Stuff News Reports: A censor involved in banning [sic] controversial novel Into the River is leaving the Film and Literature Board of Review. [An interim restriction order was applied to the publication not a “ban”]
Don Mathieson, QC, will be replaced as the board’s president in January by Auckland lawyer Kate Davenport, QC.
Mathieson, a conservative Christian, made headlines in September, after Ted Dawe’s teen novel Into The River was briefly banned, [sic] following a complaint from conservative lobby group Family First.
The book had previously won the NZ Post Children’s Book Award, and the ban [sic] – the first handed down in 22 years – sparked public outrage.
By a majority vote, the board lifted the interim ban in October – and the book’s previous R14 classification was thrown out at the same time, making it an unrestricted read.
Mathieson opposed the ruling, with a dissenting opinion in the board’s final decision, saying “no responsible parent of a 17-year-old, let alone of a 12-year-old, would want this repetitive coarse language normalised.”
On Monday, Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne announced Mathieson’s departure from the board, in a statement announcing seven new appointments.
Mathieson, from Waikanae, north of Wellington, told Stuff he did not expect to be reappointed after two three-year terms, both as president, and did not put his name forward to continue in the job.
He said he was “not particularly glad or sorry” to be leaving the board, which he joined as a public service.
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