Some teenagers say they can't understand why a book aimed at them which features scenes of sex and drug-taking has been banned when they could access more explicit content on the internet if they wanted to.
Tim Wilson takes a look at kids’ freedom of expression versus social responsibility.
Source: Seven Sharp
Auckland public libraries had asked the censor to lift restrictions on the award-winning Kiwi novel Into The River by Ted Dawe, provoking a Family First-sponsored review, and the interim banning of the book.
While the book's merits are now being debated by adults, some members of its target market - a group of teenagers at a senior secondary school in Auckland - told Seven Sharp what they think about the issue.
"There're way worse things on the internet, and you could find it in a second if that's the way you were inclined," a young man said.
A young woman took a similar stance, saying: "I'm not sure you can prevent teenagers from seeing this kind of stuff. So I'm not sure why would you prevent it from being in a book."
"Especially if you're trying to encourage reading. I just find it funny if reading is meant to be the dying art form," another young woman added.
"It won an award. So you've got to think about what you're taking away from children when you're taking it off the shelves as well," another in the group said.
The young man thought the whole system of evaluating books could be the problem as Into The River is going through it's third assessment.
New Zealand is becoming a nanny state - Sam Hale in a Facebook post.
"It seems to have bounced around, right? If the third evaluation is coming out now, then I mean I almost feel that the problem isn't the book, but maybe we should work out how we're going to evaluate them before we put them on the shelves."
The teens' sentiments have been echoed by some followers of the ONE News Facebook page.
Sam Hale posted: "New Zealand is becoming a nanny state. They have google don't they?? I'm sure many aged 12- 16 had had a look at fifty shades of grey!"
And Carleen Campbell pointed out that Into The River is "available to download perfectly legally from Amazon. Only a matter of time before it hits torrent sites if it hasn't already. If someone really wants to read it they will find a way and now attention has been drawn to it I am guessing there will be many managing to get their hands on a copy".
But among those backing the ban, Michael Templar wrote: A well-deserved ban. Children shouldn't be reading this type of thing, which amounts to only a little less than porn."
And Liz Waterfall posted: As an English teacher, I wouldn't be comfortable with this book."