must perform its functions efficiently, transparently, and in a financially responsible manner.

The Minister of Internal Affairs is responsible for managing the Government's relationship with the Classification Office.

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Structure and Staff at the Classification Office

Along with the Chief Censor and Deputy Chief Censor, the Classification Office employs approximately 25 staff who are organised into three Units.

Image of An organisational chart of the Classification Office
An organisational chart of the Office of Film and Literature Classification

The Chief Censor and Deputy Chief Censor

The Chief Censor and Deputy Chief Censor are appointed on the recommendation of the Minister of Internal Affairs, with the agreement of the Minister of Women's Affairs and the Minister of Justice. The Chief Censor and Deputy Chief Censor form the Board of the Office.

The Chief Censor

The Chief Censor is Chief Executive of the Classification Office and is responsible for allocating duties and responsibilities amongst staff. The Chief Censor performs a number of additional functions under the Classification Act, including the power to:

The current Chief Censor is Dr Andrew Jack. Previously, Dr Jack was the Group Manager, Legal Advisory Services at the New Zealand Customs Service and has worked for the New Zealand Police as Chief Legal Advisor.

Dr Jack was appointed for a three year term commencing 7 March 2011.

The Deputy Chief Censor

The Deputy Chief Censor will exercise the powers, duties and functions of the Chief Censor in the event of absence or vacancy. The Deputy Chief Censor is currently responsible for the overall management of the Classification Unit.

The current Deputy Chief Censor is Jared Mullen. He was appointed in August 2015. Prior to this appointment, Jared was the Associate Deputy Chief Executive Social Policy at the Ministry of Social Development, and has previously held the positions of Deputy Chief Executive Policy at the Ministry of Justice, and Director of the Chief Executive’s Office at Internal Affairs.

The Classification Unit

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A Classification Officer examining
a publication

The Classification Unit consists of three teams of Classification Officers, each supervised by a Senior Classification Officer. Classification Officers examine films, games and other publications which are submitted for classification.

Classification Officers are also responsible for registering a new classification decision, updating our public database, and producing written decisions outlining why a publication has received a particular classification. Some of these documents are required by law and may be used as evidence in court cases.

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The Information Unit

Advisors in the Information Unit deal with inquiries and complaints from members of the public, and other stakeholders such as the film industry, retailers, libraries and schools.

The Information Unit is also responsible for maintaining the public and NCEA student websiteLink to our website for NCEA students (opens in a new window), producing information resources for cinemas and shops, carrying out research, running the Censor for a Day programme, and organising speakers and presentations upon request.

The Information Unit manages research projects undertaken by the Office, and runs the Office’s library. For information on research undertaken by the Classification Office click here.

The Information and Policy Manager is responsible for the Information Unit, and is also the Complaints Officer and Privacy Officer.

Corporate Services Unit

The Corporate Services Unit provides administrative support — including reception, IT and technical services.

The Corporate Services Manager is responsible for human resources and is the Chief Financial Officer.

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Job Vacancies at the Classification Office

Vacancies come up rarely. When they do, we advertise on the homepage of our website and on www.jobs.govt.nz.

When hiring Classification Officers or Information Unit Advisors, the Classification Office generally looks for people with work experience, good writing skills, and a university degree. The job does not require a particular qualification. The Classification Office looks for the ability to analyse material, and form opinions and arguments based on the provisions of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993. These skills are often gained through study and work experience.

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The Classification Office does not offer internships for classification unit or information unit positions.

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