The lobby group that sparked a firestorm over the banning of Ted Dawes' book Into the River says it will apply to have an R14 rating slapped on the novel.

Family First today said it also asked for the deputy chief censor's decision to remove the book's previous classification to be investigated.

The censor placed an interim ban on the book, the first such ban in New Zealand in 22 years, until a final decision was made, possibly at the end of this month.

"Contrary to continued media commentary, Family First did not ask for the book to be banned," Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said.


"But we also do not believe the book should be freely available to 9-year-olds, for example, as determined by the deputy chief censor."

Mr McCoskrie said the book previously had an R14 restriction on it for two years.

"Where was the furore then? There was none. It was an appropriate classification."

Family First said it wanted the deputy chief censor investigated.

"The deputy chief censor, under pressure from special interest groups, has rejected the subsequent and higher ruling of the Board of Review regarding this book. We believe this to be at variance with the requirements of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993. The decision of the Board of Review was robust," Mr McCoskrie added in a statement today.