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Books banned in New Zealand

By Steven | February 5, 2009

The censor’s office has posted an interesting list of the books banned or restricted here since 1965.

250 books have been banned or restricted in that period. Interestingly, nearly two-thirds of those bans/restrictions have been since the passage of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act in 1993, and nearly a third were in the period 1996-1998.

I doubt this is an indication that we’re more censorious these days, though. No doubt the volume and offensiveness of objectionable publications is much higher in modern times. It’s hard to see the current lot banning Why He Was Born So Beautiful And Other Rugby Songs, as the Indecent Publications Tribunal did in 1968, for example. (Other curious bannings: The Kama Sutra Illustrated (1971), The Complete Marquis de Sade (1975), The Limerick Vols 1 and 2 (1977), The World’s Best Dirty Jokes (1979), The Joy of Gay Sex (1983), The Autobiography of a Flea (1987), The World of the American Pit Bull Terrier (1991), and A Guy With Tits (2001)).

The bans seem to fall loosely into three categories: making drugs (Brownie Mary’s Marijuana Cookbook and Denis Peron’s Recipe for Social Change, The Construction and Operation of Clandestine Drug Laboratories, Opium for the Masses), advice on hurting people and making weapons (Kitchen Improvised Plastic Explosives, How to Kill Vol 11, Physical Interrogation Techniques, Ragnar’s Guide to Home and Recreational Use of High Explosives, Bazooka – How to Build Your Own), and coercive sex (Raped and Tortured Schoolgirl, Raped Daughter then Mother, Bound Black Wench and – gotta love this one – A Librarian Enslaved).

Bans and restrictions in recent years tend to relate to books about drugs, weapons and criminal techniques.

Topics: Censorship | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Books banned in New Zealand”

  1. ferrouswheel Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 11:19 am

    So, I guess How to Kill Volumes 1-10 were fine, but vol 11 was just a little risqué?

    Do books remain banned indefinitely?

  2. Steven Says:
    August 5th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Yes, but you can apply to have them re-evaluated in later years.

  3. freedom Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Surely it must be about time some of the banned books relating to growing, cooking or using cannabis were unbanned, unless they specifically encourage people to break the law. Times have changed a lot since the banning of most of these books. Medical Cannabis will be legal soon, surely its time to allow people to study what will soon be a major industry.

    Also of concern, is the number of psychedelic mushroom ID books on the banned list. These titles contain vital harm reduction information in line with the goverments policy of harm reduction.

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