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Fifty shades of Grey avoids Censor's blacklist

Readers of saucy bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey may have swapped their shocked gasps and awkward giggles for sighs of relief today.

The Chief Censor’s Office of Film and Literature Classification decided only today to allow the continued, unrestricted publication of the global bestseller.

The book has been on sale in New Zealand since April and sold more than 350,000 copies, so to ban it would have arguably been a logistical nightmare.

Karen Ferns, from publishing firm Random House New Zealand, said it was a victory for freedom of expression and common sense.

"To have restricted publication would have put New Zealand out of step with comparable democratic countries such as the US and Australia.

“Books with similar levels of explicit sexual content have been available for years,” she said.

Needless to say, the reported 2,000 people on the Auckland City Library waitlist for the novel will be happy with the decision.