The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


7 months jail for child sex abuse images; interim name suppression order ends

With an interim name suppression order ending, the Department of Internal Affairs has today released the name of a Hamilton man, who has been sentenced to seven months jail on a total of 52 charges of collecting and distributing on the Internet videos and pictures of adults sexually abusing children aged from two to 14 years.

The Director of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the man had been sentenced on Monday this week but had interim name suppression until yesterday evening.

Mr Manch said that the Court gave him interim name suppression at the start of the prosecution. At the sentencing, he applied for a permanent suppression order. The Court refused to grant the permanent order but extended the interim order until yesterday to give him time to appeal this refusal.

He did not appeal the decision.

Mr Manch said that the Department’s policy is to oppose name suppression in cases involving child sex abuse images. Such offenders operate in intense secrecy because not only are their actions illegal but they endanger children and are socially abhorrent.

In a previous unrelated District Court case, which has since been quoted in a Hamilton High Court judgment refusing name suppression, the Court found:
“The most sure way to prevent traffic in pornography in general and in particular child pornography, is not by way of fines but by way of publicity [even although] it may be hard on you and your family.” (The square brackets were included in the High Court judgment.)

“Seeing prison terms being imposed and offenders being named are important deterrents to others,” Mr Manch said.

“Courts are now imposing more prison sentences, the Government has a Bill before Parliament proposing to increase the maximum penalty to 10 years jail, and courts have always been reluctant to grant permanent name suppression.

“At the same time, the Department is committed to action against collectors and distributors of child sex abuse images.

“The message is that if they choose to continue offending, then they will eventually be caught and the consequences of that are getting worse.

“If offenders feel that they need help to stop their actions, they should contact a counsellor or psychologist experienced in working with sex offenders.”

In this case, on 7 June 2003 a Canadian agency detected a New Zealander using file-sharing software known as “kaZaa” to make available to anyone in the world using the same software 323 videos and pictures of children being sexually abused by adults and performing sexual acts.

Department Inspectors tracked the New Zealander to a Hamilton address and identified him. On 25 June 2003, they executed a search warrant and seized his computer and computer accessories.

Analysis of the computer found 2,957 videos and pictures of adults having sex with children aged from two to 14 years, and of children being sexually abused and forced into sexual poses.

He pleaded guilty to 32 charges of making child sex abuse images available for distribution and 20 charges of possession. He is a 33 year-old management consultant of Hamilton.

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 “kiddie 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
Director Gaming and Censorship Regulation Phone 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 445 6420

Vince Cholewa
Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 027 272 4270