The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Child pornography conviction: third in NZ, second in Hutt Valley in a week


The conviction of 25-year-old Lower Hutt restaurant worker was the third child pornography prosecution in New Zealand within a week and the second in the Hutt Valley.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh fined the man $4,750. She said that trading and possession of child pornography are serious offences, and she would have imposed substantially higher fines but for his low income.

The General Manager of the Department of Internal Affairs’ Gaming and Censorship Compliance Group, Keith Manch, said that the man pleaded guilty to 10 charges of trading and possession of pictures of young girls aged between six and 12 years being sexually abused by adult men. He was trading on the Internet.

On Wednesday last week in the Lower Hutt District Court another man was fined $6,950 after pleading guilty to 15 charges of copying, trading and possession of objectionable videos. The videos included torture or the infliction of extreme cruelty, bestiality, and child pornography.

On Friday last week, in the North Shore District Court, another defendant pleaded guilty to 14 charges of trading and possession of child pornography. He was fined $2,500 and ordered to do 200 hours community work.

In this case, in February this year a Department officer was in an Internet relay chat channel dedicated to the distribution of objectionable material. The Officer identified someone using the nickname “Maharg_” operating from a New Zealand Internet service provider.

He contacted Maharg_, who sent him five images, including three of young girls being sexually abused. Over the next few weeks Maharg_ was identified on other Internet relay chat channels dedicated to preteen sex.

He was traced to a Lower Hutt address and identified. Department staff executed a search warrant and seized his computer. The computer was found to contain approximately 120 objectionable images and nine objectionable text files.

At first he denied all involvement, but later made a full admission that he was Maharg_, had traded child pornography and had possession of the collection of images found on the computer. He had not traded for financial profit, but to exchange images to extend his collection.

This was the eighth child pornography conviction in New Zealand this year. The offenders were operating in cities and rural areas, through New Zealand and overseas Internet service providers and trying to hide in various ways.

“The cases involved the Department, Police, Customs and overseas law enforcement agencies,” Mr Manch said. “There is strong co-operation between agencies, and New Zealanders who choose to continue trading child pornography will eventually be caught.”

Media contact:

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

Vincent Cholewa Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 025 272 4270