The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


No let up in fight against child sex abuse


The sad fact is that Internal Affairs censorship inspectors are working flat out dealing with offenders trading in child sex abuse images, the Department’s Deputy Secretary, Keith Manch, said today.

He was responding to criticism from District Court Judge Christopher Somerville that it took the Department 7-1/2 months from detecting an offender downloading pornography to executing a search warrant. Judge Somerville, in the Ashburton District Court, sentenced a 28-year-old farmer to 12 months jail on 14 charges involving possession, distribution and making objectionable publications.

Keith Manch said the number of offenders is increasing. The Department has three inspectors covering the South Island and they have to organise their workload in the most efficient way possible.

“Their work is continuous and time consuming and involves full analysis of what’s on a suspect’s computer. This is the key to attacking the overall problem and achieving a successful prosecution. While this is happening the team continues to trawl the internet for further possible offenders.

“There is always a time lag between detecting possible offences and executing a search warrant. It would not be the most efficient use of resources to raid a suspect’s home as soon as suspicions were raised.

“Sometimes we must give priority to overseas offending because we are part of an international operation against the child sex abuse trade.

“The work is demanding and unpleasant and the team has to be thorough in the preparation of cases. They are rightly proud of their 99 per cent success rate in prosecuting offenders.”

Media Contact:

Keith Manch, Deputy Secretary, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 9329; cell 021 227 6363

Trevor Henry, communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679