The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Harmful material online – Internal Affairs urges New Zealanders to be mindful

10 October 2019

Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs, advises New Zealanders to be mindful of harmful material online.

Jolene Armadoros, Director Digital Safety, says footage of the recent attack in Germany has been deemed objectionable under New Zealand law.

“The content of this footage is highly disturbing and harmful for people to see” says Ms Armadoros.

“If you see this video, or any objectionable material online, you should report it to the online platform it is hosted on, social media platforms and content providers have reporting tools and it is important to use them” says Ms Armadoros.

Internal Affairs urges New Zealanders to think about how they can keep themselves, and their families, safe online.

“It is important to think about what your children are potentially exposed to online – if they come across a video such as the attack in Germany, it can be distressing – our tamariki need to know what they can do if they see it and know that there is someone they can talk to if they are concerned” says Ms Armadoros.

“For parents, have a conversation with your children about their activity online, make sure they know how to report content they see that concerns them and consider the use of family accounts, child friendly filters and being aware of their social media use to help them stay safe.

“Set out guidelines and ensure they know if they come across information that makes them feel uncomfortable, they come to you or another trusted adult” says Ms Armadoros.

Sharing and downloading objectionable content is an offence under New Zealand law – because of the harm it can cause.

You can find our online safety resources on our website, here: Online safety

If you are concerned that something you have seen may be objectionable, contact the Censorship team.



The events unfolding in Germany are distressing. If you, or someone you know, needs mental wellbeing support or advice then call or text 1737 anytime, for free. There is some great advice on coping after a traumatic event here. It includes key information for parents for children.

Netsafe – New Zealand’s independent, non-profit online safety organisation that provides practical tools, support and advice for managing online challenges, including cyberbullying, and helps people stay safe.

Office of Film and Literature Classification – the government body that classifies publications and provides information about decisions and undertakes research about classifications and their affects.

Other useful resources – takes you to the Department’s Censorship page which has a selection of useful links to other websites related to Internet safety.

Guidance for media:

The Halle livestream video has been classified as objectionable.

We advise you to think carefully about how you report on this incident, particularly if you choose to use any excerpts from the video.

As you are well aware, there is great potential for harm, particularly for young people, in sharing this type of content in your stories. We ask you to report sensitively on this.