The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Information from member of public leads to conviction


The Department of Internal Affairs is thanking a member of the public for information that led to the sentencing today of a Christchurch man, for making and possessing electronic videos and stories of the sexual abuse of children, bestiality and other objectionable material.

He was fined a total of $2,400 plus $130 costs and ordered to do 120 hours community work. Judge Michael Crosbie said that the man clearly needs help and placed him on a nine-month supervision order requiring him to have psychological treatment as directed. He also ordered forfeiture of his computer and destruction of all the objectionable material.

Judge Crosbie said that the offending was aggravated by the way it exploited children, though he accepted the collection was for what he described as the man's own depraved interest and not for distribution.

Department of Internal Affairs’ Deputy Secretary Andrew Secker praised the member of the public for coming forward with their information about the man's offending.

Mr Secker said that this was the second recent case in Christchurch resulting from information provided by the public. In November, in an unrelated case, an offender was fined $4,000 plus costs after a computer repair company gave information to the Department.

“Receiving information from the public is an important part of all law enforcement work,” Mr Secker said.

“A comparison we have made before is to seeing a burglary and reporting it to the Police. If you do that, you are acting responsibly and helping protect someone’s property. If you find information about child sex abuse images or people writing about abusing children and you report that, then you are acting responsibly and helping protect children from abuse.
“It is not a breach of privacy law to report a possible crime to a law enforcement agency.”

The Department always treats complainants’ identities as confidential and does not release their names.

Summary of offending

This case began in June 2004 when the Department received information that the man had what appeared to be objectionable material on his computer.

A Department Inspector visited the address where he had benn living and found 33 pages of computer printouts, being stories about the sexual abuse of children, bestiality and other objectionable material. The Inspector seized his computer, 85 disks and the printouts.

When interviewed,the man acknowledged ownership of all the seized material and admitted there was material featuring the sexual abuse of children and bestiality on his computer. He said that he printed out the story files because he “wanted to read them”.

The Inspector’s analysis of the computer and disks found 41 objectionable electronic videos and 233 objectionable text documents. It also revealed a history of the defendant's searching the Internet for objectionable material.

The Department charged him with one representative charge of making an objectionable publication and 12 representative possession charges. He pleaded guilty to all charges. He is a 26-year-old storeman.

Objectionable text files

Under New Zealand law not only can videos and pictures be objectionable but text can also be objectionable.

“These are stories about adults sexually, often violently, abusing children,” Mr Secker said. “They are written and collected by people who get gratification from what such stories are about.

“They are distributed to others with similar attitudes, spreading the false message that sex with children is acceptable.

“They are part of the tragedy of child sexual abuse that includes the actual abuse, and also pictures and videos being made as children are abused, stories being written about it, distributors and collectors, and encouragement for more abuse as collectors want bigger and more extreme collections.

“This not about images and stories on a computer. It is part of New Zealand’s commitment to international efforts to help prevent the abuse of children.”

Media contact

Andrew Secker
Deputy Secretary Phone 04 495 9329, Cellular 027 281 5211

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