From 1 May 2020 the classification labels for free-to-air television programmes will change from G, PGR and AO, to G, PG, M, 16, and 18.
The times that programmes rated PG and M can play will also change. PG programmes can now screen throughout the day. M certificate programmes can screen from 9am to 3pm during school term time (except on public holidays) and from 7.30pm to 5am. 16 classified programmes can screen from 8.30pm to 5am and 18 from 9.30pm to 5am.
From 1 May 2020 the classification information you see on-screen and in guides will change. Click here for more info on changes
There are several things you can do to keep your kids safe from content that might harm them on TV:
The timebands and classifications on free-to-air television have been updated to reflect the changes in the way we watch television and technology changes. The new classifications bring greater consistency with classifications you see on other platforms such as Pay TV, films and games.
More details on the review that led to this change and the reasons for the change are available on the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s website: www.bsa.govt.nz
All children have different sensitivities and levels of maturity and this means that you need to decide what is best for them based on who they are. G and PG certificate programmes may be fine for your 5 to 10-year-old, but some parental guidance may be needed. Make sure to pay special attention to advisory symbols and any written or verbal warnings which are aired at the start of a programme as this information, along with the programme synopsis, will help you better understand if this is something your child should view.
These changes are designed to make it easier for parents to understand and be responsible for the media their children watch
All children have different sensitivities and levels of maturity and this means that you need to decide what is best for them based on who they are. G, PG and perhaps some M programmes may be suitable for your 10 to 14-year-old. Make sure to pay special attention to advisory symbols and any written or verbal warnings which are shown at the start of a programme as this information, along with the programme synopsis, will help you better understand if this is something your child should view. M programmes may include some adult content like the f-word or low impact violence and sexual references. Broadcasters will consider the likely audience and children’s interests when deciding what time to air M classified programmes.
Some Freeview enabled televisions will still carry the old classifications G, PGR and AO. For content that is classified M, 16 or 18 you might still see the AO symbol on the Freeview Programme Guide if your television or Freeview set top box is old. You should also see the new label as well, ie AO/M, or AO/16. All broadcasters must display the new classification on the programme at the beginning. All of this information will help you decide if the programme is right for you.
To assist audiences to adjust to the changes, for 6 months from 1 May – 1 November 2020, if the broadcaster is playing slightly stronger content than used to be played at that time you will see special warnings at the beginning of programme. For example, if a broadcaster chooses to play a PG programme at 4pm, they must also show a warning that says: PG Content: this Programme is PG, Parental Guidance, and may contain low level coarse language (L), violence (V), sexual themes, (S) or offensive content (C).