The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Child pornography is not victimless


The conviction today of a 21-year-old Dunedin student highlights that child pornography is not a victimless crime and that children are abused to create the images.

The Dunedin District Court ordered the offender, who has no money to pay a fine, to do 400 hours community work. It also ordered forfeiture of a CD writer and destruction of the objectionable material. Name suppression has been granted until November 14.

In March this year, the Government announced that it intends to increase the penalty for trading child pornography to up to 10 years in jail. That legislation is expected to be introduced within a few weeks.

The General Manager of the Department of Internal Affairs Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that it is an important that the community understands that trading and collecting child pornography is a form of child abuse.

“The offender and movies of adults having sex with children aged from five to 15, and children engaging in bestiality, performing sexual acts and in sexualised poses,” Mr Manch said. “Children do not choose to behave in such a way, they are forced to by adults.”

“Upsetting as these images are, they are typical of what child pornography offenders collect and trade and are by no means the worst our Inspectors have to deal with.

“The greatest tragedy is that the children are real.

“Offenders give the child abusers who create the images the audience and notoriety that they seek, and encourage them to commit more abuse.

“Offenders’ personal motivation is sexual gratification. They do not trade child pornography to make money. They do it to expand their collections with more and more extreme images. They create a ‘market’ for child abuse.

“They also endanger children in the community around them, by reinforcing the false view held by some that sex with children is acceptable.”

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 these children in future years.”


In September 2001 a Department Inspector detected a New Zealander operating in an Internet relay chat channel dedicated to trading child pornography. He sent the Inspector six images of children aged from five to seven.

The New Zealander was tracked to a Dunedin address and identified. A search warrant was executed and a computer, CD writer, CD-ROMs and floppy disks were seized.

Analysis of the material seized revealed 301 objectionable files on one of the CDs. The vast majority of these were images of young girls having sex with adults, performing sexual acts and in sexualised poses.

When interviewed, the offender said that he traded for about six months and had the intention of continuing but decided not to because he knew it was illegal and real children were exploited.

He said that he copied the contents of his Internet relay chat directory on to a CD, and had deleted all the material from his computer’s hard drive. Analysis of the computer showed that it had been subsequently used to access the child pornography files saved on the CD.

Media contact:

Keith Manch
General Manager Phone 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 445 6420

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