The range of films and television programmes on offer at DVD
stores is becoming more limited for Kiwi viewers.
This is because of a funding squeeze at the Censor's office and the fact that more film distributors are choosing not to put their movies up for classification because of the cost.
A fee of around $1100 to get one movie or DVD a censor's classification is a small fee when it comes to hits like The Avengers.
But for distributors of smaller films and TV shows the fee can be a big barrier.
Jill Macnab of Vendetta Films says the fee means some TV series
are not released in New Zealand
"To have to consider that you're going to recoup that from your sales, it often doesn't happen. So we often find that TV series in particular don't get released in New Zealand," Macnab said.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification gets around a third of its $3 million annual budget from private distributors like Vendetta Films, while the rest comes from taxpayers.
Chief Censor Dr Andrew Jack says that funding structure is not working properly and it is vital they find out why, otherwise "New Zealanders might in future see a narrow range of products available for them watch".
Independent Wellington DVD store, Aro Street Video, said it is already aware of hundreds of films that are not publicly released in New Zealand because of high censorship costs.
"We would go further and say that we need a national review of the classification system," said Andrew Armitage of Aro Street Video.
"We think that taxpayers' money is better spent on actually
looking at what the problems are."
But Jack says one solution is to see if taxpayers might consider bearing more of the cost of classifying a film.
"I think it is a really good thing for people to have a discussion around what is the public good value in a classification system as opposed to the private good," he said.
But the Government is ruling out more direct financial help for the Censor's office.
"Dr Jack has got to work within the levers he can pull within
his business model now going forward and make the organisation more
sustainable," said Chris Tremain, Minister of Internal
However, Tremain says censorship remains important and the Government will continue to work with the Chief Censor to ensure his office has a sustainable future.