The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Christchurch man sentenced to 2 years 6 months for child sexual exploitation material

3 February 2022

A Christchurch man has been sentenced to 2 years 6 months in the Christchurch District Court today, after pleading guilty to two representative charges relating to the possession of objectionable images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.

This follows an investigation by Te Tari Taiwhenua, Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) Digital Child Exploitation Team.

John William Wouters Finnerty 23, from Christchurch was charged after child sexual exploitation and abuse imagery was found on his laptop computers and mobile phone following an operation involving assistance from the New Zealand Police Christchurch Child Protection Team.

Finnerty admitted to possessing the imagery via electronic means. Between January 2019 and October 2020, Finnerty received and downloaded 18,295 images. Some of those images and videos depict the sexual abuse of children who were younger than one year of age.

Tim Houston, Manager of the DIA Digital Child Exploitation Team, welcomed the guilty plea.

“People who consume and distribute child sexual exploitation and abuse imagery are committing crimes punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment in New Zealand. There is a public interest in holding offenders to account, to protect the community and deter others from engaging in similar crimes”.

“People who deal in this material re-victimize the children who are involved in what is often the worst moments of their lives. This material depicts a crime scene’.

Finnerty’s sentence includes the destruction of property used in the offending, and he is required to register as a child sex offender.

If you are concerned that something you have seen may be objectionable or want to report a crime, you can report it to the Digital Child Exploitation team at DIA.

If you are the victim of a child abuse or sexual abuse crime,

Child Abuse: Directory for information and support
Safe to Talk: 0800 044 334 Text 4334

If you are concerned about your own activity online or someone else’s sexual behaviour, you should contact organisations such as,
Safe Network: 09 377 9898
WellStop: 04 566 4745
STOP: 03 353 0257
Or local treatment providers, or specialist therapists.

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