The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Distributor of objectionable videos fined $6,950

The Lower Hutt District Court has fined a self-employed Wainuiomata painter, $6,950 for co-ordinating the copying and distribution of objectionable videos to a group of New Zealanders.

The General Manager of the Department of Internal Affairs’ Censorship and Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the Films Videos and Publications Classification Act prohibits objectionable material.

The Act includes as objectionable child pornography, torture and extreme violence or cruelty, bestiality, using violence or coercion to compel a person to participate in sexual conduct, and necrophilia.

“New Zealand society does not accept such abusive behaviour,” Mr Manch said. “It is illegal to perform these acts.

“Our censorship law reinforces that prohibition. Objectionable videos and publications are banned because they can reinforce and encourage the false ideas held by some that the behaviour depicted is acceptable.”

The defendant advertised in a personal contact magazine that he wanted to swap videotapes. By doing so he created a network of contacts that allowed him to obtain, copy and exchange objectionable videos.

He did not operate the network as a profit-making venture but, instead, as a way of expanding his collection of objectionable material by trading with others.

In August 2000, he sent one of his videos to the wrong address. The recipient gave the tape to the Police, who passed it on to the Department to investigate.

That month, Department Inspectors executed a search warrant on the man's house. At that time he lived in New Plymouth. Inspectors seized 76 videos, of which 42 were classified as objectionable. The objectionable videos included torture or the infliction of extreme cruelty, bestiality, and three depicted sexual acts involving children.

He admitted having dealt with between 400 and 500 videos in the eight months before the search.

The man left New Plymouth before he could be summonsed to appear in court. Court documents were filed in the New Plymouth District Court and a warrant for his arrest was issued. He eventually contacted the Department from a Wainuiomata address.

This week when he appeared for a defended hearing in Lower Hutt he instead changed his pleas to guilty to five charges of copying and trading objectionable publications and 10 of possessing objectionable publications.

Media contact:
Jon Peacock
Censorship Compliance Inspector: Phone: 04 495 9383

Keith Manch
General Manager Gaming and Censorship Regulation Phone: 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 445 6420

Vincent Cholewa
Communications Advisor Phone: 04 495 9350, Cellular 025 272 4270