An Auckland based DVD store and its manager have been fined $2000 plus $260 court costs for the sale of non-compliant unlabelled Asian sourced DVDs.
Bollywood Entertainment Bazaar Ltd and Manager Rana Asif were convicted at the Manukau District Court on Monday September 22, 2014.
An order for forfeiture and destruction of the offending items was also made.
Internal Affairs Community Safety Manager Steve O’Brien said that the prosecution came about as a result of a consistent refusal by Bollywood Entertainment Bazaar Ltd to adhere to the requirement of the Classification Act and Regulations.
“There has been a big increase in offending in recent years by DVD and retail outlets concerning the supply and sale of non-compliant unlabelled Asian sourced DVD and VCD films. We want these prosecutions to serve as a deterrent for people in the industry,” Mr O’Brien said.
The prosecution followed investigations in May 2013 when an Inspector from the Department of Internal Affairs’ Censorship Compliance Unit conducted an inspection of the store at its Great South Road premises in Otahuhu, Auckland.
Inquiries into DVDs seized during the inspection revealed they had not been submitted for rating to the Film and Video Labelling Body by the store, nor had they ever been rated in New Zealand.
The Film and Video Labelling Body is the Statutory Regulatory Authority, operating under a Government Warrant, responsible for the rating of all unrestricted films. They also keep records of restricted films classified by the Office of the Chief Censor.
Mr O’Brien said that this was the second time Bollywood Entertainment Bazaar Ltd had faced Court action. The last time was in October 2012.
There have been five similar prosecutions under section 106 of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 in the last year, the majority in the Auckland area.
“There is a need to protect those retailers who abide with the New Zealand classification requirements and support a system providing informative consumer notification,” Mr O’Brien said.
An Internal Affairs Department Press Release