The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


$9,500 fine plus $3,600 costs for child pornography charges


A Lower Hutt man was yesterday afternoon fined $9,500 plus $3,600 costs and solicitor’s fees on 32 charges relating to Internet child pornography and importation of objectionable videos, following a New Zealand Customs Service and Department of Internal Affairs investigation.

The Lower Hutt District Court granted the offender name suppression. The offender has undertaken psychological counselling since the investigation began in September last year, and the Court was concerned that naming him would prevent his rehabilitation. He had no prior convictions.

The General Manager of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the offender was collecting pictures and movies, included images of adult men inflicting sexual acts on babies.

“These were the youngest victims our Inspectors have seen in the seven years they have been operating,” Mr Manch said. “In other cases they have previously discovered pictures and movies of 18-month-olds being abused by adult men. These victims were even younger.

“This evidence is appalling to contemplate but it goes to the heart of what child pornography is and why it is illegal.

“The victims are real children. This is not about pictures on a computer. It is about New Zealand contributing to international action against sexual exploitation of children, and combating the false view held by some that sex with children is acceptable.”

Customs Investigations Manager Phil Chitty said that the investigation began when Customs Officers intercepted objectionable videos at the Auckland International Mail centre.

Customs Officers executed a search warrant on the offender’s house in September last year and seized printed documents and a computer.

Mr Chitty said that Internal Affairs Inspectors analysed the computer and found 125 objectionable movies and pictures. They were of adult men inflicting sexual acts on children aged from infancy to 14 years, and of bestiality.

“This is a good example of the effectiveness of co-operation between agencies,” Mr Chitty said. “We frequently work with the Department, the Police and overseas agencies.”

Mr Manch said the co-operation between agencies and the way this case unfolded should be seen as a warning: “New Zealanders who choose to continue trading and collecting child pornography will eventually be caught.

“If people are using child pornography and need help to stop, then they should contact SAFE Network in Auckland, STOP programmes in other towns or counsellors or psychologists with experience in working with sexual issues,” Mr Manch said.

Media contact, New Zealand Customs:
Rochelle Turnbull
Communications Advisor Phone: 09 359 6507, Cellular: 029 251 3167

Media contact, Department of Internal Affairs:
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