Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Ctrl + Alt + Delete? Challenges to New Zealand censorship law in the internet age

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posted on 2021-11-22, 00:49 authored by Kirkconnell-Kawana, Lexie

This thesis examines the adequacy of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 as it applies to expression on the Internet. Weaknesses and inadequacies of the statute are identified and contextualised as flowing from the lack of legal development needed to coincide with the disruptive features of Internet technology, not least the change to the media/content distribution model. The statute is not likely to be fit for purpose as the technology develops further. Three suggestions for reform are proposed which aim to improve the law so that it may withstand future challenges. The reform takes into consideration the purposes of the statute, a normative law-making perspective and the right to freedom of expression. Without adequate censorship legislation, the state risks ceding law-making authority over Internet expression to un-elected, non-democratic and rights-ambivalent private entities.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Laws

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law


Hastings, Bill