The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Internet child pornography perpetuates abuse and haunts victims for life


Department of Internal Affairs action against child pornography continued today when an Ashhurst man was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on 30 charges of making CDs, and trading and being in possession of child pornography.

The Department prosecuted the man after an investigation by its Censorship Compliance Unit. The offender had 1,900 objection images, including those of children as young as 3 being sexually abused by adults, on his computer and disks.

“Our primary concern is the safety of children,” the General Manager of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch said. “A child is debased or abused to create every image.”

When the United States passed law banning child pornography, Congress made an important statement:
“child pornography permanently records the victim’s abuse, and its continued existence, causes the child victims of sexual abuse continuing harm by haunting those children in future years”.

“It is not just people like this mand who trade in child pornography who break the law,” Mr Manch said, “but so do people who download the images. They assist in a trade based on the sexual abuse of children.

“We take action against child pornography as a deterrent to those that we prosecute and as a warning to others who might become involved in using it - if you choose to use child pornography and are caught, then you are likely to face criminal prosecution.”

The Department had asked the Court to impose a prison sentence, irrespective ofthe man's young age because of the extent of his offending and the extreme nature of many of the images he traded.

Judge Lovegrove stated that he avoided imprisonment by the narrowest of margins, and instead imposed a $1,300 fine, $130 costs, 240 hours community work and nine months supervision.

This was the ninety-ninth child pornography prosecution in New Zealand to date, and at any one time the Department has another 20 to 30 cases before the courts.

In this case, a Department officer found heusing the nickname “Kalten” on the Internet. “Kalten” advertised that he was running a computer application that would automatically trade child pornography from his collection.

“Kalten” was tracked to an Ashhurst address and identified the offender.

A search warrant was executed and the computer, floppy disks and CD ROMs were seized.


The Films Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 prohibits objectionable material, including child pornography.

Penalties under the Act are:

  • Possession of objectionable material, fines of up to $2,000 per charge (section 131)
  • Distributing or making copies for distribution, fines of up to $5,000 per charge (section 123)
  • An individual knowing that an image was objectionable, fines of up to $20,000 per charge or up to 1 year in prison per charge (section 124)
  • A organisation knowing that an image was objectionable, fines of up to $50,000 per charge (section 124)
  • Courts can also impose orders to seize and destroy objectionable publications, which includes computers and CDs (sections 116 and 136)

Media contact:

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