Launched today, Family First TV offers online content from the conservative Christian lobby group, as well as overseas movies and television series.
A video announcing the service says its content will make viewers “feel good about the world”.
Family First says the service is different due to its system of parental controls, which rates content under four categories: language, violence, sexual themes and adult themes.
Content under these categories is rated on scale of 1 to 5 — with a 1 for sexual content representing an on-screen kiss, a 3 for “implied sex” or a morning-after scene, and a 5 for multiple discreet sex scenes or “gratuitous sex”.
Parents can set up profiles for their children based on their age and designate appropriate viewing.
Family First spokesman Nick Hitchens said the system had been contracted from an overseas service called Good TV, which had been developed over the past two years.
“A lot of organisations such as ours spend a lot of time talking and it’s quite nice to actually be able to do something that’s really proactive, that gives families a tool that they can then take and proactively use,” he said.
While current TV and film ratings weren’t lacking, he said they could go further.
“We don’t think they necessarily go far enough to give parents the kind of control that they need to keep their children safe in the internet entertainment space.”
Using the recent Star Wars movie as an example, Mr Hitchens said many parents were faced with a “quandary” when their children asked to see the M-rated film; many were unsure whether it would be suitable.
“The beauty of the system that we’ve put together is it just gives that little bit more information that parents at a glance can see: what is behind this rating, what can I expect to see in this film, how severe is it.”
In September, Family First successfully appealed against a decision of the Office of Film and Literature Classification to scrap an R14 rating on New Zealand author Ted Dawe’s prizewinning young-adult novel Into the River.
As a result, the book received an interim ban and could not be sold or supplied in New Zealand — the first book to be banned in the country in 22 years.
The ban was rescinded about a month later.