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Censor bill passes first reading

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/12/2016 Sean Martin

A bill that will give the censor board more flexibility when interim restriction orders are issued on books and other publications has passed its first reading in parliament.

National MP Chris Bishop drafted the member's bill to avoid a repetition of what happened to New Zealand author Ted Dawe's award-winning book Into the River.

An interim restriction order was issued but under existing law there were only two options - ban it entirely or leave it unrestricted.

The book was banned entirely for six weeks, until the interim order was reviewed and the restriction was lifted.

Mr Bishop's bill gives the censor board the ability to issue interim restriction orders based on age or specified classes of persons.

The bill passed its first reading unanimously on Wednesday night and has been sent to a select committee for public submissions.

Into the River is a book about a 14-year-old Maori boy's life at a boarding school.

It was awarded the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award and also won top prize in the young adult category at the 2013 NZ Post Children's Book Awards.

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