Into The River.

Source: Booksellers NZ

In the face of the Into the River controversy, the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 may need to be reviewed and even scrapped, according to the trade association, Booksellers NZ.

It is clear that the processes within the 1993 Act are out of sync with modern norms where access to information, particularly books, is ubiquitous and cannot be censored by way of a single country’s laws,” says Booksellers NZ CEO, Lincoln Gould.

Censorship cannot be applied effectively when printed books, e-books and all sorts of other reading material can be accessed online from anywhere in the world.”

The association is concerned that the current Act has established four different agencies involved in the application of the law.

Into the River has been trundled back and forth between the Office of Film and Literature Classification and the Review Board, and the Censorship Compliance Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs must be confused as to whether or not it is enforcing a classification, a ban or nothing at all.”

Meanwhile, Booksellers NZ points out that the book, hard cover and e-version is available from many online sources around the world including a German online bookseller.

There certainly needs to be a conversation with Government about whether the current law needs to be reviewed,” Gould says.

Booksellers NZ represents around 300 bookshops in New Zealand.

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.