The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Internet child abuse offenders “should be afraid”


Information from Canada has led to the conviction of a Hamilton man for offering images of child abuse using the “peer-to-peer” network Kazaa.
“Peer-to-peer” applications allow people to access each others’ computers, and get pictures and text stored there.

In the Hamilton District court, the accused, was convicted and fined a total of $6,000 on 20 charges of possession and 10 charges of distributing objectionable images and movies of children being sexually posed, in sexual acts, or being abused by adults.

More than 400 still and movie files were found on his Kazaa shared folder after his computer was seized under a search warrant. More than 160 were objectionable under the law. Explicit titles indicated to others that the images involved children as young as 9, and abuse by adults.

The Director of the Department of Internal Affair’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the conviction is the latest success in stopping this illegal use of the new technology.

“Offenders often think they can’t be found. They can. A dozen convictions have been recorded for this type of offending since the Department action set the first precedent in 2003”.

“In the last few months 19 of the 25 new cases we referred to Crown Law for prosecution involved peer-to-peer applications, and more cases are being investigated”.

Under new laws now before Parliament the maximum penalty for this sort of offending – now subject only to a fine – will increase to two years imprisonment.

“The public and parliamentary response to the possession and trading of images of children being abused, and our increasing success in tracking down and prosecuting offenders should make all those involved in such activities very afraid,” said Mr Manch.

“They are more and more likely to be found. When they are caught they will face much higher penalties. Even under the present law it is clear the courts are responding to public outrage and increasing fines and imprisonment terms”.

“The only way for offenders to be safe is to stop offending. If they need help to stop they can get helpful advice from the Internet Safety Group .

Further information

Keith Manch Director Gaming and Censorship Regulation Phone 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 445 6420
Colin Feslier, Communications, Phone 04 495 9460, Cellular 0274 575 676