The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Four Internet child sex image cases in Tauranga District Court


Four cases involving men collecting or trading pictures and electronic movies of children being sexually abused or performing sexual acts have had hearings in the Tauranga District Court recently.

The first of these cases to be concluded ended today.

The court imposed fines and costs totalling $6,650. The Community Magistrate noted his financial position and that while he would probably have to sell his car and other property to pay the fine, such consequences had to expected for his offending. He could not be imprisoned on the charges he faced.

In two other cases offenders have pleaded guilty but have not yet been sentenced, and the fourth began in Tauranga but has been transferred to the Auckland District Court. The Department will not comment on these cases before sentencing.

The Director of the Department of Internal Affairs’ Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the cases are not linked.

“At any one time we have 25 to 30 cases before courts around the country,“ Mr Manch said, “and it is probably just a coincidence that these four cases were in one of the smaller courts at the same time.

“However, there is a strong message here that we do not need to have an office in an area to be able to track offenders. They cannot hide in rural areas, towns or cities.

“The invention of the Internet allowed a huge increase in the trade and collection of child sex abuse images because it made it much easier for offenders to find each other and exchange pictures and movies, but in doing that they leave an electronic trail that law enforcement agencies can follow.”

In this case the man pleaded guilty to 16 representative charges of possessing 15 electronic movies and 140 picture files of children performing sex acts and in sexualised poses, and two of making copies.

In January 2003 a Canadian agency had provided information to the Department that a New Zealander appeared to be using Internet software known as “KaZaa” to collect images of children performing sexual acts.

The Department investigated, identified the New Zealander and tracked him to a flat in Hamilton where he then lived. It executed a search warrant in March 2003 and seized his computer and computer accessories.

Analysis of the computer found evidence of his use of KaZaa to download images and movies from the Internet and the folders in which he had sorted his sexual images of children into various categories.

He is a 26-year-old customer services officer.

Background note for writers and editors:
“Child sex abuse images”: explaining our terminology

The Department of Internal Affairs has made the decision to no longer use the words “pornography” or “porn” when it describes the images on which most of its prosecutions are based. This avoids the risk of confusing the abuse of children with images of consensual adult sexual activity.

Most of the Department’s action is against electronic movies and pictures of children being raped, abused or violently assaulted. It uses the phrase “child sex abuse images” to more accurately describe these images.

Where the images are of children in sexual poses or involved in sexual acts, the Department uses the phrase “sexual images of children”. However, it is important to always keep in mind that children being sexually posed or made to take part in sex acts are being abused and exploited by those very actions, their images may be on the Internet forever, and the images promote the exploitation of more children.

The Department never uses the phrase “kiddy porn”. Most people working in prevention of sexual abuse, and those who work with its victims, find the term offensive. It is a mocking phrase that minimises rape, assault and exploitation of children.

The Department acknowledges the right of writers and editors to set their own style and standards. While the final decision on what words to use is their responsibility, the Department asks that the points made in this note be considered when our statements are used.

Media contact:

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

Vincent Cholewa Phone 04 495 9350
Communications Advisor Cellular 027 272 4270