I’d like to read a lawyer’s explanation of what’s going on here:
The author of the first book to be banned in New Zealand for at least 22 years is asking: “Will I be burnt next?”
Ted Dawe, 64, the head of studies at Taylors College for international students in Auckland, is the unlikely subject of the first interim restriction order on a book under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.
His award-winning book for teenagers, Into The River, has been banned from sale or supply under the order issued by the president of the Film and Literature Board of Review, Dr Don Mathieson, QC.
The order took effect when it was issued on September 3 and applies until the full board meets to decide on a permanent classification for the book. Dr Mathieson said that would be as soon as possible and “may very well be at the end of this month”.
Mr Dawe said he was “blindsided” by the ban, which was sought by lobby group Family First after deputy chief censor Nic McCully removed a previous R14 restriction on the book on August 14, making it totally unrestricted.
. . because the law is all about due process and sometimes that has weird outcomes that have a deeper wisdom to them, or often, actually, don’t and just force officials to do absurd things because that’s the law. But outright banning an acclaimed prize-winning New Zealand novel just because a handful of activists asked them to seems like such a staggeringly disproportionate outcome that I think it calls the fitness of this board into question. If they can’t provide an astoundingly good reason for this then they need to be sacked immediately.