The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Internal Affairs action against Internet child pornography continues, second conviction in a week

The Department of Internal Affairs’ second Internet child pornography case in less than a week concluded today, with the conviction of Auckland man in the Waitakere District Court.

It was the third conviction this year and the 14th in the last 12 months.

The General Manager of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the message from the convictions is that if New Zealanders choose to trade child pornography, then they will eventually be caught.

“The Department has had a unit focussing on combating Internet child pornography since 1996,” Mr Manch said. “It has built up a wealth of experience and knowledge, has close links with overseas enforcement agencies, and its equipment, software and training are constantly updated. The result is a steady flow of convictions.”

In addition, in December last year, the Government Administration Select Committee announced that it is looking at recommending higher penalties for possession and trading of child pornography.

Underlying the Department’s action is that child pornography encourages the sexual abuse of children. A child is sexually abused to create each picture or movie. Collectors and traders create a ‘market’ that incites more abuse and exploitation of children.

In this case, the defendant pleaded guilty in December last year to one charge of trading child pornography. Today, the Court sentenced him to carry out 200 hours community work and ordered forfeiture and destruction of his computer and all material seized.

In April 2001 a Department Inspector detected a New Zealander operating in an Internet relay chat channel dedicated to trading child pornography.

The New Zealander was using the nickname “Darwin__” and wanted to trade pictures of pre-teenage children. He sent the Inspector a picture of a 10-year-old girl being sexually abused by an adult man.

“Darwin__” was tracked to an Auckland address and identified. A search warrant was executed on his home, and his computer and disks were seized.

“New Zealanders who use child pornography have been warned. Stop. What they do is illegal and abhorrent, and we will take action against it,” Mr Manch said.

Some people might need help to stop. If they do, then they should seek counselling or psychological treatment. SAFE Network (09 377 9898) and STOP programmes operate in some parts of the country and are listed in telephone directories. Their e-mail addresses are, and

District Health Boards’ community mental health services may also be able to refer people to appropriate programmes or counsellors in their area.

ECPAT and the Internet Safety Group also have useful contacts. Their websites are and

“Where people do not take responsibility for their own actions and do not stop using child pornography, then they put themselves at risk of detection, prosecution and public identification,” Mr Manch said.

Media contact:

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