The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Five years nine months given for child exploitation materials

23 August 2019

Today in the Palmerston North District Court, Nigel Maurice Urwin, 43, was sentenced to five years nine months imprisonment for the possession and distribution of child sexual abuse and exploitation materials.

The starting point for Mr Urwin's sentencing was the highest in New Zealand history for possession of this kind of objectionable content by a person with no relevant criminal history.

“Mr Urwin’s case highlights our commitment to keeping children, our tamariki, safe from harm” says Jolene Armadoros, Director Digital Safety, Department of Internal Affairs.

The defendant has been ordered by the court to register as a child sex offender.

Mr Urwin pled guilty to nine charges involving the distribution and possession of child sexual abuse and exploitation materials.

Internal Affairs’ investigation revealed Mr Urwin accessed close to 4,000 child sexual abuse files, a large amount of which were found to depict the extreme sexual abuse of young children.

The defendant used social media platforms to distribute 109 files depicting the sexual abuse of female children, including infants and toddlers.

“These are not just images, they are real children who are forced into extremely abusive and exploitative acts” says Ms Armadoros.

“Our tamariki are our brightest asset, by protecting them, we protect the future of New Zealand” Ms Armadoros says.

Internal Affairs’ Digital Safety group is committed to education and prevention.

“The internet is a wild and challenging beast, but our team of dedicated and experienced investigators are determined to rid the digital world of these horrific crimes and protect the children who are forced into these abusive acts.

“We are proactive and focused in our efforts, working with NZ Police and Customs, as well as global partners, and social media platforms to actively seek individuals who offend against our most vulnerable members of society.

“Education and prevention are a large part of what we do and we encourage people who are looking for this material to seek help. If you make, view, or distribute child exploitation material, you will be caught and prosecuted” says Ms Armadoros.


Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639 email:

If you are the victim of a child abuse crime, visit the Child Abuse: Directory for information and support or Safe to Talk.

If you are concerned about your or someone else’s sexual behaviour, you should contact organisations such as
Safe Network, WellStop and STOP, local treatment providers, or specialist therapists.

The Department of Internal Affairs uses the term child sexual abuse imagery. The term child pornography downplays child sexual abuse