January 25, 2022

“New Zealand Bans Award-Winning Teenage Novel After Outcry From Christian Group”

UPDATE September 11 International Publishers Association Condemns NZ Book Banning

UPDATE The New Zealand Film and Literature Review has posted an FAQ about the ban.

From The Guardian:

An award-winning young adult novel has become the first book in more than 20 years to be banned in New Zealand after an outcry from a Christian group.

Ted Dawe’s Into the River has been banned from sale or supply by the Film and Literature Board of Review (FLBR) after a complaint from conservative lobby group Family First.

It is currently being pulled from libraries, schools and bookshops around the country.

Family First objected to sexually explicit content, drug use and the use of a slang term for female genitalia.

The interim restriction took effect on 3 September and will be reviewed to decide on a permanent classification within the next month.

Read the Complete Article

From Radio Australia

Librarians have thrown their support behind the novel.

Regional collections manager at Auckland Libraries Louise LaHatte said she hoped there would be a chance to support the book through the review process.

She said the freedom to read on a range of issues and topics was a really important one.

Ms LaHatte said the sex in the novel was not gratuitous.

From Sun Media-New Zealand

The only copy of a now banned book has been removed from Tauranga City Library’s young adult’s section and ‘put aside’ says city libraries manager Jill Best.

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From ABC Australia

The Film and Literature Board of Review said the ban was temporary and would be in place until the organisation reviewed the decision next month.

A spokesman confirmed that no book had been subject to such a ban since current legislation was introduced in 1993.


Booksellers New Zealand chief executive Lincoln Gould described the ban as bewildering.

“It’s not offensive, it’s a quality book that has been acclaimed by the experts,” he said.

“It’s most concerning that it’s happening in this country.”

Read the Complete Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.