Censorship Stats

Dean Knight has some useful stats on appeals against decisions on publications by the chief censor.

Now the current Chief Censor, Bill Hastings, is regularly attacked by the SPCS and NZ First for his rulings. In fact barely a week goes by where they don’t call for him to be sacked.

So what does Dean find out. Bill Hastings has had 57 of his decisions appealed against. In only 2 cases has the Film and Literature Board of Review raised his original rating. So he was too “liberal” is only 3.5% of cases. Incidentally they lowered his rating in eight appeals, so he has generally found to be erring on the conservative side, if at all. And 82% of his decisions are upheld.

Now the previous censor only had 36% of her decisions upheld. She was found to be liberal in 27% of her cases, compared to 3.5% for Hastings.

I’ve long suspected opposition to Hastings is motivated to a fair degree by the fact he is gay. Certainly the appeal statistics suggest he is doing an excellent job in correctly interpreting the law, and it is a shame he has to put up with so much personal vilification for just doing his job.

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