The urge to censor is still alive and well in NZ.
Racy teen novel Into the River banned after Family First complaint
An award-winning Kiwi novel has been banned after a complaint by conservatives, potentially sparking a wave of new restrictions on books with sexually explicit content.
The teen novel Into the River by Auckland author Ted Dawe has gone through a considerable censorship battle.
The interim ban makes it a crime to supply, display, or distribute the book in any way – if one knows about the order. Individuals and organisations who knowingly supply the banned book are liable of fines of up to $3000 and $10,000 respectively. The ban includes schools and libraries.
This is the first book banning in NZ in over 20 years, and it has attracted international coverage.
The case has a complicated legal context, and Graeme Edgeler has (of course) an excellent description here, with the take-home message:
I don’t think this an appropriate or proportionate used of the Interim Restriction power.
(Update: See also Andrew Geddis for another excellent analysis.) Naturally all Family First will have achieved here is to massively increase sales of the book.