This page explains what is required for films and games supplied to New Zealanders via download/streaming services, and how to obtain digital labels for display online.
Classifications help New Zealanders make informed choices about what they view or play, and help protect our young people from potentially harmful content. Our research confirms that the classification and labelling system is held in high regard by the New Zealand public, and there is a strong consumer expectation that all films and restricted games will be labelled. The vast majority of parents and caregivers view classifications as important when choosing films and games for young people.
If a film or restricted game is supplied to the public as a hardcopy (for example a DVD) then it must be classified and labelled before release. However, the legal requirements for films and games distributed online via download/streaming services are currently unclear. Legal requirements for online-only content are currently being reviewed by the New Zealand Government.
We encourage the use of classification information online. This is easy to do and various online services already use official New Zealand classifications. Some video-on-demand/gaming services require that official classification information is displayed for New Zealand customers. When distributing a film or game online, check to see what the requirements are for the distribution service you are using.
The Classification Office and other agencies responsible for the classification system work with distributors of online content to ensure that compliance is as easy as possible. Please let us know if you require any assistance.
The same classification applies to a film or game regardless of format. If a film or game has been previously classified you can display this classification information online. To find out if a rating/classification has been issued for a film or game previously, search for a classification.
Both the rating/classification (eg R16 or R18) and the descriptive note (eg 'contains violence') should be clearly displayed when a film or game is supplied online.
If the film or game has not been previously rated/classified in New Zealand, and you would like to obtain an official classification, contact the Film and Video Labelling Body. You can call the Labelling Body on +64 09 361 3882, or email them at email@example.com.
Some films and games are classified as 'objectionable' (banned) in New Zealand. It is an offence to make banned content available in New Zealand. It is also an offence for someone in New Zealand to download, view or play a banned film or game.
We recommend that distributors submit additional downloadable content for classification if:
Unrestricted games do not carry New Zealand ratings because games are exempted from this requirement under section 8 of the Classification Act.