The Classification Office was excited to bring the Censor for a Day programme to Rotorua for the first time yesterday.
Chief sensor David Shanks says, "We're very pleased to offer media studies students in Rotorua the opportunity to learn about and engage in the New Zealand classification system.
"Rangatahi, our young people, have access to a huge amount of content in the palm of their hands.
"Both the good and the bad, so it's really important we provide the tools that empower them to think critically about what they're watching and make decisions that keep them safe.
"Censor for a Day equips them with skills to unpack that."
The one-day event, held at Reading Cinema Rotorua, introduced senior media studies students to the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993, and taught them how it applies to everyday classification decisions.
Students also had the opportunity to watch a pre-release film and work through an evaluation sheet that reflects the process used to classify publications.
Meaningful discussions and sharing helped the students reflect critically on the film, ultimately reaching a classification decision.
"The event is proving to be a valuable learning opportunity, giving students a unique insight into the world of film classification.
"The Classification Office also benefits from receiving feedback from young people around their views on film censorship.
"Rangatahi are passionate about what they watch and create," David says.
"They are also arguably the group most impacted by the New Zealand classification system, so we must engage with them to ensure that this system meets their needs."
In 2021, Censor for a Day is taking place in six locations across New Zealand. More than 600 students will attend.