The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Department continues action against child pornography


The Department of Internal Affairs’ action against child pornography continued today when the Masterton District Court convicted a Carterton mann, on seven charges of possessing objectionable material.

The General Manager of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Unit, Keith Manch, said that the man had been finding and trading pictures on the Internet, and also burning them onto CDs.

“This was not erotica or pictures from R18 magazines,” Mr Manch said, “but images of young children being sexually abused.”

“The public should be in no doubt about the importance of discovering and prosecuting cases such as this. The images involved in such cases are often so offensive that the media rightly avoid describing them fully. This sometimes leads to a lack of understanding by the public of the enormity of the crimes against children being portrayed. In this case, for example, one very graphic picture was of a six year-old girl being raped by a man. Others included sexual acts being performed on children up to about 14 years.

“International action against child pornography is vital,” Mr Manch said. “It does not matter that the children being abused in these pictures are overseas. These were children being sexually abused for the ‘pleasure’ of people in other countries. The users of child pornography must not be able to hide behind electronic cross-border trade.

“Sadly, even if child pornography is from overseas, it endangers children here. It debases children by portraying them as sexual objects that can be used as desired by adults and reinforces the false view held by some that sex with children is acceptable.

“If we do not take action against child pornography, then we tacitly accept the abuse that it depicts.”

In this case a Department officer found the defendant using the name “Jimmyplop” within the child pornography trading areas of the Internet in November 2000.

He was eventually tracked to Carterton and a search warrant was carried out in July 2001. Department officers seized a computer and a large number of disks.

The computer contained more than 9,000 sexually explicit images and movies, including 182 objectionable pictures and movies involving child pornography, bestiality and urination.

He was charged with seven breaches of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act, which prohibits possessing objectionable material, including child pornography.

In Court today the man pleaded guilty, was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling $5,110 and had his pornographic material confiscated to be destroyed.

In setting the sentence, Judge Watson took into account that he is an unemployed sickness beneficiary with limited means to pay a fine and this should be considered a minimal fine for such offences.

Judge Watson said that his greatest concern had been for the protection of vulnerable children and that it was an understatement to call the images “offensive”.

Mr Manch said that the Department will continue to investigate and take prosecutions against child pornography, and other offenders should be aware that the Court set a low fine in this case only after carefully considering this man"s poor financial position.


The Department set up its dedicated Censorship Regulation Unit in 1996. Most of its work is monitoring, investigating and prosecuting Internet child pornography.

It has investigated 460 cases of New Zealanders distributing and trading objectionable material via the Internet, with the vast majority of the material being child pornography.

It has prosecuted 98 people, all of whom have been convicted, with another approximately 20 cases before the courts.

The Unit also has extensive links with overseas authorities and frequently exchanges information with Australian, European and North American law enforcement agencies.

Media contact:

Keith Manch Phone 04 495 9449
General Manager Gaming and Censorship Regulation Cellular 027 445 6420

Steve O’Brien Phone 04 495 9371
Censorship Manager

Vincent Cholewa Phone 04 495 9350
Communications Advisor Cellular 025 272 4270