The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Distributor of child sex abuse images offered NZ child for sex


A case that began with a complaint that a New Zealander was offering on the Internet a New Zealand child available to be sexually abused, ended in the Tauranga District Court today with the imprisonment of a man for one year on a total of 41 charges of distributing and collecting videos and pictures of babies and children being raped and sexually abused.

The Director of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the Court has suppressed all information about where the New Zealand child lives and any that could lead to the child being identified. Child Youth and Family has ensured the child’s safety. Police were involved in the case and did not charge him with physically abusing the child.

In sentencing, Judge Rollo described the images the man had been collecting and trading as “sick” and “depraved”, and said that such offending must be condemned in the strongest terms.

Mr Manch said that the case highlights why the collection or distribution of child sex abuse images are illegal: the images start with the sexual abuse of children and they create the danger of more abuse occurring.

“In this case the man collected and distributed electronic videos and pictures of adults sexually abusing babies and children,” Mr Manch said. “He wrote stories about it and went on to invite people who he met on the Internet to stay with him so that they could abuse the child who he had access to.

“Fortunately, no one seems to have taken up his invitation. However, real babies and children had been raped and abused to make the videos and pictures he was trading and collecting.

“Distribution of such images reinforces the false views held by some that sex with children is acceptable, and collectors incite more abuse as they seek more images and more extreme images.

“The victims in the man's videos and pictures were not New Zealanders. While that can make it easier to distance oneself from the crimes, to argue that it somehow minimises the offending is to argue that sexual abuse of children is acceptable as long as the children are not in New Zealand.

“The Department’s actions against Internet child sex abuse images are not about pictures on computers. They are part of New Zealand’s contribution to international action against child abuse.”

The Department’s investigation began in May 2003 when it received a complaint that a New Zealander who was distributing sexual pictures of a young boy was also offering a child to be sexually abused.

The Department tracked the New Zealander to a Tauranga address and identified him. In June 2003 Department Inspectors and a Police officer executed a search warrant. It became clear that he did have access to a child, and Child Youth and Family was involved.

Department Inspectors seized his computer and a number of CD ROMs. Their analysis of the computer and CD ROMs revealed:

  • the invitations he has sent to people to stay with him and abuse the child
  • more than 100 videos of the rape and sexual abuse of babies and children
  • more than 800 pictures of the rape and sexual abuse of babies and children
  • stories he had written about sexually abusing children.

Last month he pleaded guilty to five charges of distributing child sex abuse images, 35 of possession and one of making objectionable material. The making charge relates to the stories.

He is a 40-year-old production supervisor of Tauranga.
Roles of New Zealand agencies

To help explain which New Zealand agency people should contact if they have information about child sex abuse images, I would like to explain the different roles of the organisations involved.

The Department of Internal Affairs investigates and prosecutes users of Internet child sex abuse images.

Our Inspectors work on the Internet to track and identify offenders. They then execute search warrants, seize computers and other material, carry out the forensic analysis, prepare the prosecution files and work with the Crown Solicitor presenting the case in court.

New Zealand Customs takes action against importation of objectionable material, and Police and Child Youth and Family are involved when there is possible physical abuse of New Zealand children.

As you can imagine, cases can easily cross over into different agencies areas of expertise and inter-agency operations are common, but one agency always takes the lead.

If members of the public have information about Internet child sex abuse images, they should contact the Department. Our toll free number is 0800 257 887.

If they have concerns about possible physical abuse of children, they should call their local Police station or Child Youth and Family office. They should call Customs with information about importation of objectionable material.

Having said that, of course we work closely together and if information is reported to the “wrong” agency, it will be passed on.

Keith Manch
Director, Gaming and Censorship Regulation

Media contact:

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

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