The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Man sentenced for child sexual abuse material

22 January 2021

The Department of Internal Affairs and New Zealand Police acknowledge the sentencing of 36-year-old Aaron Joseph Hutton on charges relating to the possession of child sexual exploitation material, and entering into a dealing involving the sexual exploitation of a child.

Hutton previously pleaded guilty to the charges during August 2020. He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, forfeiture for all devices involved in offending at the Auckland District Court today. He will also be added to Child Sexual Offenders Register. The outcome is the result of a joint investigation by the Department of Internal Affairs and New Zealand Police.

During 2015 the Digital Child Exploitation Team at the Department of Internal Affairs began an investigation on the Dark Web. This investigation led to a particular user called ‘KiwiPedo’ who requested child sexual exploitation material from Covert Online Investigators, and attempted to meet with and purchase a child for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Due to the nature of the Dark Web it can be increasingly difficult to identify users producing, collecting and distributing imagery of child sexual exploitation and abuse. However, as offenders become more sophisticated at anonymising themselves online and technologically savvy, so too do our team of investigators who work within this demanding field.

Over the course of the following months Covert Online Investigators were able to collect enough information to successfully apply for search warrants at a business and residential address where a number of devices were subsequently seized. Electronic forensic examination by DIA then led to the discovery of over 400 images depicting the sexual exploitation of children, as well as evidence that Aaron Hutton was “kiwipedo”.

Tim Houston, Manager of the Department of Internal Affairs Digital Child Exploitation Team welcomed the successful conclusion of this case.

“Our investigation led to a successful joint operation with the New Zealand Police and is a good example of how agencies domestically and internationally work together to apprehend these types of offenders,” Houston said.

“DIA, Customs, and Police continue to work tirelessly together to investigate individuals trading in child sexual exploitation material. We are acutely aware that persons consuming and distributing child sexual exploitation material also present significant risks to children in the offline world.”

“Child sexual exploitation and abuse material depicts a crime scene, and the worst moment in a child’s life. Stopping the distribution of this type of material is critical because every time this material is shared, the children involved in this crime are re‐victimised.”

Detective Sergeant Corey Brown from Waitemata Police says this case is a testament of multiple agencies working effectively together to target those involved in the sexual exploitation of children.
“This was a prolonged, detailed investigation and Police and our partners are constantly evolving in our investigative techniques to target those individuals offending online.

“We hope today’s sentencing serves as a warning to other offenders preying on children online and distributing child exploitation material that it is only a matter of time before you are caught and prosecuted,” says Detective Sergeant Brown.

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

If you are the victim of a child abuse crime,
Child Abuse: Directory for information and support
Safe to Talk: 0800 044 334 Text 4334

If you are concerned about 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 child sexual abuse.

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs
Media phone | +64 27 535 8639
45 Pipitea Street | PO Box 805, Wellington 6140, New Zealand |